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Member Stories

Paul Kuhnle

My first Binghamton SHHH meeting was in September 2000 because my wife saw an invitation to join them in the local newspaper. I have been coming ever since and now feel like an advocate for all hard of hearing people. The members are great and so are the guest speakers.

They have helped me better understand the hearing loss that I have to deal with every day. In January 2002 I got two new behind the ear aids which replaced my in the ear aids that were not powerful enough for me anymore. I am glad to have the new aids and a New York State Agency VESID paid for them in full. So I have a great deal to be thankful for.

I first realized I had a hearing loss in 1986 when my doctor recommended an operation on my bad ear. But the operation did not help so the next year I got a hearing aid in my bad ear. About five years later I got a hearing aid for my other ear.

I worked a few more years and then decided to retire early mainly because of my poor hearing. I thought my hearing loss was severe enough to qualify me for New York State Disability, but not so according to them. The state told me "I could work under ideal conditions".

So I took a part time job for the next three years and at sixty two fully retired. The way I look at it, I can communicate quite well now with my new hearing aids, but without them I have a moderate to moderately severe hearing loss in my right ear (55dB), and a severe to
profound hearing loss in my left ear (90dB).

SHHH has really helped me. Both the local chapter and the national office in Bethesda, MD. As a member of national SHHH, I enjoy getting their bimonthly Hearing Loss magazine with timely articles to help me cope with my present situation. Please note that our meetings are on the first Wednesday of each month except during July and August at
7PM at Central United Methodist Church in Endicott, NY. Please
come out and give SHHH a chance to help you just as they have helped me and other people with their hearing loss. There is no cost involved to attend a local chapter meeting.

Rachel Esserman

I started losing my hearing when I was in high school. It wasn't until I was in my 40s and about to graduate from rabbinical school that my hearing became worse and I developed a severe to profound hearing loss. I was unable to hear anything at my graduation ceremony and it was difficult to watch my classmates get jobs while I was just learning to adjust to an enormous change in my life. I felt isolated and frightened.

Someone recommended an SHHH meeting to me. I was very nervous about going. I knew I wasn't one of "them," even though I didn't know who "them" were. There were tears in my eyes when I approached the room where the meeting was being held.

Well, going to SHHH turned out to be the best move I made. It was wonderful to find people who knew what I was going through and who understood my problems and were willing to answer my questions from their own personal experience. I still learn from the members of my current SHHH group and I hope that I've been of help to them.

Cheryl Santi

My mother was extremely hard of hearing. Even the hearing aids she had didn't seem to do her much good. When I wanted to talk to her I found myself screaming just so she would hear me. I hated the feeling of dread when I went to visit her because I knew conversations were fruitless and yet she WAS my mother.

Then, like a Godsend, I saw an advertisement in our local newspaper explaining about SHHH and because I really needed some kind of help in communicating with my mother, I checked it out. I am SO glad I did. Now, through the meetings, the sharing of feelings and thoughts, the support I have found and the tips on ways to help me talk and listen to my mother, we have come a long way. We can even laugh together now. I missed that.