When I first got my newest pair of hearing aids, my audiologist suggested I use some accessories to go along with my new technology.
Knowing good and well that I wasn’t going to use the accessories I was getting, I said, “I’ll take the ComPilot and the RemoteMic.” My audiologist sent me home with them and I didn’t touch them for almost two years. This is how I came about to use and love my Phonak ComPilot.
I got my first pair of behind-the-ear Phonak hearing aids when I was three years old in 1998. I’ve since had the privilege of having three different pairs of Phonak hearing aids throughout my life as my ears grew and technology changed. I remember my first pair of behind-the-ear hearing aids had a dial with the volume levels 1, 2, and 3 that I always kept at a solid 2. They also had a on/off switch that looked like a tiny light switch. My second pair were super sleek behind-the-ear hearing aids that had a single button on them. Once I was old enough that my ears wouldn’t be growing so rapidly, I was able to get in-the-ear hearing aids. They were a lot smaller than the other ones I’d had, and I was really excited to get them. The wind blowing made it extremely difficult to hear, but I was just happy that I wouldn’t have to tape my behind-the-ear hearing aids to my head during gymnastics anymore.
I got my current pair of hearing aids, the Phonak Virto V70s, in 2016. With almost 20 years passing since my first pair, you can imagine how much technology changed. With these new hearing aids, I got to choose two accessories to go with them. At 21 years old, I was still not confident in myself and my hearing loss. I did not want anyone to have any idea that I wore hearing aids.
As my college career came closer to an end in the spring of 2018, the slight panic of needing to find a full time job began to sink in. This intensified when I found out that phone interviews are the norm. I hate talking on the phone! I’ve hated it since I was a kid because I always had so much anxiety around it. You can’t read lips when talking on the phone, so you have to listen really hard. Therefore, I avoided talking on the phone at all costs. That is, until I had to start doing phone interviews for post-college full time jobs. I felt like my future depended on these phone interviews. Even though I had a fear of doing phone interviews, the fear of living at home in my parents’ basement was stronger. I found that ComPilot that I had put away for two years, turned it on, and called my dad.
“Even though I had a fear of doing phone interviews, the fear of living at home in my parents’ basement was stronger.”
“Hey Dad! I’m calling you using my ComPilot. It uses Bluetooth to connect my hearing aids directly to my phone. I don’t even have to hold the phone to my ear!” I told him.
“Well, how does it sound?” my dad asked. The sound of his voice was so clear and it was directly in my ears. I was so surprised at how easy it was to hear him.
“It actually sounds so much better than when I call without it! Your voice is loud and clear. How does my voice sound?” I was incredulous.
“I can hear you just fine. Your voice sounds clear,” Dad replied.
When the call was over, I turned my ComPilot off and took a deep breath. Maybe I really could do this phone interview thing! After all, there’s no way I want to be jobless back in my hometown after graduation. I went to a couple career fairs and the phone interviews started rolling in. I planned my whole day around them. I’d sit on my bed with my resume in hand and the ComPilot around my neck. Don’t get me wrong, I was still nervous for the interviews, but as soon as I answered the phone and heard, “Hello, is this Ashley McGoey?” so crisp and clear in my ears, I felt relief wash over me. My confidence soared as I conversed with each interviewer about my experiences.
At the end of it all, I landed a job as a scientist before graduation. I didn’t put my ComPilot back into the box on a shelf. Instead, I started taking it with me everywhere I went. I now use it every time I make phone calls and use it to listen to music sometimes. As for my confidence in myself, well, now I’m here writing about my experiences and letting everyone know about my hearing loss. I no longer feel the need to hide my hearing aids and their accessories from everyone. I think the ComPilot played a role in helping me find my voice on the phone and in real life!
How has your ComPilot helped you?