Saturday, October 3, 2009

How It All Got Started: Part II the school arranged, through the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, a meeting with an audiologist and I endured a serious of hearing tests. It was my first time in the box and I failed. But I didn't fail miserably. The result was that if I was doing okay in school and didn't feel that I needed help, nothing serious was going on. And it was left at that. I was an A student, honor roll, NHS, athlete, over-achiever, gifted and talented...high school was a breeze.

Fast forward to college. I showed up to my poly sci class, 500 students crammed into the UNT Lyceum and the professor decides she doesn't like the mic. "You all can hear me, right?"
I'm thinking "What did she say?"
Luckily one of my first and still dearest friends from college was sitting in the seat behind me. I never would have passed that class if he hadn't been there to interpret. Thanks, Chris!

And that's how it was. Every class was a nightmare. I couldn't hear the professors, some were quiet, some had crazy accents, some rooms had bad acoustics. It never occurred to me that I was the problem. I just quit going, found other things to keep me occupied, things I won't mention to preserve my mother's sanity. But the truth is, I just gave up. My father still makes comments about his fear of me becoming a pole dancer...I guess he doesn't realize, the deaf don't dance too well. My husband even makes fun of my dancing. All those years, I thought I was being sexy and he finally admitted, he was trying to not to laugh!  Don't worry, the thought of pole dancing never even crossed my mind.

So there I was, little miss perfectly college prepped, giving up before I even got started and completely ignoring the obvious (pardon my cliche). It wasn't until I met my husband and began the journey that would be my future that I finally realized, I could not hear and I could not keep living this way. He demanded that I get some help and it just so happened that another dear friend, my old college roommate, had recently discovered her own hearing issues and found help through the Texas Rehabilitation Commission in Carrollton.

She pointed me in the right direction and I found myself meeting with a kind lady named Rose Mary. Rose Mary sent me to an ENT and once again, I had to face the box. This time my results were worse than before. The doctor declared that I needed "amplification." This is a fancy word for hearing aids. Having no health insurance, I was relieved when Rose Mary said the state of Texas would pay for them. Unfortunately, the state of Texas could not have cared less about why my hearing loss was progressing, and that was never looked into.

Nevertheless, about a month or so later, I received my first set of hearing instruments, built specifically for me at American Hearing Laboratories in Carrollton. It was 2001, 15 years after failing my first hearing test.

To be continued...part II

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