Dear Avalon family,

I apologize. 

The purpose of my weekly Take Heart is to connect with YOU, offer some sound advice (pun intended) and hopefully, uplift you in some way. But the last four Take Hearts all addressed some of the challenges and frustrations people experience when a hearing loss moves into your life and relationships.

I wanted to share something joyful, informative, and uplifting this week, but I can’t do it. 

I can’t stop thinking about Jerry, a man I met last week
Jerry drove over an hour to Sacramento to come to Avalon. His wife is fed up with him and his hearing loss. She did not to come with him for his EDUCATIONAL Hearing Test and FAMILY Consultation. He came alone.  That’s sad and unfortunate for both Jerry and his wife.  They have all but given up on being able to connect and communicate with one another after 42 years of marriage. 

Strike One 
Jerry admits that he was reluctant, even stubborn about seeking hearing help. In 2015, his insurance company referred him to someone who fit him with hearing aids. He hated those hearing aids and refused to wear them because they didn’t help him hear any clearer. His wife thought he was being a jerk and just didn’t want to wear the hearing aids. STRIKE ONE on hearing aids.

Strike Two
Three years ago, he tried again. This time Jerry was ready to be helped. The hearing aids that were dispensed to him made life sound extremely distorted and annoyed him terribly. Jerry went back to the provider a couple of times to have the aids adjusted but each time things got worse, not better.  The provider told him that there was NOTHING HE COULD DO about the way the hearing aids sounded. Jerry admitted that he only paid about a thousand dollars on each set of hearing aids. As a result, he was fit with entry level hearing technology that did not match his hearing loss. STRIKE TWO on hearing aids.

Then, I threw the third pitch 
I also did six extra tests that most hearing clinics don’t do. Jerry only understands 32% of what is being said. He has a moderate-to-severe hearing loss plus RECRUITMENT – a sensitivity to loud sounds. He needs things louder but can’t stand loudness.  That’s why he could not tolerate the hearing aids dispensed to him in the past. He wasn’t just being a jerk like his wife thought. 

With more advanced technology and PROPERLY FITTED hearing aids, Jerry could expect to understand at 92%. That would be a game changer for Jerry and everyone in his life! I gave Jerry a couple of fitting options, and he went home to talk it over with his wife.

Will Jerry Hit the Ball, Strike Out or Give Up?
Up until we met, and Jerry received an EDUCATIONAL Hearing Test at Avalon, he thought all hearing aids were alike. THEY ARE NOT. Only a caring and competent hearing care provider will take the time and energy to thoroughly test your hearing and educate you on your unique hearing loss. Only then, can the right hearing aid technology be recommended for you.

Jerry was blown away at how different his experience at Avalon was. He didn’t like the investment it would take but he respected that someone finally took the time to explain his loss and his needs to him. This information helped Jerry to change his mind about hearing aids.

Now, it’s up to Jerry and his wife to decide on how they will approach his hearing care 
Will they invest in his hearing care at Avalon, go somewhere else to buy cheap hearing aids (been there and done that, twice) or give up completely?  What do you think they’ll do?

There was something about this man and his story that makes me feel both sad and deeply concerned. You see, Jerry has a medical condition that will likely shorten his life. Time is precious and he deserves to hear the best he can. Each, and every day.  I hope and pray that he takes one more swing at his hearing loss and hits a home run at Avalon.