Editor’s note: this is the third story in a series of hearing loss stories shared by MED-EL cochlear implant recipient Morgan Martins. In her previous post, she confronted her hearing loss for the first time. Here she receives her first pair of hearing aids.
I’m not a super woman, but I am a fighter. After losing my hearing I become unemployed, and as I’m the one that mostly provides for my family this meant that I had to find a job fast. Not just fast, but faster! But how would I be able to get a job interview, and would my hearing loss affect this?
Luckily, I got interview without the need for a recruitment company. The interview was surreal: the person interviewing me had to repeat the same question twice and sometimes even three times, but he was extremely patient and understanding. At the end of each answer I remember I kept repeating to myself, “I’m getting a set of hearing aids on the 23rd, so I’ll be able to listen again.”
When I left the interview, I spoke with my wife and said, “there’s no way they’re going to hire me.” Well, it’s a good thing that I’m never right: one week after I was called for a second interview and they ended up hiring me.
Deafness? Hearing Lost? No one thought about that at the time.
On December 21st I started my new job and two days after that I received my first set of hearing aids. It was like an early Christmas day and life looked bright again.
The adaptation to the hearing aids was easy; the difficult part was to accept that I was now deaf without them. I didn’t learn, read or study about how to communicate being deaf, how to ask close questions that requires a yes or no, I didn’t learn about choosing the best room in the house—the one with better acoustics—to have conversations or how and where to position myself among a group. All of this you have to learn by trial and error; by testing and observing; by being assertive and trying to understand others.
Deafness puts you in this lonely place, and sadly it can be very easy to feel lonely. It’s up to each person to come out of their comfort zone, no one else will do it for them.
I was always a social person, but not anymore. I started to resent my “old” friends: the ones that stopped calling me. Well, of course they could call me but I couldn’t hear them. I resented them for not trying to contact me through a text message or email. This was utterly painful. I could of course go to the pub or club, but these situations were excruciating for me. I couldn’t hear them, I didn’t enjoy the “distorted” music with my hearing aids, so why would I put myself in situations which would end up hurting me?
While having the hearing aids gave me hope, the reality that my life was forever changed kept daunting me, week by week, month after month, and I have never been the same human being. Maybe some of you can relate to this.