February 27, 2011

Off Topic: Cats Quote Charlie Sheen (via Medium Large)

Filed under: fun,Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 3:48 pm

A bit of light-heaterd fun for Sunday… this is just so brilliantly silly — check out Medium Large’s post on cat’s quoting Charlie Sheen if you need a giggle!

Cats Quote Charlie Sheen All quotes taken verbatim from Charlie Sheen’s recent radio interview on The Alex Jones Show. Updated with more cats and quotes! Follow on Twitter @fmarciuliano … Read More

via Medium Large


February 26, 2011

Some experiences of a friend

Filed under: Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 6:14 pm
Tags: ,


Sorry I haven’t put together the jolly post yet, which I’m sure you’re all waiting for  😉

In the mean-time I’d like to add this story from a friend who’d like to share her experiences of ‘the system’ while growing up with hearing loss, thank you ‘Hammer’ x

When I was a kid, any problems with my hearing aids were taken care of very well. Audiologists always took the time to ask the right questions. Once they even asked me what I wanted to know and I cheekily asked how hearing aid moulds were made….they were kind enough to take me to the part of the hospital where the moulds are made and the guy who worked there showed me how it’s done  🙂

However when I turned 18 this all changed; I was basically shown the door with no information about how to get more batteries or new moulds and so on.

After a few phone calls my mum found out I could go to the hospital next door for batteries and moulds for an adult. Well every time I needed a hearing-related appointment I had to first go to my GP, then my GP had to make an appointment for me. Then when I was at my appointment I would be waiting around for long time, there was only one person doing the hearing test, another person to make the mould and another person to fit my aids… you get the picture: I could be there for 3 or more hours waiting for these people. After while I got fed up!

One day when I needed to get more batteries I did not want to travel into to London just to get them. My mum asked where else I could source them and we found out I could go my local council office get them… well… when I went to my local council they asked for my ‘brown book’: what brown book????!?!?!

My mum had to make even more enquiries…… it transpired that I should have been given a brown battery book by the hospital as they kicked me out when I turned 18! So. My mum had to arrange to get a brown book for me from that hospital I’d been with.

Back then I was only allowed to collect 2 packs each visit (6 batteries in each pack), but as time went on I needed more powerful hearing aids. As the batteries ran out sooner with the more powerful hearing aids I had to ask for more batteries. At first they refused then my mum had to have a go at them(!)

These day it’s hard work trying sort my h.aids out, getting battires became not too bad since I moved out of my parents’ home to a different area. The lady at my new local council office was kind. She knew about my powerful h.aids and also about my mental health problems why I don’t get out very often so she always gave me loads of batteries, a whole box. That was great until the nice lady retired 😦  From then on it became more of a struggle.

Thankfully I have a few spares but if I try to get new batteries the council staff give me a hard time. I let them know that my social worker told me I’m within my rights to get lots of batteries. (I got a social worker when I moved out, after my mum found out I was entitled to special help from a social worker like getting equipment like a flashing doorbell and so on.)Now I feel that I have to have someone with me when I go for batteries or hearing checks for support — if I went on my own they don’t ask me questions they just give me what they think I need and off I go. When I bring someone with me the audiologists ask questions about what the problems are, how can they help me and so on. That’s why I feel I need someons as a witness, it becomes 2 people against 1; if I have only my word against the audiologist I feel I cant complain. Well it’s how I feel anyway.


February 9, 2011

New Year, New Focus?

Filed under: Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 3:32 pm

Firstly although this is very late,  Happy New Year 🙂

I’m still speaking with people about their experiences with NHS audiologists and it seems that the common problem areas come back again and again, e.g. not facing the patient when speaking to them preventing the patient from lipreading. Well I have been kindly offered an opportunity to express some opinions directly to people who are influential locally, touch wood something good can come from that.

It might be a nice idea to  also focus on using this platform to share nice things and helpful advice regarding hearing loss.

