Tag Archives: Aaron’s Story

Aaron’s Story, Part III: The Journey to Getting a Ponto

We spoke to Aaron not too long ago, a couple weeks before he was set to get his Ponto. Those weeks moved slowly for Aaron as he eagerly anticipated the day that finally came last week– the day that he got to snap on his new Ponto Pro.

So, what’s changed for Aaron?

A lot. But, what he’s realized is that it’s many little things that are making up a very big change. It started with getting used to the volume of his own voice.  “I was overwhelmed at how I could hear. I had to take a moment in the elevator to collect myself,” Aaron shared.

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Then, he focused on what he could hear. He was surprised at the distinct sound of tires bumping along the freeway as he road to the airport for a trip to Vegas. “I went to the airport after I got setup, and I couldn’t believe how loud the concrete was while driving on the highway. I had ask, ‘is that normal?'”

What he could hear became even more apparent while doing one of the things he loves most– listening to music. Throughout each conversation we’ve had with Aaron, he’s mentioned his love for music. He’s now noticed that listening to songs he’s heard before might take some getting used to. “When I hear songs that I know, I hear instruments that I didn’t pick up on before. I even asked my wife, is that a remix?” Aaron’s been experimenting with his playlist, seeing which songs are changed now, just by sounding so slightly different.

While Aaron is personally exploring changes, others are taking notice too. One of the benefits that many Ponto users experience is being able to hear well in a group. Particularly, a meeting room or dining table with many people. So, this time, it wasn’t Aaron pointing out the change, it was the group members he met with. “I went to a meeting with a long board-room-like table, the table was long enough to fit about 20 people. When we finished the meeting, the group mentioned that they could actually tell that I could hear better. I would turn my head as a new person spoke, paying attention in a quicker and more focused way.”

A not-so-subtle change that Aaron was expecting is the noise level around his house. He knew that living in downtown Dallas would be a different experience with his Ponto Pro. “Of course I expected to hear the crowds on the weekends, but I can also hear the cars driving down the service road. It’s louder to live here than I thought,” Aaron realized.

Although Aaron will tell you, he’s still adjusting to his Ponto, he’s learning a lot and has a very valuable suggestion. That’s to use the clip that ensures the device won’t fall to the ground if it comes off– at least for the first couple of weeks. “I’d only had my Ponto for about 20 minutes, and as I was getting into the car, I bumped my head on the window. It didn’t get damaged when it feel to the floor, but I don’t want to have to live without it now that I finally have it.”

One of the parts of the experience that Aaron enjoyed the most was getting his device programmed by Johanna Whitson, Au.D., CCC-A of Southwestern Medical Center. “I’ve heard that the software makes a huge different in the sound quality,” Aaron mentioned. And, he’s right, not only is it incredible and interesting, we spend a lot of time ensuring that the software is part of the quality experience. (Foreshadowing: We see a blog post of its own on this topic coming up soon).

We’ll continue to follow Aaron throughout his journey of getting used to all of the little things that have changed. He’s already inspired by how much those little things have contributed to such a different way of living life.

Do you have a question for Aaron? You can always ask him in the comments section below. Also, we’d like to take the time to thank Aaron for sharing his experience. It’s been incredible to be a part of the change in a Ponto user’s life in a whole new way. You can read the full series here.

If you’d like to share your story, you can let us know here.

Aaron’s Story, Part II: The Journey to Getting a Ponto

Last time we spoke with Aaron Morris he was at the beginning of his journey in getting his Ponto Pro– it was just a few days before his surgery. Now, over a month later, Aaron is counting down the days until he receives his device.

With the surgery out of the way and his doctor’s confirmation that everything is progressing well, he’ll soon get to snap on his Ponto Pro. Here’s how Aaron’s experience has been since the last time we spoke.

Before setting out to get a Ponto, Aaron had been through a few surgeries due to complications and a car accident. So, it’s not surprising that this time around was quick and relatively painless. “The surgery only took about an hour. And, as expected, my previous surgeries were more in-depth. No matter how many times you’ve done something, you’re a little nervous when someone plans on placing an object in your head,” Aaron admitted. “But this, it was simple and I felt back to normal the same day.”

Aaron MorrisWhile the surgery was quick and easy, Aaron did have a bump in the road a couple of weeks after his surgery. Living in Dallas, it was common that sweat would get near and in the wound site. Aaron and his doctor, Brandon Isaacson M.D. at the University-Tx Southwestern (whom Aaron has been working with since 2006), did some trouble-shooting, and they decided it would be best if Aaron wear a sweat band while outside to keep the site as dry as possible.

