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It came as a bit of a blow...

John Radalj with Brad Hutchinson

It makes me cringe a little now when I think back on how long it took me to acknowledge that I had a hearing loss.

I was the facilities manager in a very large government building in Midland that had an open plan office set up. One day the boss of the section next to mine complained that my loud voice, when I was talking on the phone or with colleagues, was disturbing his staff.   I suspect it’s probably a fairly typical automatic reaction, but I was not prepared to accept what at the time seemed like a personal criticism and so my denial continued for a while longer. 

My family must have been frustrated with me as well because I wasn’t hearing exactly what they were saying, and they were constantly having to repeat themselves. I recall also that I was experiencing trouble hearing in meetings, continually having to ask for clarification of what speakers were saying, often to my embarrassment.  In the family car, I couldn’t hear what my Son was saying to me from the back seat, and making out the lyrics of songs, even when the music was loud, was beyond me.

But it came as a bit of a blow to hear that I was disturbing other employees in the office.  I was effectively, without realising it, raising my voice to compensate for being unable to hear what people were saying.  Some of the colleagues were formerly my staff who had previously been very tolerant and made light of the issue, not wanting to offend me I guess. 

In frustration, I had my hearing checked with a 50% loss in the high frequencies, but overall only about 23%, which didn’t seem terribly serious to me.  So it still took me some further time to come to the recognition that I needed to act.

Eventually I crossed the road to Brad’s practice in Midland and got fitted with hearing aids.  The result of regained hearing reminded me of the joy I felt when I bit into my first apple after having titanium implants inserted:  both these procedures, hearing aids and new teeth, had radically improved my quality of life. 

From my personal experience with Brad and his staff, I can see why it is important to choose your audiologist wisely.  Hearing aids aren’t like glasses; you don’t just put them on and walk away.  They are tiny little computers sitting in warm damp places, and they need to be maintained.  With hearing aids, you must have faith in the integrity of the person providing them. I have come to trust Brad’s professionalism and judgment absolutely. His staff back him up, too, with friendly and efficient service. 

If anyone would like to check out my story of hearing rehabilitation, then please get my phone number from Brad’s office and give me a call.

John Radalj


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