Isolation from loved ones and friends, Isolation on the job – which often leads to job loss. You just get sick and tired of hearing yourself say “What?” “Huh?” “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that….”So you learn to cover. You smile. You laugh and nod your head when that seems an appropriate response. Sometimes you just pretend you didn’t hear and keep on walking. At gatherings, you find a chair somewhere off in the corner and just stare off out a window or watch what’s going on in the rest of the room. If you’re older, as I am now, the kids just think Grandpa isn’t quite with it any longer.
But my hearing loss began when I was in my early forties. I found myself doing what I’ve described above and just hoping I wasn’t missing so much it would interfere with my ability to do my job.
One day I found myself in a conversation with someone who was driving me around an area, talking to me about what was going on. At one point I said “Huh?” And then I figured out what she had said and I told her it was my listening skills. I sometimes missed what someone said but then figured it out. She told me that was a symptom of hearing loss, not my listening skills. So I went in for a hearing test and found that hearing aids could help me with my problem.
When I took an early retirement and moved to New Mexico I called the national headquarters of the company that makes the hearing aids I wear and asked where I could go to get my aids repaired and, in time, replaced. They recommended that I contact Albuquerque Speech Language Hearing Center. I went in and met Dr. Stephanie Sanchez who was then new to the Center. Stephanie has been my audiologist every since, my wife’s also. Despite the passing years, she has enabled us to keep up, most recently guiding us through the process of getting new hearing aids that even allow us to hear what’s going on in movies and to watch our television without blasting the whole neighborhood out of existence.
It also pleases us that ASLHC is a non-profit. We know that what we pay is money well spent and that every cent goes to provide services not only to us but also to those in our community who aren’t as fortunate financially as we are.
We also appreciate the fact that ASLHC is not there to sell people hearing aids but rather to help them deal with their hearing and speech challenges. Fully half the friends I have referred to the Center have been tested and told they don’t yet need to spend money for hearing aids. Instead they are counseled on things they can do to enhance their hearing in their own life situations. The fact that the Center does not offer just one type of hearing aid, but handles products from a number of manufacturers, means that they work with patients to find the very best aids for each patient’s unique needs rather than just trying to get them to accept what one manufacturer has to offer.
After more than a decade of great service, we couldn’t be more pleased with ASLHC. We give the Center our highest endorsement and recommendation.
Barry Abel February 21, 2018