There have been some other things to get used to as well. While out and about, Aaron has noticed that he’s gotten some strange looks. “People ask what the abutment is– without the device attached it does resemble something that you might see in a movie.” But, those same strange looks have enabled Aaron to share his experience and the technology of bone anchored devices with others who had no idea such devices existed. “It’s crazy, about 7 out of 10 people who ask me about it have never heard of a bone anchored hearing system,” Aaron said. Recently, he had a conversation with a man in the grocery store. The man asked about Aaron’s abutment and mentioned that his hearing aid had never been optimal for overcoming his middle ear issues. “He had an outdated hearing aid. After our talk, he and his wife were going to the doctor to ask about him trying a Ponto. He didn’t even know it was an option.”

Aaron is excited to continue to introduce people to what will soon be his new way of hearing. With the date he’ll receive his device set by his doctor, he’s even making plans for the day that he’ll finally be able to fully hear again. “Honestly, my plan is to go see a movie with the best surround sound in the world. There’s a great new theater in Dallas, and I’ve never experienced sound like that before.”

Our last question for Aaron before he gets his device– is he nervous? “I’m not nervous, but I know I’ll hear strange things that I haven’t before. We live downtown, and my wife always mentions the sounds outside, especially on the weekends… Now, when she says ‘did you hear that’ the answer will finally be ‘yes’.”

Ask Aaron any questions you may have in the comments section below, or on Facebook and Twitter. Aaron will also be sharing his journey through his Twitter and Instagram accounts. We’ll be interviewing Aaron again, for the third installment of the series on his journey, after he receives his Ponto Pro in less than a month!

Aaron’s Story, Part I: The Journey to Getting a Ponto

“Well tomorrow’s the big day. I cannot wait to get this process started. I bet when it’s done I will hear noises that I’ve never heard in my whole life. My hearing has always been bad from the time I was six. I just can’t wait.” That was the first thing Aaron told me yesterday over the phone. His excitement radiating through every single word.

“See, right now I can hear the background noise in your office more than our conversation. I even tried to just understand what people were saying through lip reading in the past since background noise is so distracting. That’s just one of the things I won’t have to deal with anymore,” Aaron said.

Aaron Morris won’t have to deal with background noise, poor hearing and countless reconstructive surgeries anymore because today he’ll start the process of getting an Oticon Medical Ponto. This is part one of a three part series based on Aaron’s experience. We will join Aaron throughout his journey– today, the day of his surgery, after his surgery and then on the day that he receives his device. In Aaron’s own words, “If I can get just one person to change their life by encouraging them to get this procedure done, any amount of time and effort would be worth it. Just one person.”

Aaron

Aaron’s hearing had been gone for a while when he went to the doctor in 2006. He’d always had ear problems, including tubes in both ears when he was little. A specialist worked with Aaron to identify that now he had a bacterial infection affecting his middle ear bone. As the doctor took care of his infection, Aaron’s hearing eventually returned.

Like the old saying goes, not all good things last. With a severe sinus infection, Aaron had lost his hearing again. But this time, he had also developed a hole in his ear drum. Back to the doctor again, in 2008, Aaron had surgery to repair the damage. And, once again, his hearing was somewhat restored.

In April 2009, the unexpected happened. Aaron got into a car accident. The impact of the accident caused Aaron to hit his ear. Because of the trauma, he was forced to go undergo reconstructive surgery. The surgery left Aaron with an equilibrium problem and issues with balancing. Since then, he has never regained his hearing.

Now, Aaron has decided to try a bone anchored hearing system. As his hearing continues to deteriorate, Aaron’s doctor identified the system as the best option. After demoing both products, he felt his clear choice was the Oticon Medical Ponto. Finally, after all of the ups and downs of Aaron’s journey, he’ll be undergoing surgery for his abutment today. As Aaron put it, this is the first step in his journey to hearing again.

“I haven’t heard since 2005, and I’ll hear even better now — probably like when I was young.”

Aaron is looking forward to having conversations with friends and family, going to the symphony and, most importantly, just being able to hear a conversation that’s immediately in front of him and not clear across the room.  “And, my wife will really appreciate it,” he added.

Stay tuned to hear how Aaron’s surgery goes. Aaron will be sharing the second installment of his series later this month. While no one can predict the future as Aaron’s story has so clearly demonstrated, he has a very optimistic outlook. “I don’t know yet, but when I went through testing I was blown away, and they said the real thing would be even better. I can’t even imagine.”

Wish Aaron good luck, give him post-surgery tips or ask him any questions in the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter. Aaron will also be sharing his journey through his Twitter and Instagram accounts.