For a long time, more than a decade, I strained to hear things. I thought it was the TV’s fault. That the TV was just foggy for audio. I also thought that people mumbled a lot. It was always stressful. Work was stressful, trying to hear my family was stressful, social settings were stressful. In the years of my hearing impairment I’d become a quite competent lip-reader and always tried to get myself close to who was speaking so I’d have a better chance of hearing most of what they said. It was a constant uphill battle. Both my parents had hearing impairment and in the later years of their lives, especially my mother, it was heart-breaking to see the isolation this caused her. I vowed that I would not let myself get that bad and finally worked up the courage to go to “The Hearing Specialists.” I was afraid. I was afraid to be told how much hearing loss I had, afraid it could not be fixed, afraid of the whole thing. It’s hard to describe what re-entry into “hearing” meant to me. The staff there were exceptional and incredibly supportive. They told me, “It won’t remove all stresses in your life (if only!) but not being able to hear will not be one of them.” I felt less tired at the end of each day. I felt less tense, less like I’d spent all day straining to hear. Sounds I’d not heard for years became part of my life again, an autumn leave blowing on the pavement, birds. I was shocked at all the birds! I said to my husband, “Have there always been t his many birds?” I love my hearing aids. I love them. I love hearing. I wear them every single day, I put my glasses on and my hearing aids. It was a huge liberation for me. I love hearing the soft voices of my grandchildren and the whispered talk of my clients who face difficult times in life. I urge any of you who struggle with hearing to go in and explore the world of hearing aids. Just go through the door. I’m happy to talk to anyone who would like to discuss my experience in more detail.