February 26, 2011

Some experiences of a friend

Filed under: Uncategorized — partdeafpartgeekpartgirl @ 6:14 pm
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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.



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