Hearing management

Updated 14 December 2017

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 excited by the progress I am making in my hearing and speech therapy.

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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 singing 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

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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