September 25, 2012 Alicia Castro 6Comment

Some of us individuals with hearing disabilities remember a time in our past when we could hear and recognize a voice calling our name. Then, all of a sudden we started hearing less. It’s frustrating trying to hear, knowing your hearing will not get any better unless you wear a device that helps you hear.

Growing up as a child, I remember there were days I could hear my mother’s voice. Other days, I was puzzled by the fact that her lips kept moving but I heard no voice. I wasn’t aware at that time that my hearing worsened. In fact, I was very quiet and did not socialize. When my family members and friends refused to play with me, I never cried but I felt lonely and afraid. Playing video games and 2,500 jigsaw puzzle pieces alleviated my loneliness but it did not help me socialize any better. It did help me read and count faster. My mother seemed sad and angry but she was the only person who made my days better.

As years went by, I learned how to read lips on my own. My mother noticed but she never said anything. When I was nine years old, I remember the day my mother took me to see a hearing vendor and she seemed nervous. The licensed hearing instrument specialist inserted both hearing aids in my ears and turned it on. The first thing I heard was my mother saying “Alicia! Can you hear me?” I didn’t say anything but I smiled as tears were running down my face. That was the first time I really, truly cried!

I recognized that I had a hearing problem. After crying, my mother kept saying “say something.” So I yelled happily “Yes, mommy, I can hear!!! Look, I can hear your voice!” She laughed and cried because there was hope for me to socialize and improve my hearing. My first hearing aids were behind-the-ear (BTE) and I wore them for eleven years.

They were big and I was bullied a lot so I started wearing “in-the-ear” (ITE) hearing aids about six years ago when I went to college. Both hearing aids improved my hearing level and I’m very grateful because thanks to my Audiologist and the hearing vendor, I regained most of my hearing and self-esteem.

Earlier this year, I noticed my right hearing-aid was very low on volume. No matter how much I try to raise the volume or insert new batteries, nothing works. My audiologist did not recommend the repair because I needed to wear better hearing aids that support my hearing level. Now that I’m older, attending graduate school and interning, it’s impossible for me to purchase hearing aids. A friend of mine helped me start a fundraiser in June 2012. Many friends donated and supported my fundraiser. In fact, one friend applied for a grant. On September 21st, I got approved for the grant and will soon hear better.

I am so excited and thrilled to wear new hearing aids since my current hearing aids are obsolete. Hearing aids are part of my life because without them I would never be the person I am today. Today I want to make you smile and remind you that you are not alone, so don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are people out there who are willing to help you. Hearing aids have helped me and I will continue to wear hearing aids as long as my heart can take it. So my advice to you, “accept who you are and embrace life.”

6 thoughts on “Recognizing Hearing Loss and Hearing Again

  1. Alicia boo…i think it’s great that ur writing this for people who might be going through or have gone through the same situation. But at the same time, it’s great for u too because its helping u to feel more comfortable with yourself. U r such a nice caring girl n God has blessed u w/ life…hearing or no hearing 🙂 I’m happy to see that u are doing well n expressin urself in this way. I’m sure other people will be moved by ur story. Keep being strong girl…keep being u <3

    1. Hello Ogechi!

      Thank you for dropping by and being the first to comment. I will continue to blog and inspire people. I value your time and I am very grateful that you took your precious time and effort by commenting on this blog. I apprecieate your kind words 🙂

  2. Congratulations on the approval of the grant! And thank you very much for sharing your experience of hearing loss. It is an inspirational real life story to lots of people who are facing different kinds of challenge. Your experience is a perfect example of changing negative into positive. Great job Alicia! Your mother must be and will continue to be very proud of you!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Karen! I am very excited and thrilled to wear new hearing aids. I might get them next week and will include a post with a picture describing the feeling of hearing again. That’s my ultimate goal, bring happiness back and help people get inspired to follow their dreams and career goals. Again, thank you for liking all of my stories! 🙂

  3. Alicia, I am very happy that you will be able to get your new hearing aids! You are a wonderful young lady and I am proud to have worked with you during your undergraduate days! Your voyage has been difficult but you have always shown tremendous strength in your drive to obtain your education. Paula

    1. Paula, thank for supporting and inspiring me to never give up in my education and career goals. I enjoyed getting to know you during my undergraduate years and continue to think about you.

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