Now hear this…hearing loss doesn’t just happen to the elderly.

My daughter, Jennifer Kantardjian’s personal story.

Can you see it? Practically invisible.

I was fitted for hearing aids today.

I am 37 years old. Relatively healthy. I feel like I’m 25. My mom still thinks I’m 12. And yet here we are.

I have a condition called Otosclerosis, where the small bones in my ear are fusing together causing an issue with the sound getting through. It’s relatively rare, yet most common in middle-aged women.

Middle. Aged. Women. Wait, what?!

I digress. That’s not the point of this post.

I’m not going to lie, I had a hard time with this. I was worried what the aids would look like. I was worried what it would be like without them. I didn’t think my hearing was “that bad” but started to worry it was so much worse than I realized. Did people notice? Did they think I was ignoring them? Did I nod and laugh at something I shouldn’t have because I wasn’t really sure what they said but I didn’t want to ask them to repeat themselves for the third time??

Nothing like a condition affecting middle-aged women to make you worry like a school girl.

So I had my pity party; I cried a little (ok I cried a lot), I drank some wine (ok a lot)and then I decided enough is enough. It was time to put on my big girl pants and deal with it head-on. Aging is good for something, I suppose.

I made the appointment for my hearing aid evaluation and you know what? It was cool. It was actually really cool. The technology is unbelievable “my hearing aids have Bluetooth, directional mics, wind noise reduction, you name it and it’s all controlled by my iPhone. The best part? I can turn them down when my husband starts bugging me ;-). They are amazing, and I am grateful there is a solution for me.

I still have an appointment to see a surgeon, because this type of hearing loss can be surgically corrected but there are risks, and it may not be worth it. In the meantime, I am anxiously awaiting Monday when I pick up those hearing aids and start streaming Toad the Wet Sprocket, Sarah McLachlan, and NKOTB directly into them. Because you know what? My music choices are wayyyyy more embarrassing than those hearing aids.

PS- Get your hearing checked. Hearing loss is more common than you realize and after all, you're not getting any younger - you too might be middle-aged.

Originally published at medium.com

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