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This fundraiser ended on 09/28/11

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The funds will be used to help pay for hearing aids that are not covered by insurance. Please help in my journey to hear.

I was born hard of hearing, or HOH. So the way I hear, or the lack of the way I hear, has always been normal to me. It’s hard to describe my hearing problem unless you’ve ever actually had one. And mine is severe, in both ears. To the point that my audiologist is in awe that I’ve functioned in a society for twenty-seven years. The best I can explain this to you is this:

Imagine talking to someone and only hearing every third word they say. Imagine trying to have a conversation with someone like this. Not just once, but for your entire life. Imagine going outside at night and not being able to hear the simplest of noises. Like crickets.

This is my life.

I’ve had a hearing aid before. I was in third grade. The only problem then was that the kid next to me would put his hand next to my ear and make it beep. And that hurt. A lot. To the point that I would have headaches. You see, hearing aids are microphones and speakers and, just like at a concert if someone gets too close to the microphone, you get feedback in the form of a loud shrill beep that everyone can here. Including me, but that’s in my ear. When my hearing aid would go off, everyone in the class would stare at me. I told the kid to stop, but he never would. He’d do it relentlessly. I still remember his name. Robert.

He taught me to hate my hearing aid and hate wearing it. So I stopped wearing it completely. It turned into something that I was ashamed of because I would get teased so much for having one. I learned to treat my hearing problem like something that I needed to repress and hide. Not something I should teach people about to understand and get help with. I learned to just deal with it. At all costs.

Because of this, I became embarrassed to ask people to repeat themselves when I couldn’t hear them or didn’t hear every word they said. I eventually gave up asking and, as a result of that, I just nod when I’m talking to someone and hope they don’t have a question for me or require me to speak back to them. More often than not, I find myself lacking in life because of this. I simply can’t do things other people can because I don’t understand what I need to be doing. I can’t even have a conversation with my own grandmother because her voice is so low.

I’m finally in a point in my life where I’m willing to take care of it. I’m not a child anymore. I’m an adult. I have to keep telling myself that no one is going to tease me or make fun of me because I have to wear a hearing aid. I have to keep telling myself that, even if they do, it’s alright. I was so damaged from my childhood experiences with hearing aids that I’m afraid of them in my adult life. I’m nervous every time I go to my audiologist because of it. But I make myself go. And I find that I’m proud of myself for going because it’s an improvement of my life. I’ve been robbing myself of a life because I can’t hear and now I’m fixing that. I should be proud of myself.

I am proud.

I picked out behind the ear hearing aids for both ears. My audiologist said they would be best for me because they last longer and they have the best sound improvement.

I’m finally brave enough to go through with it and I’m finally in a stage where I’m not so self conscious to not wear them. Of course something should go wrong. I have to pay $2000.00 up front. In two weeks. I pick them up September 28th. I have $40 in my bank account and I won’t even make a fraction of that by the time I go get them. This makes me feel even worse about my hearing than I did before because I can’t pay for them.

I can’t express how pathetic I feel not being able to pay for them and how much worse I feel for asking for donations. But if you can and are willing, you’d be helping out a life’s long battle with not hearing and finally coming to terms with the fact that this is best for me. Any amount, great or small, would be greatly appreciated.
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