Thursday, October 1, 2015
If you've seen a big ol' 15 passenger van with a character building long scrape down the driver's side hauling up and down I-35 between Austin and Oklahoma City over the past few weeks multiple times, well, that just might be us.
We've been involved in a research project at Hearts for Hearing with Phonak, one of the world's top hearing aid companies. Maesy has been checking out some new technology, has been sporting the aids, has been going through rounds of sound booth testing, and has been giving her feedback on her experience. It's been a crazy busy and exciting time. This particular technology is designed to enhance Maesy's area of greatest hearing loss, right in the frequencies of speech and higher sound. It's been quite the journey, from Maesy's initial diagnosis at two-and-a-half years old, through the years of hearing aids and therapy, so now, Maesy as a young woman of seventeen, with new technologies on the horizon.
**in the audio booth with Dr. Mila Duke**
If you were to check out The Google Maps, you'd see that Austin and Oklahoma City aren't exactly next door to one another. So why go all audiologically nomadic and cross the Red River for all things hearing? Well, we've had some experience in the audiological arts over the years with Maesy. And there simply is no better place than Hearts for Hearing. The level of research they are involved in, the hearts of the team, the synergy of audiologists and therapists and doctors, it's a thing of beauty.
**Hearts for Hearing family reunion with Dr. Jace Wolf and Joanna Smith**
(Sidenote: if you were to ask Maesy who the perfect guy is, she might just blush and whisper the name of that guy in the picture above. As the director of audiology for Hearts for Hearing and as an adjunct professor and premiere researcher, Dr. Jace Wolf has been making Maesy blush and has been bringing her candy for a lot of years now. As far as Maesy is concerned, Brad Pitt's got nothin' compared to Dr. Jace...)
**getting new ear molds cast**
We've been circling back up to Oklahoma City every couple of weeks so that settings on the research hearing aids could be changed and for Maesy to give further feedback on her experience. Maesy has handled all the changes well; it's not an easy thing to process the various settings. It requires the brain to readapt in a very short timeframe, sort of like if you were changing the prescription on your eyeglasses every couple of weeks. But Maesy has a very pragmatic streak to her personality. She recognizes the emotional component and mental processing energy that it takes to readapt. She purposes to remain neutral on the settings of the hearing aids until she has given herself 72 hours to get readjusted. I've learned a lot from watching her walk through this process, the wisdom of giving oneself some time to adapt to a new situation before allowing emotions and fatigue to speak up. This girl continues to teach me so much.
You can check out Maesy's first reaction to this new technology in the video below. She is now able to hear sounds that she's never had access to. She is able to experience certain sounds in speech that she's never heard before. And in what is something of a mixed bag of blessing, she's hearing cicadas for the first time!