So, dare I say this, brace yourself for some positivity..! 😀


To kick off, here’s a classic joke by the wonderful  Barry Cryer:

A man goes to his doctor because he thinks his wife is going deaf. He asks the doctor for a test to see if this is true. The doctor tells him to ask her what they are having for dinner tonight at 30 ft. If there is no answer, ask again at 20 ft. Then 10ft., and then 5 ft.

The man uses this test. He stands 30 ft. away from his wife and says “What are we having for dinner tonight, dear?”. There is no answer, so he asks again at 20 ft. Then 10 ft.

At 5 ft., he says “Darling, what are we having for dinner tonight?!?”, and his wife replies by saying, “For the fourth time, we’re having Chicken!”.

December 23, 2010

Little Post

Filed under: Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 12:48 pm

Hi this is just a quick post to wish everyone a lovely xmas.

And I mean everyone, including audiologists 😉

I’m sure they’re stressed out from funding problems, regardless of their individual competencies. Speaking with a HoH friend, apparently the local department here used to use a ticketing system to show who’s turn it was, rather than audiologists calling out names! Why not now?! Money??? Oh boy….

I’ll leave you with a directly quoted story from Feline Lady, who was telling me about her local department audiologists who really do try their best (she’s lucky!!) and put up with higher powers shuffling them around to cut costs:

“The hospital manager decided, in his wisdom, to move the ENT clinic to the back of the hospital, while leaving the audio clinic at the front! I faced him with this, as a volunteer at the hospital when he’d spent time to tell us “wonderful and valuable people” about all the “positive changes” he was making….
I asked if he was planning to move the audio dept too… “No, we aren’t” he said… totally oblivious to the issues it would now raise.

So, I said…. “Have you considered that the majority of those who come to ENT and Audio are elderly and infirm, and quite often see both the ENT “and” Audio?? You are now going to have them traipsing too and fro through miles of corridor to see both in one ‘appointment’. You will have notes ending up the wrong end, so will have staff running too and fro to find them. Occasionally ENT and Audio like to pop in and consult one another during appointments…. It won’t work..”!!

“Well, we don’t see any problem.” he said…

Well, they do now!

They are trying to figure out how to have an audio the ENT end, but it still doesn’t work as occasionally the Audios in the main clinic might want to spontaneously send a patient to the surgeons…Also, they end up “losing” patients, as they think they’ve finished with one or the other, when actually they should go from one to the other. Chaos is a pretty good description I think….. “



“But when it comes down to it, I find our audios do the best they can, withing their very limited management structure and facilities. They are constantly frustrated themselves.

I actually taught one of their audios about the Baha at the very beginning, as the seniour audio dumped it on her when she showed an interest! She’d contact me to ask about the accessories, and the fine detail about the gadgets themselves. Having said that, she ‘finally’ was sent on a course last this year, 7 years after she took on the Baha side of things.  I thought things were looking up as the seniour audio mentioned decided he’d had enough, and there was a new one. But she only lasted 5 minutes, found the travel to work too much apparently.

In our area the audiology side of things is poorly funded. When I see the better departments up country (or even closer) I can’t think “why” our Trust can’t “do

I reckon they do it on purpose, to control access to a department that is severely understaffed. The last thing they want is people getting in touch too easily! “

Food for thought  🙂

December 5, 2010

Hearing loss ‘experts’

Filed under: audiologists,hearing aids,hearing loss — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 5:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

In a reply to DGT’s comment, I promised to post examples of the ignorance of some audiologists.

Okay, so I’ve already mentioned the lack of visual display to alert patients for their appointment within audiology departments (instead they will literally say or call the name).

MoiraDancer commented that her audiologist department phones her for h.aid follow up appointments… Lady X with severe hearing loss told me she gets the same thing from her audiologists, they try to phone and refuse to e-mail or fax. I used a drop-in clinic as I never got a follow-up call…. unless I didn’t hear it… ;-)

Lady X also has to put up with audiologists talking down into their notes, not facing her, when she needs to lipread. So then Lady X can’t follow what they’re going on about if she doesn’t have a friend with her. They won’t write things down for her either. Seriously, what a bunch of ****s (insert 4 letters as you feel appropriate).

