Here perspective from hearing loss to the advances

Here is a word that most people don’t associate with hearing
loss: JOY

As we embark on a new year, self-reflection is more
prevalent. This year I have spent thinking about joy and how it related to
audiology, this practice, and my patients. Many of my friends and colleagues
know that I started Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte because I
lost my love of practicing audiology in a place where my time was micromanaged
and I couldn’t provide care in a way I felt best served my patients. This
change brought the joy back.

Everything we experience is about perspective. For a person with hearing loss, the big word they
notice is “loss”. How is that joyful?! Changing the perspective from hearing
loss to the advances in technology and aural rehabilitation can bring more joy
than dwelling on what is missing. Some of my patients find joy in that they
hear better in certain environments using their hearing aid accessories than
their friends with normal hearing do. Others find joy in taking out their
hearing aids to have quiet time when the grandchildren are jumping off the
walls and screaming. It’s all about perspective.

Having a sense of humor
and being able to laugh at yourself and situations you find yourself in increase
joy. How can you not be joyful when laughing? This applies to mishearing
certain words, finding out you agreed to something you didn’t mean to because
you nodded like you heard the question, and – once you are able to hear better
– finally getting the joke with everyone else.

Acceptance is
another way to bring joy to your life. Accepting that your hearing has changed
and that using hearing aids is the new normal creates peace. It reduces
frustration and enhances communication with friends and family. Using hearing
aids is often just as much, if not more, for the loved ones of the person with
hearing loss.

Around the holidays we talk a lot about gratitude, but gratitude can be experienced every day. Archbishop
Desmond Tutu explains “Gratitude means embracing reality. It means moving from
counting your burdens to counting your blessings.” Having more gratitude for the
hearing you have and the options that are available to improve your hearing the
more joy you will find in experiencing everyday sounds.

Compassion is
something we often think of as giving to others, but self-compassion is just as
important. Instead of being angry at your body, your genetics, your job or
behaviors that may have contributed to your hearing loss, accept yourself  – with all the strengths and weaknesses your
body has. Your hearing is one part of what makes you who you are. Instead of
dwelling on the rock concerts, noisy hobbies, or illnesses that may have
contributed to your hearing loss show compassion for yourself. Treat yourself
with as much compassion as you would have for a loved one. This self-acceptance
allows joy to creep in.

 

I look forward to 2018 as a year of embracing joy for myself
and helping my patients (and friends) find their joy.