“I finally felt like someone was listening to me and understanding how I felt about my hearing loss.”
Lynette, from Australia, searched for over 40 years to find a hearing solution. Then she finally met someone who listened—a VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE surgeon called Dr. Chang.
I’m Lynette, 65 years old from Australia. In my free time I love to spend time with my friends and family. My friend owns a hairdressing salon and I love helping her out with it.
I have had a hearing loss for 41 years, and I’ve spent many years trying to find a solution to help me. I have always had a lot of ear infections from a young age, and so have had many hearing tests. After a major operation for a brain tumour, I lost a lot of my hearing on the left side. I tried to wear a hearing aid but that didn’t work due to all my ear infections.
With my hearing loss, I found it really hard to hear conversations at any occasion with my family and friends. I couldn’t hear most of what was being said. I felt like I was just sitting there and not able to enjoy being with anyone. It made me feel really lonely, and in the end I just stopped going out. I also tried not to drive because I couldn’t hear if anyone was behind me, and I also couldn’t hear any sirens.
Finding Out About The Solution
On one of my many appointments at the Prince Alfred Hospital back in 2015, a doctor told me about the ENT surgeon Dr. Chang. It was Dr. Chang who told me about the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE, and how it could help me with my hearing—it really surprised me.
I went home and excitedly told my little family about it all. Soon after that I decided I would go ahead and get it done. I had nothing to lose, and I felt Dr Chang could be the first surgeon to help me.
My son and my best friend were there for me the whole time during the surgery, during the recovery after surgery, and right through to getting my device switched on. They provided me with so much support through my journey. I will never know how to thank the people that were there throughout my journey in getting my hearing back.
I remember the day at Australian Hearing when I had my SAMBA connected. My MED-EL representative Sarah, and Ushma my audiologist, were there with me to do it. I was really amazed at what happened when they turned on the device. I tried not to cry, and I think I was in shock because I could suddenly hear them all talking. I then began laughing while they were explaining what the unusual noises were. I couldn’t believe what it was doing. Then, I cried. I could hear my son and my best friend talking to me and I could hear every word.
From the very first day, I was amazed at the sounds all around me. I could hear the cars, music and the birds outside. I really didn’t realise how much I was missing out on before I got the hearing implant. To hear every word and to understand what my son was saying was the greatest gift I have ever received.
Life With Improved Hearing
My favourite thing about my improved hearing is simply being able to hear my son and my friends clearly. I’m surprised that I can hear everything that they are talking about when we are together—I used to have to lean in to hear what had been said so I wouldn’t miss too many words. Now, I no longer feel left out. I am also really excited that I now help my friend at her hairdressing salon, and love being able to hear all of the people who come to the salon. A lot of people see my device and they ask me about it. After I have explained what it is, they want to know more about it. I don’t hesitate to tell my story!
Some of the things I enjoy hearing now are rain, wind, and music. I used to love to dance but stopped because I couldn’t hear the music properly, which I can now. Now I can go to the movies with my son and I can actually enjoy it because I can hear.
I continue to hear new sounds. I heard a sound the other day and I began running around the house trying to find what it was. When I realized what it was and I ran outside to tell my family. It was the clock on the wall! I laughed at myself because to be able to hear that and not know what it was, showed me just how much I have been missing for years.
Looking to the future, I am looking forward to being involved with different things and just enjoying life itself. My life really has changed with the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE.
Thanks, Lynette! Subscribe to the MED-EL Blog to get all the latest stories about hearing implant users around the world, straight to your inbox each week!