(gentle music) – How did you know I was losing my hearing, and what did you think about me losing my hearing? – Well, it took me a while to sort out whether you were losing your hearing or whether you were just ignoring me. But then I started recognizing that it wasn’t just me that you were not hearing, it was other friends, you’re not involved in conversations as much when we went places with people. And I felt very sad, and I felt very helpless because I wanted to make it better for you. I wanted to help you, but I didn’t know how. And it was very, very hard to support what I didn’t know how to support. And I saw it getting worse and worse, getting stronger hearing aids, and they didn’t work as well. – Did you go through anger at times? – I got angry because I thought, why aren’t you trying harder? And I would feel frustrated because I felt like I was working harder at being your ears than you were at trying to hear. And obviously if you can’t hear, you can’t hear, and there’s not anything you can do to try harder. But there was always that part in my mind that thought, is he really not hearing or is he trying not to hear? But I knew that you were struggling, and I knew you were very sad. – How did my hearing loss affect your life, and how does it impact our relationship? – It put a terrible strain on our relationship, I felt. I used to like to come home, we enjoyed each other’s sense of humor, I’d love to tell you funny stories about things that happened during the day, or things that were going to be coming up that I was excited about. But as your hearing loss diminished, as your hearing diminished, your loss got worse, I stopped telling you fun little things because it was like I just need to get absolutely what you have to hear to you. So it shortened… I mean, we didn’t have conversations. Communication was very limited to just what you had to know, and then to try to make sure you heard what I said. And that was very frustrating because sometimes you didn’t react visually to what I was saying to you, so I didn’t know if you got it or you didn’t get it. And remember, we had a lot of conversations about, “Can you just let me know” “that you understood what I said?” And you tried to remember to do that, but it wasn’t easy, it wasn’t easy. – I remember going through that period, and I always, at the time, couldn’t figure out why there was so little sharing going on. But yeah, you’re right, it was tough. – Yeah. At the time I really didn’t know that. – Yeah, yeah it was… And for me, I felt very lonely. I mean, we have wonderful friends, and our kids are just super about supporting us and being there for us, but I missed you. I missed having that ability to come have a conversation with you, the ability to say, “I love you.” Because it just was so hard to communicate anything and I felt really lonely and isolated, just as you did, but for a different reason. – Yeah, yep, very true. – Even though it took a period of time, I could see the sadness continuing to get worse and worse, so I’m glad you’re on the other side now. – Me too. Okay. – What were the most prominent struggles that you went through because of hearing loss? – Isolation. If I hadn’t… If I hadn’t had emails and closed captions on television, in all honesty, before Cochlear, I’d been hiding in a closet and you know that. – Yeah, I know. – It’s tough. – Yeah, but you had Jack to talk to, our dog. – Well, our… (chuckles) Jack doesn’t talk back, so… (laughs) – And that’s the good part of it. (laughs) – Yeah, that part works real well. – He just loves you no matter whether you can hear or not.
– Yes, he does He didn’t care about that, you’re right.
– Yeah, and you know what? So do I. – I know, dear. (gentle music)