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      Taking the plunge and getting hearing aids

      Kieran Evans has struggled through life without hearing aids. A bad experience when he was younger left him self conscious about wearing them. It was until the recently, and a little help from his son, that Kieran decided to do something about his hearing.

      By: Kieran Evans | 27 June 2017
      This is a huge thing for me, so I thought I would share my story.

      I was 12 and wore my new hearing aids to school. We had found out recently that my hearing range was below 'normal' and that, in fact, I had suffered from hearing loss since I was born and I had created my own coping mechanisms. What happened that day, the questions, the jokes, etc., lead me to never wear them again.

      It was just one day, but the explaining, the teasing, and the attention was too much for a young me. The way people would look at my ears and not my eyes when talking to me, for instance. In the 16 years since then I have coped, got by. Told some people that I felt comfortable around them but, never ever considered hearing aids again.

      Then came Jamie, my perfect little son. I wanted to tell him that no one else can be a better you, than you. That no one else can define you and that what others say about you, or think of you matters little. It's who you are inside and what you do that will be your legacy. 

      But there I was with a big skeleton in my closet. As Jamie grew and we approached his 2nd birthday (that has flown by) he himself started learning the art of communication through noises, half words, syllables that mimic a tiny bit of a word, and more and more I find myself looking at my wife to translate for me. Or to get my attention as I've not heard him.

      I've avoided admitting my hearing loss in so many situations that I barely take notice when I apologise for having misheard something. But to miss out on this little guy trying to tell his daddy about this exciting world that is so new to him was heartbreaking; more painful than the explaining, the questions, the people talking to my ears and not my eyes. The feeling of being inadequate or broken.

      The fact was that this relationship with my son is worth so much more than this show of confidence I give off when really I'm bottling up inside so much anxiety. So I took the plunge. I walked into the room for a test and walked out hearing everything. And it was so overwhelming! How loud is the wind, the rustling of the trees. Footsteps!

      That evening, as we had a family stroll, my son stopped, put his hand to his ears and asked me what it was he could hear. The birds singing! For the first time I actually knew. For him it was just an answer, but for me it was the best feeling.

      This is me finally accepting something I have fought and hidden my whole life. The point of me sharing this is to tell anyone struggling to accept themselves, their body, their feelings or anything else for that matter, I truly understand that facing it head on is the most daunting of tasks, but it will be the sweetest battle you will ever win and win it you will!

      Because only you can be the best you, so don't hold yourself back!

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      Challenge yourself in 2017