Overcoming Obstacles: Faith
HOW does Faith hear? With her Elsa-style braid, a microphone in hand, and two hearing aids!
All About Me
Hi, I’m Faith, a 10th grader from Midland, Texas. I am a self-proclaimed type-A, ambitious 16-year-old who loves being involved in my local community. I am part of my church’s youth group, choir, and youth band. In school, I am on the tennis team, in honor band, and class secretary. My favorite things to do are write and make music.
Hearing My Way
I received my hearing loss diagnosis when I was 13-years-old. For two years before my diagnosis, I suffered from constant ear infections, sinus infections, and colds. I knew that I had temporary hearing loss due to the fluid in my ears. Once I was feeling better, I did not realize I was having any more trouble hearing. It wasn’t until I failed the school hearing test that I was referred to an audiologist. I’ll never forget when the audiologist brought my mom and I into her office and explained, “You have hearing loss, and you need hearing aids.” At first, I was devastated. I thought that hearing aids were only for old people! Then, I got my hearing aids. I was jubilant*! Being able to hear was one of the greatest moments in my life, and I am so thankful for how supportive my friends, family, and teachers were.
*jubilant: expressing great joy and happiness
The part of having hearing loss that impacts me the most is missing out on conversation. When the conversation is moving quickly, it can be really frustrating to miss out on what people are saying. By the time I am able to have them repeat themselves, many times the conversation has moved on to the next topic. I also find that I am very tired after a long day of lip reading and working hard to hear. Some days are better than others, but I try not to let that get in my way of living life to the fullest and enjoying every day.
My hearing aids are Bluetooth, which means I can listen to music streamed directly to my hearing aids without anyone knowing. Don’t worry, I don’t use that feature in class!
I do use my clip-on microphone in class— my teachers clip it to their shirts, and it helps me tremendously. My friends even pass the mic around as they talk. I don’t know what I would do without it!
My brother and sister are very educated about my hearing loss. They make it easier for me when I’m at home, which strengthens our relationship. My brother thinks that my hearing aids are so cool and wants to learn all about them because they help me so much.
When I first got my hearing aids, I was embarrassed of them. I hated unwanted attention and didn’t ask people to speak up or talk slowly. Being 13 with hearing aids felt like the worst thing imaginable! Then I realized I had nothing to be ashamed of. I can’t help that I have hearing loss, but I can help how I choose to react. Now that I’m 16, I am a huge advocate for myself. I am never afraid to speak up and kindly let people know what I need. I have a 504 plan which states that I should have preferential seating in the front of the classroom, that I can use my phone to adjust the volume on my hearing aids, and that I am provided with
written instructions when needed.
Since I started wearing hearing aids, I’ve learned to play six new instruments! Hearing loss does affect my music in some ways. For instance, I am unable to tune my instruments by ear because I cannot recognize if a pitch is flat or sharp. The place where I sing most is in the shower, and since I cannot wear my hearing aids in the shower, I rely on muscle memory and vibrations to sing. Even if my hearing loss progresses, I know I will never stop singing because music is in my heart!
Alex Lacamoire (who was previously featured in Hearing Our Way) is the musical director of
Hamilton, one of my favorite musicals of all time! I find it astonishing that the musical director of one of the greatest shows of all time has hearing aids just like me. I would love to meet him one day.
Before I graduate high school, my goals are to become valedictorian of my class, make the Texas All-State Band, make the varsity tennis team, and become a National Merit Scholar. After I graduate, I plan to earn a degree in biology with a minor in music, so that I can perform in symphonies and orchestras as a hobby while going to medical school. I ultimately want to have a career as a neonatologist, which is a doctor for newborn infants. I hope one day to have my own family, including cats and dogs, and to always continue writing and making music. I have big dreams, and I would never let my hearing loss limit me from any of them!
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