My hearing journey
As a farmer’s wife I have always led a busy life. When I was in my late 20’s I went through a very traumatic period around the time I had my third child. After returning home with my baby, I began having dizzy spells. My GP diagnosed Meniere’s disease and I was prescribed Betahistine. This wasn’t very effective and my dizziness continued. I later had grommets fitted, which were far more successful and I kept this form of treatment for 20 years as I still had good hearing in my left ear.
Over time, my hearing deteriorated and in 2007 I began having Meniere’s attacks in my left ear. At this point I needed to be fitted with hearing aids. I struggled with ear infections from the first time I tried using hearing aids but persevered with them for 4 years. Before becoming bilaterally deafened, I worked a lot on the telephone. However, with the problems I faced using hearing aids, I became isolated and lost all my confidence. I suffered with depression and required anti-depressants. The gregarious, fun-loving person I once was had gone.
We moved back to Yorkshire, my home region, where the local hospital again fitted me with a hearing aid for my right ear. This boosted my quality of life, but I still struggled with infections in my left ear. I decided to see one of the surgeons privately to find out if anything further could be done for my hearing loss.
I had undergone bone conduction tests that showed I couldn’t hear any better with a bone conduction device. The specialist thought long and hard about my situation and it was the first time anyone had mentioned about a middle ear implant. After so long with negative prospects, this seemed an incredible opportunity and I was delighted that it seemed to be a possibility for me. Naturally when you consider any kind of serious surgery, there are considerations and I needed to ask questions and receive further information. My specialist was kind enough to invite a colleague to discuss the operation and outcome with me. After listening to both surgeons, I was eager to proceed and in August 2013 I had the operation.