“Getting ME Back” – The Story of Ross
I am a father of five and have pastored for 27 years. Needless to say in my world there’s a lot to listen to. I am a communicator by nature and always was the life of the party. Love to Interact with everyone and would talk to one person while listening in on others.
Then one weekend everything changed. I experienced Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
After losing the hearing in my left ear it seemed like life just lost it’s brilliance. Couldn’t enjoy conversations the same while traveling in the car with my wife and kids. Struggled to hear conversations and nature while on hikes with my family. And I didn’t understand why every time I went to our family favorite restaurant I would start to feel nervous and anxious. After going there three times I began to realize this was linked to my hearing. There was glass windows, tile floors, metal everywhere and game machines going off. What was once a great place to enjoy our kids and some pizza had become miserable experience that would leave me nauseous with a headache.
People think that if you are deaf in only one ear that you really aren’t facing a true handicap. Even a 6 decibel difference between ears will cause sounds to swirl, cause difficulty to hear speech or distinguish one sound amongst other sounds. When talking with my wife on a date the sounds of the restaurant would fill my hearing and leave me just watching my wife’s lips moving as if she wasn’t saying a word.
Once while going to have lunch with my son at school the sounds of the children on the play ground masked the sound of the milk truck coming up the lane and I came within inches of stepping into the moving trucks path.
I began to realize more and more that what happened to me over one weekend was now causing me to lose a little bit of myself with each frustrating experience.
For 10 years I lost a part of who I was and a part of my personality. Swirling noises found in church foyers, restaurants and a house filled with 5 crazy children greatly reduced my quality of living.
I found myself at parties or where there were crowds drifting to the edges of a room. The problem with moving to the edges of a room, emotionally after a while, it’s easy to start to feel “edged out”.
What are some of the things that you have faced that you hate to admit it, but your hearing loss has affected your quality of life and maybe, like me, even your personality?
When I experienced Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in my left ear it changed my whole world for almost a decade. Then I started looking at options CROS, BAHA, Magnet, Ponto Everything flipped when 5 years ago I became a BAHD (Bone Attached Hearing Device) user.
Now at parties and in the church foyer I am smiling and interacting with everyone. I don’t miss a thing my kids say now….I’m not so sure they are as happy about that as I am. I can hear the wind in the trees, the birds in the air, the rushing water of a a river and my kid’s questions all at the same time while hiking. And date nights with Amie are back to enjoying fine meals and conversation with no strain! I got me back!!!
I like to say I wouldn’t be ME with out my PONTO (The device I use) and there is no reason for YOU to chose to live life less than living like YOU.