“I don’t know what I would have done without LSH."
Photo: Anne Fishbein
When Adrienne Pender’s last pair of hearing aids broke, she took them back to the dispensary to be repaired. “They were expensive,” Adrienne says, “but when I got them I was working and had some money coming in.”
Now retired, she was hoping the specialist could repair the devices, since she couldn’t afford new ones. “She said, ‘There isn’t anything we can do with them. They’re just too old.’”
That was tough. Adrienne also suffers from glaucoma, which limits her vision. She’s a pretty good lip reader, but now she couldn’t see well enough to make out what people were saying. “Sometimes you’re in a crowd and you can’t hear what they say, and you make a dumb response. It’s embarrassing,” she notes.
Her deafness was also interfering with her favorite activity. Adrienne runs a theater appreciation group. Once a month they attend a play together, then go out to dinner and discuss what they’ve seen.
“At the theater it was very difficult. I would try to get a seat right in the front so I could read the actors’ lips. Sometimes they project very loudly and I don’t have any trouble; but there were times when I couldn’t hear. I could see them moving, and I kind of guessed. It was difficult.”
It wasn’t easy at home, either. “Talking on the phone I could do, but TV was very hard. They speak very fast on the TV, and when people speak fast I just can’t get it.”
Adrienne went without hearing aids for about five years. Then she found her way to LSH. “I got a really good feeling from you people,” she remembers.
Now she happily goes to the theater, knowing she’ll be able to understand what’s going on. She can watch TV without turning the volume all the way up.
“I told the people in my church that I don’t know what I would have done without LSH,” she says. “I really appreciate you people. I think you’re a godsend.”