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The Beginning

“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.” Those who know me well know that this line is by far the most common thing that I say on a daily basis. I’m sure you could probably guess the reason: I am in fact hard of hearing! But lets start from the beginning.

My name is Kendra Cove and I’m from a small town in Northern Ontario. Starting from the young age of 4, my dad noticed one day that I was turning our TV up louder than normal and complaining that I couldn’t hear it. Well, that was sign number one of many leading up to my first audiology appointment. We have a dominant gene in my family (I wish I knew what the exact gene is) and as my sister also has the gene, it was likely that I would have it as well. The result of my hearing test was that I had a very mild bilateral sensorineural hearing loss; which was enough to prescribe me with hearing aids as it was the final sign they needed to know that the gene was passed on to me as well.

I vaguely remember getting my hearing aids for the first time. I mean, I guess that’s normal as not many people can remember their 4-year old selves. However, I do remember the panicked look on my audiologist’s face as she performed the listening check on them and thought they were broken. The gain was set so low on them that she couldn’t tell when they turned on after adjusting them. She eventually figured it out and fit them on me. I am sure my dad could speak more on the adventures with two young kids wearing hearing aids and the struggles it was to keep them on us. However, for the sake of this first post, I’ll keep it brief.

My hearing was tested annually growing up as our gene leads to a progressive loss. 21 years later, my most recent audiogram looks like this:

For reference, it has dropped quite a bit (which is fairly expected with the trend in my family). It’s expected that it will continue to decline as I age as well. It took me a long time to grow into loving and appreciating my hearing aids. Unfortunately, a lot of us as hard of hearing kids face a lot of bullying and typically feel pretty isolated. As I said before, being from a small town definitely didn’t help this either. However, now I can confidently say that if I could change my hearing loss and suddenly fix those little hairs in my cochlea; I don’t think I would.

My hearing loss has shaped my life in so many amazing ways and I wouldn’t be nearly the same person I am today. The biggest one to date is being accepted into the Dalhousie University Audiology program in 2021. I am soon entering my 3rd and final year of the program and will soon be an Audiologist myself. 4-year old Kendra who was in awe in the sound booth would be so proud. Soon I am going to be able to help families cope with hearing loss and help other little kids adjust to their new “ears”. I am so, so grateful that my hearing loss has given me this incredible passion in life and I am so honoured that I will be able to help so many others with my own experiences.

While being hard of hearing is not without its struggles, I choose to focus on the positives. By sharing my opinions and stories, if I can just help one single person feel less alone, it will all be worth it. If you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves, saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you”, or simply nodding and smiling during an inaudible conversation, trust me- you’re not alone. I hope by sharing a little piece of my story helps connect us together. I look forward to sharing more stories and hope you stick around to check them out!



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