An audiologist I saw thought that the international symbol for deafness & hearing impairment was a sign for hearing aids. (This one, in case you don’t know what I mean- ) I had to tell her it’s displayed where there are facilities for deaf/hearing impaired, when there is a ‘T’ in the bottom right corner there are induction loop facilities which can be used with a hearing aid. She still didn’t seem to believe me about the symbol, and said that I *might* be right, but she’s seen it for hearing aids….

She saw that symbol on a badge. I had a few different badges made up so I was less afraid to leave the house. The audiologist fitted me a h.aid and she said that I wouldn’t be needing those badges now… Um… A hearing aid is a really useful, wonderful gadget, but it will NEVER bring you normal hearing. (Doesn’t that audiologist even know this most basic thing? How can she give realistic expectations to patients if she doesn’t even know that?) There are plenty of noise situations in which you’ll really struggle. I often do still wear the badges as I still can’t tell the direction from which sound is coming. It’s not about having an ear switched on or amplified but also how the brain interprets the signals. I hide and avoid crowded places as best I can.

One more thing about this same lady, she offered me to wear the h.aid on my way home from my first appointment obtaining it and having her it set up. UH OH…! Now I’d read around the subject area enormously before getting my bionic ear attachment. I’d wanted to prepare myself as best I could, I wanted to minimise the opportunity for any more unpleasant surprises. Also I didn’t want generally unrealistic expectations. Every piece of literature about this (including the sheet from the audiology department!) advised not wearing it outside until after getting used to it indoors. You’re supposed to introduce it to your ear and brain very gradually. Noises in a h.aid sound very strange and metallic/electronic at first and it takes a while for your brain to make sense of all the new noises– your own voice really does sound weird enough, so you’re supposed to progress slowly in a safe environment. Not wear it home walking (or god forbid driving) along a busy road etc.


December 4, 2010

Some more contributions

Filed under: Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 6:53 pm

Another friend has told me her recent experiences with audiologists are better than they used to be:

“In the past I have experienced not nice treatment by some audiologists but the last 7 years or so, the ones I have met have all been great.
Worse time was when I was a kid. Some use to reduce me to tears with their attitude. Hope kids today aren’t suffering that.”

Another friend (sorry I’m keeping this so flipping anonymous…. maybe I should come up with some mysterious sounding names which is perhaps the blogging equivalent of contributors wearing those toy plastic glasses with a fake nose and moustache…) we’ll call her Lady X for now(!) told me the opposite, experiences with audiologists have unfortunately gotten worse for her more recently.

Directions: an example of ‘hit’ & ‘miss’ & ‘how rude’

Filed under: Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 6:39 pm

Experiences with audiologists seem to be varied. Some such professionals are helpful and intelligent. If some of my posts so far seem crass or unfairly harsh it is because of strong feelings and I’m sure I haven’t explained clearly enough to the uninitiated.

The reason why I made this blog was because when you you start going deaf it is scary and isolating. You go through a kind of grieving process, so much what you took for granted becomes difficult. When audiologists are ignorant or rude, it really can push hearing loss victims into further depression. When we see an audiologist to obtain a hearing aid or have the settings modified we need some one who at least has an inkling of understanding towards how we need a hearing aid to work, as well as enough training to understand each device.

For those unaquainted, a hearing aid isn’t a simple gadget, it can take a few visits to an audiologist to get one set up as best possible for a patient.

The automatic or ‘normal’ setting is really quite wonderful on modern digital h.aids. I think mine is typical and will adapt to the noise of my surroundings in very clever ways. A constant background noise will be phased out so it doesn’t bother me. A loud noise, such as a baby screaming, will cause it to cut out (compression) so my eardrums aren’t exploded from the amplified sound. There is also a ‘directional microphone’ so if I’m chatting with somebody in front of me it will amplify sound from that forward direction and reduce background noise from the side.

This is really great in relatively quiet situations with a constant background.

