Article written by an actual Esteem patient. He chooses to remain anonymous, but wanted people to understand how Esteem helped changed his life. (And with Esteem, no one needs to know you have it implanted.)
School is not a fun place to be when you struggle with hearing loss. The worst is when a teacher calls on you, or someone is trying to ask you for a pencil, and they think you are ignoring them. It's also incredibly difficult to participate in a spelling bee when you can't hear the word you're supposed to be spelling. The truth is, I never wanted to wear hearing aids because I wanted to fit in and just be like everyone else. I didn't want to have to sit in the front of every class or be treated differently. The reality of the situation is that kids can be cruel and it's tough to grow in an environment where you are self-conscious about your hearing loss. I was so self-conscious of wearing hearing aids that I let my education suffer as a result. I was constantly playing catch up and never felt like I was reaching my potential. I am convinced my head is full of grey hairs from being so stressed out all of the time in class because I never knew if someone was calling me or not. Quite frankly, I was embarrassed to admit that something was wrong with me. It got to the point where I was more focused on trying to hide my hearing loss than actually learning. Over time I learned to adapt and find ways to get through school, and learned what I needed to learn. Whether it was reading lips or being overly alert, I did what I had to do to get by.
Once I got through high school, I realized that I was going to have to do something to get the best out of my college education. I was presented with the Lyric hearing aids. These aids were virtually invisible and provided me with the ability to at least get by in my classes and give me more flexibility, without anyone else knowing that I had a disability. Although I was benefiting from the Lyrics, it wasn't enough. The severity of my hearing loss needed to be corrected with either big bulky hearing aids or an act of God or science.
The summer going into junior year of college was when my mother told me about Envoy and their Esteem device. I made the decision to undergo a life altering surgery and take a chance with the Envoy Esteem Hearing Implant. The next two years of college were astronomically different, as I was excelling in ways I never thought were imaginable. I was participating in class discussions, my speech improved, and my new found confidence in myself enabled me to be more vocal and outgoing. At the end of my senior year, I was finally confident enough to do what I've always wanted to do but never thought it was attainable or realistic because of my hearing loss – go to law school and become a lawyer.
I attended law school immediately after college and I couldn't believe the progress I was making. Having suffered from hearing loss my entire life, I was now given an opportunity to achieve something that I never thought was possible. Not only did I graduate law school, I passed the bar exam, got married, and I am now working as a prosecutor in district court.
The Esteem Hearing Implant changed my life, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities it has created for me.
Are you looking to increase your proficiency in academia or to simply open your life to new possibilities? Contact us to learn how the Esteem can help.