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I experienced sudden hearing loss in my right ear in 2020 after swimming on the Gold Coast. This deteriorated further in early 2023 and is now categorised as severe hearing loss.

Background: As a child I experienced many ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems. I was prone to heavy colds and flues often accompanied by sore or infected throats and sometimes, blocked ears.

When I left home to study Physical Education at university, I adopted a healthy diet, largely vegetarian, in an attempt to improve my resistance to colds and flues. I became extremely fit and strong.

In the 90s while living in America, I had a scary episode of vertigo and nausea combined. Homeopathic penicillin was prescribed by a naturopath and my episodes cleared up.

This event may have been an early sign of a condition (Menieres Disease) diagnosed 30 years later by an ENT doctor in Hobart, Tasmania.

My poor level of hearing loss has made a significant impact to our lives and our work. However we have both done well to handle the challenges.

Energy invested: In an attempt to secure best hearing via tests and trialling various hearing aids, I have consulted at least 15 audiologists, with multiple visits to each. This has amounted to many at least 60 consultations in a three year period in locations that included the Gold Coast, Launceston and Hobart. Due to our distance from large cities while living in Tasmania, consultations became all day affairs with hours of driving and considerable fuel, wear and tear expenses.

Grace says the time and effort we invested in my hearing was more than her brush with breast cancer,  subsequent mastectomy and recovery.