A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Student Life

Living with hearing aids

One day, I lost both of my hearing aids and I had to go to middle school unable to hear almost anything. I could not find my hearing aids and as the time came closer to school starting, I was getting panicked. When going on the bus, everything was a faded sound. Everything sounded very quiet and soft. The sounds I heard were muffled and I could only hear those who were close to me. When class started, I immediately knew that it would be a long day. English class was bad. We were reading a book as a class, and I could not hear the reader at all. I was totally lost, and it made me realize that without having hearing aids, life would be so much harder.  

   Ever since I was a young child, it has been normal for me to wake up in the morning and hear almost nothing. When I am not wearing my hearing aids, it sounds faded. It feels lonely.  It can be stressful sometimes not being able to hear certain things clearly, like whispers and higher pitched noises. It has affected many things in my life, including school. School can sometimes be a little stressful because not being able to hear the teacher well can be frustrating. Whenever I was in a class, and I could not hear the teacher, It was stressful because then, I couldn’t understand the material and quite understand the lecture. 

   Growing up, hearing loss had a big effect on me because I had trouble communicating and understanding English. My mother has told me that I did not start talking until I was 4 years old, which was the first time that I got hearing aids. When I entered Pre-Kindergarten, I was attending two schools. In the morning, I was going to Pine Creek Elementary and doing regular learning like all the other kids. However, during the afternoon, the bus would take me to another school, Maplewood Elementary. Including me, there were six kids in the class, and we all had hearing aids. In this class, they were teaching us how to communicate better and help us learn differently due to our hearing aids. 

   Talking was a struggle for me at a young age. I could not pronounce words correctly. I had trouble getting words out. When I was in elementary school, the teachers had to wear a microphone connected to my hearing aids so that I was able to hear them more clearly. During elementary, I was also attending to speech classes, to help improve my speech, especially pronouncing the “R” and “L” sounds. As time went on, the speech class really helped me improve my speech and helped me pronounce words much better.  

   After elementary, life seemed much easier. The classes I was taking in elementary helped me in many ways and helped me be prepared for the future. When I entered middle school, the teachers did not have to wear microphones anymore, because I was used to hearing the teachers talk normally, and I could now understand them better. However, in 7th grade, during gym class, there was a point where all the students were participating in swim lessons and I decided not to because of my hearing problems. I would have had to take off my hearing aids, and swim while not hearing almost anything at all, and that frightened me. 

   Now in high school, everything is going just fine, and I have not had many problems lately.I have gotten used to wearing hearing aids. However, sometimes I think about what life would be like I never wore hearing aids. How much different would my life and experiences be? But I am also grateful that I was not born with a worse condition that other people have to go through and I am perfectly healthy. 

   Wearing hearing aids at a young age was a struggle, and I had many difficulties. Being born with hearing loss and growing up, was definitely not an easy path; however, in the end, these problems made me into the person I am today. 

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