Audiologist check up………

Yesterday I had my first check up for my hyperacusis and hearing aids….I’d had to cancel one appointment before Christmas, when I was busy, but it was a welcome distraction during this quiet time.

Having hyperacusis doesn’t mean I’m going deaf, I’m simply sensitive to certain tones of noise, as are many people with dementia, but many just don’t know why…the hearing aids are simply programmed to block out the ear piercing tones which affect me.

I havn’t had to wear my hearing aids for weeks as I havn’t been anywhere noisy. I never wear them in the house as it’s just me and the silence of me tapping my keyboard…..

It was also the first time I’d had to set my alarm as I had the first appointment of the day at 08.45 and although I’m not asleep, I lay with my eyes closed relaxing, and this period of quiet has led to no reason to open them. It came as a shock when my phone signalled getting up time. The routine of ‘going somewhere’ specific long forgotten…..I followed, what I thought was routine and all was well. But then I went to put in my hearing aids………blue for left and red for right…..or was it red for left and blue for right….? I didn’t have a clue. I’d cracked it before Christmas so never thought about forgetting something so simple. I closed my eyes and simply picked one up after the other, not knowing if it was the right way round 🙈

I saw the taxi man pull up, went to the door, but my keys weren’t in the lock. I usually put them in the lock when I come downstairs, but this mornings different routine had obviously thrown me out without me realising. I couldn’t think where they would be….a slight panic sending waves through my body…..I went round and round in circles for a while before heading upstairs, searching in my dressing gown pocket first, but my fingers only met a tissue……I spied the taxi driver waiting patiently outside and realised this was a discombobulated day….my mind wasn’t playing ball but luckily my eyes caught the shiny metal of keys on my bedside table and I breathed a sigh of relief……

He automatically opened his boot ready for my suitcase, as I usually have one full of overnight stuff and books to sell but I joked that the local Community hospital is the last place I want to stay……🙄

He asked me which way I wanted him to go and I was silent. I just couldn’t think how to get there, even though I’ve been many times…I just said…”ooo surprise me’…not knowing what else to say…

 We chatted our way there through rush hour traffic and arrived at the Community hospital as they were just opening up. I was very early but it meant I could type away.

I could also take a piccie of a lovely piccie in the waiting area….

My lovely Audiologist arrived to find me alone in the waiting room and her smiley face invited me straight in. It was then that we spent nearly 2 hours chatting…..2 HOURS!!! All her patients are given long appointments so they don’t have to keep coming back…

For those that missed my first  WOW appointment with her last September, you can read about it here…

We must have spent 15 minutes on my hearing aids and the rest of time simply chatting and sharing ideas, with her making copious notes. I wasn’t typing but jotted down soon after how we spoke about the possibility of her suggesting to Neurologists, how newly diagnosed people should be automatically referred by their Gp for a hearing test, simply so they’re on their radar. If they’re fine, brilliant, if there’s any sign of hyperacusis they can help before it’s too late as once you lose the ability to communicate, it becomes guess work for the audiologist and could make things worse. She has a lovely poster on her door showing the important connection between hearing and the brain….

She also asked me about my use of Alexa, and asked for tips to make a consultation easy and also around Care Homes. I’ve been so shocked at the lack of hearing aid hygiene in residential settings. She had a brilliant idea of allowing ‘a Champion’ to come and shadow the department for half a day, including the repair desk, which simply cleans and replaces batteries etc…..something often forgotten in hospitals and residential care…yet is so important otherwise they simply won’t work properly.

We spoke about sooooo much and shared ideas with one another. It really was another WOW moment and I left with her email address in case I needed to contact her…..a perfect consultation where it was win win on both sides……

Once I got home, I spied an email asking for a radio interview re the headlines in the paper today…

I said I couldn’t use the phone, so they suggested WhatsApp! Well I use that all the time but hadn’t realised you could speak into it (Idon’t think!)…so I agreed if they could send me instructions and a test question to see if I could make it work, I’d give it a try….and I did! It was simple with instructions 😇

So at 2pm the recorded questions started coming through on WhatsApp and I recorded my answers back…they asked about the social care crisis, being in hospital, what the government should be doing etc….one point I made was:

successive governments have ignored the social care crisis. Why has the ageing population suddenly become a problem….as the medical world has developed its skills to keep us alive longer, the situation will only get worse, so now is the time to stop talking and start solving… Dementia has long been at the bottom of the pile for care, we now need to be treated on level terms with other conditions such as Cancer…..”

They’re a radio hub which provides material for many stations to use on a particular subject so I might appear anywhere……A nice bonus to end my day and seems like the ‘doing’ brought me out of my discombobulation……..


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

4 thoughts on “Audiologist check up………

  1. Very interesting, was not aware of hyperacusis, and sounds as if you have found a really helpful audiologist. Thank goodness for people like that. Well done on WhatsApp!

    Liked by 1 person

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