1. My childhood experiences as daughter of a hard-of-hearing parent
a. Serving as mom’s interpreter
b. Her lack of self confidence
c. Been made fun at in school – she could lip read but as she watched you talk, someone “out of view” could say something and when my mom would respond to the person she was lip reading… it would be unrelated to what someone else had just said and the kids would laugh at her so this gradually caused her to shut down and loose her confidence.
d. Mom got 1st hearing aid when I was in early teens. I remember seeing my mom crying at kitchen sink… When I asked why she said “she’d just heard the birds outside for the first time.”
2. As I got older I went with her to navigate purchase of hearing aids
a. We struggled to buy them and it seemed in barely a year they were telling her she needed a newer hearing aid as the one she had wasn’t strong enough.
b. After a few of these episodes it bothered me as I felt they’d previous sold her a hearing aid that would by necessity need to be replaced sooner.
c. When mom was 62 we took her to an audiologist (instead of a hearing aid salesman) and he is the person that suggested we meet with a doctor and that afternoon she discovered she could have surgery and she ended up getting her hearing back.
3. About 4 years ago I became more and more aware of my own struggle with hearing conversations, following TV story lines, I called the U of Mn for an appointment. That’s when I connected with Sarah.
a. After having hearing tests Sarah said hearing aids would be helpful
b. Because I was struggling with the costs for 2 hearing aids she did say since I was not at an “acute” stage of hearing loss if I wanted to wait a year I probably could.
c. However she added “That when you loose the ability to piece together a conversation by knowing enough of the context of what’s been said it’s not good for you – it could diminish acute thinking ability. That was the most important factor that caused me to make the decision to get the hearing aids sooner than later.
d. Sarah was also able to connect me with services that assisted me in the purchase of my hearing aids. If that service had not been available I’d have probably had to wait to purchase 2 hearing aids.
4. In my retirement I do a lot of computer and website work so I talk on the phone a lot. For along time I’d been using a Bluetooth – just so I could type at my computer while talking to someone on the phone… So when I learned about the ComPilot and it’s built in “Bluetooth” feature I knew that would be an enormous help for me.
a. Being able to hear on the phone through both ears is unbelievably helpful.
b. A couple of months ago I had to send my ComPilot in for repair and I was LOST without it. Holding the phone to my ear – even with my hearing aids it’s very, very difficult for me to hear.
5. My biggest frustrations with hearing aid companies is the built in “planned obsolescence.”
a. I take pride in taking good care of my hearing aids… I’ve had them now for 5 years and I’ve NEVER had a hearing aid repair. The only repair I’ve ever had has been the recent repair of my ComPilot. And yet, Sarah tells me because there are new models now available – my hearing aids and my compilot at some point will not be “repairable”