Hearing management

20 August 2004

Marissa - the sixth month

I love the sound of my own voice. When I am alone at home, I talk and sing to myself all the time. I am truly excted by the progress I am making in my hearing and speech therapy.

I am truly excted by the progress I am making in my hearing and speech therapy. Marjan has said that it's time to go over to the next phase, and I can't wait.

I have learnt to listen well in the past while, according to Marjan, and that means that where I used to concentrate on the length of words, and could only distinguish the number of syllables, we now do exercises where we concentrate on the different sounds. I find this amazing. So maybe my brain will now start to recognise certain sounds, and who knows, it might even start to string them into words soon.

The joy of singing to myself
I realise every day what a wonderful privilege it is to be able to hear as well as to understand what you are hearing. Every day I am learning and discovering new sounds and then I investigate until I find out what it is making the sound. I love the sound of my own voice. When I am alone at home, I talk and sing to myself all the time. One day my mom came from work and said, "Wow, Marissa – not so loudly. The whole world can hear you!" I had been sining loudly, because I wanted to hear the sound loud and clear and not just feel it. When I told her that, she shook her head and just left me. I feel I have lived in silence for 21 years, and now I want to be free to experience every moment I can hear and make the most of it – even if it means singing loudly.

My friend who had the implant, is very satisfied with it and feels that it has made a big difference to her life. Should things not work out for me with the hearing aids, I would consider that as well. What is amazing is that she can hear people's voices on the telephone, which I am completely unable to do. It's astonishing that technology makes it possible for people with a disability to live life to the full. Widex has made a huge difference to my life and this new experience has made me realise how much I missed out on all these years.

I cannot thank Widex enough for the quality of life they have given me. To be part of the hearing world was a dream I had ever since I was little and this dream is becoming a reality. I feel so blessed and privileged.

I am watching the Olympic Games and the athletes who get to the finals have worked so hard to be successful. I also realise that the effort I am putting in now will bear fruit in a couple of years' time.

Thanks Carina, Marjan, PK, Niel from Health24 and all the others who have played such a big role in my life. They have all encouraged me to do the best I can. I really do appreciate the interest and the assistance.

I will tell more about my progress in a month's time, and, by the way, I can say the K-sound correctly at last. But, we're still working on the "R"!


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Hearing Expert

Francis Slabber is a Speech & Language Therapist and Audiologist who has owned and run The Hearing Clinic in Wynberg, Cape Town for the last 17 years. Francis and her team have extensive experience in fitting and supplying hearing aids as well as assistive living devices. Francis has served as the Western Cape Chairperson for the South African Association of Audiologists for three years and has given many talks on the topic of hearing loss and amplification. The Hearing Clinic has a special interest in adult and geriatric hearing impairment, hearing aid fittings and hearing rehabilitation.

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