We have all been there... excited about a new job, a trip, endeavor, or maybe just a great idea... then we share that enthusiasm with others, and then it happens... ALMOST EVERYONE is excited for you. But for many of us, there may be a “nay sayer” in the group. You know; “Negative Nellie”. We are all unique. We have different ideals, goals, attitudes, wants, and needs. This is true in every aspect of our lives. This is true also true with our health needs.
Just as we have specific prescriptions for our eyesight; we also have personalized prescriptions for the correction of our hearing and speech understanding capabilities. Don’t let others interfere with your success and happiness. Not in your personal aspirations and dreams and certainly not with your strides of obtaining the best hearing possible.
I began a new patient intake with her explaining to me that she is tired of having anxiety over her hearing loss. She is tired of “being left out in the cold.” After testing and demonstrating new technology she was ecstatic! Then it happened…her husband systematically shut her down. Statements like; “I don’t think your hearing loss is bad enough”…. Hmmm.. “BAD ENOUGH” Wow. Then.. flat out…”You don’t need them” She was so upset. Embarrassed. This was after a 2 hour appointment and all she was asking him was what color did he like. He shut her down. So she will go several more years without receiving the help she needs. Several more years of the brain not receiving necessary auditory stimulus.
I have experienced many times over the years, a patient in distress because a well meaning yet negative “friend” or “relative” or maybe just an acquaintance that has tried to convince them that the hearing instruments that they have purchased are wrong for them. The “nay sayers” or “negative nellie’s” actually tells them it is not the style that they need. They also infer that they probably got ripped off and could get them cheaper. Many people will “price shop”... So of course they always tell them they could have got them cheaper. (The only problem with this is that you must compare apples to apples... technology levels and patient care, professional knowledge, and fitting protocols). Another big attack that seems to happen to new hearing aid user is the “Why would you want to wear a hearing aid?!!!” To that I usually just sigh and start the counseling process.
Don’t let others undermine your success and your happiness. I experienced such a situation. I felt so very bad for my patient. They had been somewhere else before coming to us. The patient choose us. A new hearing aid user will take several adjustment appointments to get the best from their new instruments. Everyone’s hearing needs and capabilities are different. Their activities and sensitivity index is unique. Everyone’s tolerance levels are specific. During the first week of having the first set of hearing aids that they had ever worn (the first set was a few years ago and apparently took them back cause they couldn’t get used to them).. the “nay sayer” systematically undermined our patients confidence in the decision that we made together. A Decision that was made with diagnostic testing. A decision that was made with patient profiling and counseling. A fitting of hearing instruments where speech understanding is verified in noise. Where real ear measurement ensures our prescriptions are precise to patients needs. Even with all that... It takes wearing the instruments in all of our crazy fun environments to get used to them and for the instruments to record sound data for us so that we can adjust the instruments specifically for each patient.
After spending the time to explain and listen... and adjust the instruments over the last few weeks our patient told me today: “I am just thrilled with my hearing aids, I am just so thankful you explained everything and worked with me!” (This was a person who was ready to throw in the towel 2 weeks after the fitting... primarily because of the “Negative Nellie” friend. How sad that would have been that my patient would have went several more years not understanding people in the active world she still enjoys. Don’t be the “Negative Nellie”. Life is hard enough when you get a hearing or a vision problem. Communication becomes difficult and it is so important to our well-being. Instead, be the encourager.... the “Optimistic Ollie!”. The Positive Pal. If you are afraid that your friend or relative is not getting what they need or being taken care of properly then accompany them to their appointments. I know we encourage it.
Remember, like all things medical, it takes team work to achieve our ultimate goals. You make educated and informed decisions. Don’t let others undermine your feeling of competence. Be a team player and make life better for all those you touch. #To Hear Better Is To Live Better!