Sunday, February 17, 2008

How did I lose my Hearing?

Hello All!!

When we meet other people with hearing loss, the first question is always typically, how did you lose your hearing?! I was born hearing to hearing parents. I had a medical condition that somehow stopped my skin cells in my stomach to stop forming. This allowed my organs, more particuarly the stomach, liver, intestines, bladder, kidneys, and so forth to spill out of my body. Basically everything but my heart and lungs were outside of my body in a sac. Doctors had to immediatly close me up and rush me to St. Louis hospital. I ended up having over 30 surgeries, 27 on my stomach, and 5 on my neck (was also not born breathing). I was at the hospital for three months recovering. The doctors had to give me a medication to help me survive, unfortunatly the side effect would cause me to lose hearing. They were not sure how much loss would occur IF any. Parents had to sign a waiver agreeing they were warned of my possiblity of a hearing loss, and doctors would not be held accountable for causing my hearing loss.

Fast forward two years later, mom dropped a pan besides me. I didn't even flinch. Mom got concerned and worried, and suddenly remembered the doctors warning. It had come true for them. Their son actually lost hearing, but to what degree? They waited a week doing their own home testing and some sounds I responded to, some I did not. They took me to a hearing test locally, and it was official. I was diagnosed as profoundly to severely deaf, with 75% hearing loss in my left ear and 80% on my right ear. However I am not convinced that is totally correct because I can hear some voices. I listen to music very normally, and can hear cars, trains, loud rumbling noises, thunder, etc etc without hearing aids.

So then it was time to get hearing aids for me. We went to a doctor in St. Louis and tried different ones and I put it on. Immediatly I started screaming and crying. What was this thing coming into my ear?! It was LOUD! It was coming from EVERYWHERE! Finally my mother said to me without looking "Alex?" I immediatly turned into her direction and for the first time I heard my mothers voice and actually recognized it. Mom started crying as did Dad and they believed they finally found something that worked for me.

We left the hospital and I was distracted by everything I was hearing! The hearing aids brought back essentially 90% of the hearing back. With my hearing aids I still cannot hear birds chirping or VERY low soft sounds. But I am able to hear pretty much everything, UNDERSTANDING is a bit different, and I will discuss that later in other posts. Then a Trans World Airlines Boeing 747 roared over head and I was actually silent, but not because I didn't hear it. Believe, me I heard it! But I was more amazed, and I turned and looked at the plane and pointed. Thus was born my desire to go into aviation. But again thats another topic! :)

That's the story of how I loss my hearing and a little bit of the background of it. Coming up I will discuss, topics such as "But your not really deaf are you?" as well as "Hearing/Understanding-Whats the difference?" and many others including Cochlear Implants, Cued Speech, Sign Language and many things!

Thanks for reading!!



LaRonda said...

Hooray! You've started your own blog! And it's wonderful! Count me as one of your fans!


~ LaRonda

Anonymous said...

congrats on your first blog .. and enjoyed reading it.


Misha said...

Wow, thank you, Alex for sharing your interesting story!

We learn a lot more about people with any degree of hearing loss and/or deafness.

Congrats on your first blog, Alex!
Can't wait to read more.

Misha :D

Deb Ann said...

Hello there,
Thank you for sharing your interesting story! I truly enjoy your writing and want to be your friend through Deafread! In Aaron's blog, I also enjoy reading his posts.

Serena Outland said...

You lost your hearing when you were only two years old? That's pretty early. Good thing it was detected, and now that you're using a hearing aid, how does it feel? Well, you're an inspiration to all young people, to be happy and contented despite the challenges of life. :)