My assessment day arrived before I knew it, and I felt as though I hadn’t really thought about things properly before I’d got there. It was reassuring to have Dan with me. I know he’s very excited but he doesn’t put any pressure on me, and reminds me that I don’t have to make a decision straight away.
I can just remember sitting down in the waiting room for my first appointment. The posters and photographs on the wall reminded me of my childhood, when I used to have hearing assessments and speech therapy sessions as a slightly confused little girl.
I appreciated having a pre-booked BSL interpreter. It made me feel relaxed. When she arrived, I wanted to sign away and have a nice conversation with her, but she was there to do her job and I was there to do the tests.
There were two particular tests I had to do that I found difficult.
The first test was my hearing test. I’m not so keen on the hearing tests because they don’t work with my tinnitus. Most deaf people get tinnitus, and it tends to get worse when not wearing hearing aids. For the hearing test, I had to take mine out. After been given a set of head phones, I had to press a button every time a beep came on. It is difficult enough being deaf, but even worse with my tinnitus playing tricks on me. But I did the best I could.
The other test I did, I had to sit and listen to five different sentences which came from a loud speaker. I got a little bit upset at this point. I thought to myself, I really can’t hear what is being said. I did manage “The” once but nothing else. I used to be able to hear better than this, surely. Without stating the obvious, it did bring home to me that I’m well and truly deaf. Dan told me not to worry but I couldn’t help feeling sad. But he was right. I am here after all, to see if they can improve my hearing.