For Dianne Keil, losing her hearing dramatically changed the way she interacted with the world.
As she described herself to us: “I’m a very active lady. I enjoy music, art, church, exercise, dining out.” But when her hearing started to go, “It made me something of an introvert, because of embarrassment. I started missing out on the joys of life.”
Over a period of about seven years, Dianne says,she gradually withdrew from the world. She had her hearing tested multiple times, but she couldn’t afford hearing aids.
“I tried everything. I had my ears tested so many times, I talked to people, went on the internet, I tried every way possible. I never got lucky.
“In church, I always tried to sit in the front row. I would go to Bible study and I would take in as much as I could, but I couldn’t interact with the people in the group. It was unbearably frustrating.”
But in the end, it was a friend in the Bible study who gave her the answer she’d been looking for. “She asked if I’d ever tried the Lions Club.”
Dianne got in touch with her local Lions club, and they sent her to LSH. She talked to our Program Administrator, Lynzee Browning. “Lynzee said, ‘Dianne, you are going to get hearing aids.’ I burst out crying. It was like somebody gave me a million dollars.”
Now Dianne is back to the things she loves. She can participate in discussions with her book club. In her exercise classes, she can hear the instructor. If someone calls her name, she can respond. She goes to the duck pond in the park near her house and talks to the people she meets.
In short, she says, “My world has started again.”