Imagine that every public place and family gathering feels like a bad rock concert.
Ten years ago, I had a sudden onset of unexplained hearing loss. You can imagine that as a young mother of two, and building a career as a teacher, this was a devastating experience. As the weeks and months passed me by, my hearing just kept on getting worse.
I began to have trouble understanding what people were saying around me. I could only imagine how scary and frustrating it was for my daughters, especially for my 2-year old who was not speaking quite clearly yet. It became increasingly upsetting as I could no longer make sense of telephone conversations. I found myself struggling to hear questions that were being asked by my CEGEP students.
This invisible disability was robbing me of my ability to function and lead a normal life.
I couldn’t use the phone, go out for dinner with friends, or even watch a movie without subtitles. Since I was only able to teach part-time with small groups, we could no longer afford our home and had to move. All areas of my life felt strained, and I became completely dispirited.
It was such a relief and comfort to have found the MAB-Mackay.
More and more, I found it difficult to feel good about myself. As a young woman, I felt unattractive with the hearing aids, and worse yet, I felt incompetent.
The amazing group of professionals that I encountered there understood the challenges and trials I was wrestling with. They offered support in countless ways, from regular hearing tests, to advice on communication strategies, to the use of adapted phones and specialized equipment.
The MAB-Mackay also provided me with a wealth of information, from employment counseling, speech reading instruction, strategies to communicate with my friends and family, and information on cochlear implants. I slowly began to feel more confident having the tools to better understand people around me. They helped me realize that I was not alone.
Receiving support and empathy from MAB-Mackay helped me come to the place where I could then embrace my hearing loss and more forward.
Focusing on my passion to share knowledge and inspire others to have fun learning, I recently opened up my own pottery studio-boutique. Today, I teach pottery and produce work for sale, which enables me to work around my disability. I’ve come to enjoy silence, meditation, yoga, and the magical process of pottery and functional art.
Without the MAB-Mackay, I don’t know where I’d be. Even after all these years, I still count on my marvelous support team for their guidance and empathy. They showed me that my hearing loss does not define me, nor does it have to get in the way of my enjoyment of life.
With my sincere thanks,