With not a little apprehension I went for my speech assessment with an audiologist who was like no one I had ever met before! She was very patient and kind but also very professional and knowledgeable. I had my hearing test which was different to those I normally have. I had to press the control button when I heard a sound and keep pressing it until the sound stopped. This confirmed an earlier assessment that I had very little hearing in my right ear and not that much in my left ear. She then tested my hearing aids. She inserted a small wire into my ear and put my hearing aid in as well. I didn’t have to do anything the machine checked that my hearing aids were set up correctly, which they were, and then measured how much they could help me. Despite my hearing aids I was still failing to hear because of insufficient hearing.
She told me that I would definitely benefit from a cochlear implant in both ears. I wasn’t sure how I felt at this time. In fact she said the implant would transform my life! OH if that could be true.
Then I had the speech discrimination test. For this I had to sit in front of a large loud speaker box and say what I could hear. NO LIPREADING!!!! This was quite difficult. I wasn’t sure if what I thought I was hearing was correct. For instance I wasn’t sure if I heard clown or crown but I thought I had heard “funny face” in the sentence so I decided it was “the clown had a funny face”. I have no idea if I was right! Listening with my right ear was very difficult.
At the end the consultant told me that it was remarkable how I deduced what I had heard but she didn’t say if I was right or wrong! She also told me that I had 10% conversational hearing in my left ear and 1% conversational hearing in my right ear. I knew my hearing was poor but I hadn’t realised it was so low as that. I was very emotional for a moment and burst into tears. It didn’t last long but I was bit subdued for a while. It is one thing to know you have poor hearing but when you find out exactly what you can or can’t hear it does make you wonder how you manage. LIPREADING mainly.
She said she would recommend that I go forward for the implant programme.
I spent some time reflecting upon this information and found the few people I have told about it very supportive.