“I Feel So Much Happier… If Only I’d Done it Sooner!”
“Working in COVID Intensive Care during the pandemic, I was wearing complete PPE which included a hat that covered my ears, restricting my hearing. I also couldn't rely on lip reading due to people wearing masks – it was quite exhausting".
"When I came back from my first shift in the neonatal ward with new hearing aids, my husband said I looked so much brighter and I didn’t feel quite so exhausted. I feel so much happier. If only I’d done it sooner!”
Helen Mol is 39, a neonatal nurse and lives in Surrey with her husband and two sons, aged five and eight.
My hearing problem – the beginning
"I’ve had a hearing problem for most of my adult life. I didn’t notice until I applied for the Australian Navy when I was in my late teens and failed the hearing test but, because I was young, I didn’t do anything about it. I wasn’t keen on wearing hearing aids – back then, they were much bigger and less attractive than they are now."
"I sometimes struggled in social situations; I didn’t always hear things properly. Not being able to hear properly caused me to withdraw from conversations and I often felt quite frustrated, especially during group situations."
Working in a ward during COVID-19 with hearing loss
"I work in a neonatal intensive care unit in the NHS. It’s a fabulous and very rewarding job, but during the height of the pandemic, I was transferred to the COVID intensive care ward, where I found my hearing loss was much harder to cope with. I did have hearing aids, but they were fairly old, and I hadn’t had a check-up in a long time."
"I had full PPE on including a hat that covered my ears, restricting my hearing. I also couldn’t lip read due to people wearing masks – it wasn’t until then I realised how much I had relied on lip reading. I had headaches and constantly felt exhausted from focusing on hearing people all day. Nursing can be fast paced and stressful at times and struggling with my hearing loss just adds to that."
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