By Anne Budden
Our theme for April is Experience Liberation with Sound. I thought this was a fitting theme as it is Freedom Day on the 27th of April. I love the word liberation. For me this word is powerful, positive and has the ability to renew. It carries great weight in South Africa.
I found an interesting quote in a book titled New Chronicles of Deafness: My cochlear implant epiphanies written by Paula Pfeifer.
To give a brief summary, Paula was born hearing and by the age of 30 her hearing had deteriorated to a profound hearing loss in both ears. She wore hearing aids for many years and as her hearing deteriorated even further, they provided little benefit. She grew desperate to hear and decided to have a cochlear implant. This is what she said:
“People talk around you and don’t even notice it. To recover my real presence amongst other people was a relief. I don’t even like to think how many times I was essentially a pot plant inside my own house.”
“To be deaf is to see oneself concerned in situations which should be pleasant but instead become overwhelming.”
“To be deaf is lonely, to the point that only those who cannot hear are capable of understanding it.”
As an audiologist I can only imagine what it would be like to lose my hearing. If sound were to be taken away from me, would I feel anxious when driving? Would I feel safe walking my dogs and not being able to hear cars pass? Would I feel isolated and embarrassed that I have to ask for frequent repetition around my friends and family?
My purpose is to help and empower people. I not only want to give them access to sound, but give them CONFIDENCE and INDEPENDENCE. I want my patients to feel liberated from silence, isolation, lip-reading, anxiety and listening fatigue.
DO NOT suffer in silence. Experience Liberation with Sound.
Pfeifer, Paula (2015) New Chronicles of Deafness: My cochlear implant epiphanies. Sao Paulo: Plexus.