I went from being told that my hearing was cosmetic and I would have to pay over $7,000 to have a chance to hear like anyone else, to paying barely anything to have a hearing like everyone else.

It went from my hearing to Nuheara and then to Nuheara Boost like this, especially if you have hearing. Hearing isn’t cosmetic. Hearing is a need. Many years is sort of like a really severe form of tinnitus. If you’re ever going to an airplane and you have your ear pop, it’s sort of like having that but you can’t unpop your ear.

Suddenly all your friends are talking like that. So you have this ringing, your ear feels full, and your friends are all talking behind their hands at the same time, it’s really isolating because you can’t really communicate with anyone or watch TV or do anything, and you’re just haunted by this ringing the whole time.

It can be everywhere, especially if there’s a lot of background noise like restaurants. I can never go on a date because– if there’s background noise, that sort of triggers the ringing louder. You will try to hear and listen to the person but your brain becomes really overwhelmed by all the ringing and the fullness in your ear. And it’s almost like your brain crashes like a computer, and it just turns off, and you just sort of zone out because it’s too much.

If there’s too much background noise, nothing’s going to happen. I can’t talk. I can’t communicate. It’s overwhelming. It’s stressful. It gives me migraines. I can’t enjoy life.

Here, I found Indiegogo stages. I was kind of skeptical at first, don’t get me wrong. All these products come out and say, oh, we’re going to solve this, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that. And at this time, I’d just been told that there was a hearing aid for me but it was well my price range.

Insurance said it’s cosmetic. My hearing is cosmetic. So I tried the original Nuheara, and it was wow. Like all the background noise, like the wind, people just muttering in the background, the car, suddenly it was just gone. And people’s voices, I could hear them much more clearly. And I used those. I used them so much.

When I upgraded to boost, the ear ID process, it really personalized it. Because for me, it’s the lower tones I struggle to hear. I hear higher tones much easier than I do lower tones. It went from my hearing, to Nuheara, and then to Nuheara Boost like this. Suddenly, I feel like I’m a normal person like I can hear, like I would go to restaurants with my friends or to the mall and they had normal hearing and I was the one hearing everything. And they they’re the ones going, what, I can’t hear you. It’s too loud in here. And I’m the one who’s deaf and I’m the one going, I can hear all of you. What are you– what’s the problem?

And they’re suddenly wanting to have them and they’re perfectly hearing. And I’m the one who’s got the hearing issues and they’re like, what, how can you hear? It’s so loud in here. And I’ll be in the car and the car will be loud, and I’m the one who can hear everything.

When I game, I usually do recording as well streaming, like on Twitch, YouTube, stuff like that. I have to be able to hear the audio clearly because I have to sort of narrate an app live what’s going on in the game in a humorous comedy sense. Being able to hear myself and what’s going on, and then you hear– it allows me to hear what’s going on in the room, hear what’s going on in the game, and make sure I’m pronouncing things right because with the hearing impairment I do sometimes have slight lifts. I sometimes pronounce things incorrectly. And it helped improve that tremendously.

And it’s also got a great built-in a microphone which really helps because all the voice– the games where I play our voice recognition. So if I’m like equipping my bow and I say that, it’s actually equipping my bow now.

At first I was, again, skeptical because you always hear product saying we’re going to cure this, we’re going to solved this, we’re going to do this, and you’re always skeptical that they’re fake or they’re acted. So I was really cautious. So I had my heart broken once, fool me once, fool me twice. So I was really nervous when I first tried them. And I remember putting them in and I said, I want to go in the car and I want to have a conversation in the car because the driver was always on my deaf side so I could never hear the driver.

And I remember going in that car and having a conversation with the driver. Not going, what would you say? I can’t hear you. Or just sitting there in silence. I had a conversation with the driver. Their voice was clear. And I was able to have a conversation with someone.

I remember going to a restaurant for a wedding. Being able to talk to people at the wedding and not just sit there in silence because I couldn’t hear anyone because of the music. I kind of remember being happy and angry at the same time. So angry that I wasn’t allowed to have this, but happy at the same time that someone’s finally said, no, you are allowed to have this. I am allowed to hear.

You don’t understand how much your brain has to work extra hard because it’s one ear taking in this side of the sound, that side of that sound. It’s not two ears doing all the work. It’s one ear doing all the work, and this ear already has problems. It has ringing. And it’s doing so much work to the point where social engagements were exhausting. Like after social engagement, I would be out for the next day because of how mentally exhausting it was.

And now I can just go out like any other person. A happy as in, and it’s like it’s nothing. That people get so mad at me the grocery store, the supermarket, because they’ll be like, excuse me, and I wouldn’t hear them. They’d be on my desk stand, I would not hear them, and they’ll get so angry at me. And now, I hear them. I am like, oh I’m sorry, and I can move. It’s all these little things that you don’t think matter. But when you don’t have them, when you don’t have those things, they mean so much.