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I feel connected now I can hear well.

Annette with Brad Hutchinson

Before getting hearing aids there was a period of about a year and a half when I couldn’t hear well. I felt socially isolated because I didn’t know what people were saying; conversations were out of my reach. I felt ashamed to have to say “I beg your pardon”. And it was really embarrassing when, on occasion, I hadn’t heard the full conversation and had responded accordingly. So during that period of my life and my husband Martin’s too, social contact centred around our children because they were aware of my problem and made allowances.

Martin and I have been together 57 years and I have to say he’s been very patient about my hearing problems. I understand that hearing loss could be very annoying to those around us because it affects others quite a bit too. For my part, I was tired of living in a relatively silent world where conversations were interrupted, connectedness was restricted, spontaneity was stalled and small talk was just about impossible, and I knew I had to do something about it. I couldn’t even have a decent telephone conversation on my mobile when I was out or in company because the volume was set so high, anyone near me could overhear the discussion.

A breakthrough came when I saw a story in the paper a few years ago that I related to, about a farmer who had been helped by Brad, and the experience he described before getting hearing aids sounded similar to mine. So I thought that I’d try to achieve an outcome like his, and was fitted with devices around six years ago that have just been replaced with the newest hearing aid technology. These fresh aids are wonderful and have truly enriched my life. I wear them all day every day, and I am completely dependent upon them to hear well enough to remain connected.

I can now join in on conversations and feel part of the group rather than feeling left out and I am no longer exhausted from trying so hard to listen. I’m more confident in my participation because I don’t have to continually ask for repeats. And it’s better for my friends too because they no longer have to worry about my embarrassment at not having heard what they’ve said.

Now I’m able to participate like people with normal hearing. Martin and I talk to each other constantly, I’m happy in a crowd and our lives are much the better for hearing aids. Thanks to Brad and staff at Brad Hutchinson Hearing for their wonderful care.

Annette Visagie



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