Imagine my delight at attending a largish family gathering in a restaurant, just a few days of getting my h.aid. Finally I could join in and not miss anything…

Imagine how heart broken I was to realise that several people talking in an already noisy environment caused my h.aid to constantly change settings trying to focus on some cutlery clacking on plates, people talking on different tables, staff pouring drinks….. To quote someone with the same model h.aid as I wear, it sounded like I was in a crisp packet. I missed pretty much everything, bar a strained bit of conversation with the person immediately opposite and next to me via the help of lipreading. You can’t imagine how upsetting it is to be with those you love and completely miss out like that. (This is why many with hearing loss become withdrawn and may seem unsociable.)

Good news — you can add a directional microphone program to the h.aid so that you can tell it you want to increase amplification in the forward direction, decrease amplification on the sides and STOP CHANGING AROUND WITH EVERY BACKGROUND NOISE. This directional mic program is sometimes known as the ‘pub & restaurant’ program. Some h.aids had this as a separate program by default when automatic ‘normal’ programs were less sophisticated.

So I went back to a drop-in appointment slot to find an audiologist to add this as a separate program for me. She asked why I wanted it, then was happy to activate this for me. I’m angry that it isn’t already on there by default and I’m annoyed that I needed to go into detail about what problems I’d had — now coffee shops, restaurants, any kind of sociable or even work situation are bearable, which should be a given! Ho hum, never mind it was a good end result ….HIT !

A friend with exactly the same model h.aid as I wear (‘crisp packet’ person) went to another drop-in clinic in the same audiology centre that I use. The audiologist said that wasn’t possible with this h.aid ….MISS !

Another friend (with digital hearing aids– analogue are no longer issued on NHS) who also uses the same audiology department as me asked to have a directional mic added as a separate program. This friend was talked down to like a naughty child, being told that there was already a directional mic in the automatic program and a separate directional mic program was not necessary. The audiologist even said “Well somebody’s been talking to you.” i.e. how dare this hard of hearing person speak with other hearing aid wearers and how dare they think they know better than an audiologist. ….HOW RUDE !

These drop-in clinics often have long queues (I’m talking about typical waits of over an hour if you’re not at the front) which is fine, demand is high… I get that. I also appreciate that staff are probably feeling a little stressed from being in demand. But when a patient spends ages waiting around to be misinformed (let alone insulted) that isn’t fair. This is not only because of the frustration from the appointment (if the audiologist is upset from being questioned he or she can go home at night at the end of the day and put it behind them) but because it means the hearing aid wearer has to suffer EVERY DAMNED SINGLE DAY because the particular audiologist they saw was incompetent.

Within the same audiology department: three different audiologists, three different results (only one positive).

A commonplace lack of common sense

Filed under: Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 5:16 pm

How silly– several people have told me that their audiology department calls patients up for their appointment by saying or shouting the name! (It is the same where I go!) No visual systems at all!

A nasty experience….

Filed under: Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 5:09 pm

A friend has told me the following:

“My worst experience with an audiologist took place about 15 years ago.

I was 40 when I lost my hearing badly enough to do something about it (65 now) and I was given what was described as an experimental h.aid well suited to my type of loss (mainly middle tones). I was happy with this h.aid for nearly 10 years and never went near audiologists in all that time, but when the h.aid eventually wore out and I had to seek help, the audiologist I saw would not accept that it was NHS issue, and reduced me to tears by virtually calling me a liar. He only accepted that it was NHS issue when I produced my book proving it.

He then prescribed for me the worst h.aid I have ever experienced, out of spite I think. I went private after that for a number of years until the digital models were available on the NHS.”

December 3, 2010

Thick or prejudiced (or both)?

Filed under: audiologists,hearing aids — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 6:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Friend: Maybe you’d better understand these problems I’m having if you wore hearing aids too…

Audiologist: If I wore hearing aids I couldn’t do this job!

…..oh come on Mr Audiologist!! Bloody hell. What new level of ignorance is this?? Maybe if you knew how to do your job properly and set up hearing aids correctly you’d realise hearing aid wearers can (as many do) work as audiologists. Shameful.

The audiologists who wear hearing aids do tend to be better as they seem to care about their patients and have shared experiences ie they can better understand problems hearing aid wearers face (especially when the devices aren’t set up correctly…).

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