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What You Say?

Posted Oct 01 2009 12:00am
The proper thing to do when starting a blog is to introduce yourself, isn't it? In that case, here -
I'm Megan, 23 years old, lifetime resident of Arizona. I'm a library clerk at a public library with the battle scars and stories to prove it. I'm kinda geeky, yeah. I like to play video games and learn about new gadgets and watch some anime.

My love for new gadgetry has come in handy recently - but let me back up just a little. I'm hearing impaired. I have been for most, if not all, of my life - it was diagnosed as a mild loss when I was four. Now, at 23, I have a bilateral, progressive, sensorineural hearing loss. Whew! What a mouthful. Hard to say - sometimes, hard to deal with.

What does it mean?

Bilateral means I have a hearing loss in both ears. That's simple.

Progressive is also simple. It means the loss progresses. Mine has worsened from a mild loss to a loss considered severe to profound.

Sensorineural is trickier. The article on Wikipedia does a pretty good job of explaining it. It's damage to the inner ear or the pathways to the brain. It's interesting because not only does it affect simply the loudness of sounds, but it also impairs clarity and understanding.

So why me? That's not a question I've asked a lot, actually. When I have, the answers are unsatisfactory. Inconclusive. There's no single cause that anyone, doctor or family member, can point to and say "That started the decline; that caused it." Could be a disease, genetics, something during my gestation. It's not a question I expect to ever be answered.

I started out with an analog hearing aid, a "behind the ear" model with a device that hooks behind my ear and an earmold. When I was 12-ish, I got digital hearing aids. They lasted me up until about a month ago, when my right aid began failing, and they sort of gave in to old age. I don't blame them. Almost a decade is a long lifespan for any device, particularly one that is delicate and devoted to such an important task.

So. I looked around. I did my research. I was astounded at the journey that hearing aid tech has taken since I got my fancy-schmancy aids at 12 years old.

They have multiple digital channels, remote controls, features that you'd expect to see more on a cellphone than a disability device. One caught my eye, the Oticon Epoq. Bluetooth! Yes! Bluetooth in my hearing aids, with a company name right out of Metal Gear Solid. How. Cool. Is. That?

I got them last week. It's been a little bumpy. I'll write about them in another post. For now, there's my introduction - that's me. Enjoy the blog.


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