Hearing Center of Long Island - March 2019

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March 2019

Do You Feel Lucky? Long Island Sound How to Respond to Luck, Even If You Feel Unlucky W hen I was just a month away from graduating with a master’s degree from Columbia started to focus on helping people overcome the challenges of hearing difficulty to enjoy a better quality of life. I found the opportunity to use my talents and passion to enhance the lives of people with hearing loss as I was originally inspired to do.

University, I started developing an identity crisis of sorts. After doing internships in audiology departments at a number of hospitals like Mount Sinai and Columbia Presbyterian hospitals, I had begun to realize that, at that time, most audiologists worked in hospitals and spent most of their time on diagnostic testing. I was interested in helping people improve their lives with better hearing — solving problems with hearing rehabilitation, not just describing problems with diagnostic testing. I remember wondering if I had made a grave mistake in choosing my course of study and my career. I came to this conclusion when I was just a month away from graduating with my master’s degree in audiology. I felt like I was making a huge mistake. To an outsider, it may have appeared that I was stuck in a bout of bad luck. I decided, however, to stick with it and pursue my goal of helping people overcome the challenges of hearing loss. I actively sought out information about how an audiologist could help people enjoy the benefits of better hearing and avoid the deleterious effects of hearing loss — rather than just perform tests. I also sought out colleagues and researchers in audiology who had similar interests. Fortunately, the field of audiology evolved. More clinical audiologists and researchers in audiology

Dr. Larry wishing you good luck

there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off.”

Ultimately, I learned a valuable lesson about luck and persistence. If I had ceased my education, I may not be where I am today, helping others find real-life solutions to hearing loss. I found a way around this obstacle instead of admitting defeat to it. There are going to be setbacks and struggles whenever you strive for a worthy goal, but quitting will never solve anything. Living with a hearing impairment can feel like a large obstacle to conquer, but it can be done. Ultimately, it could also be a blessing shrouded in bad news. There’s an ancient Chinese story that often reminds me of this. It is the tale of a farmer’s son who lives through the death of his father, the inheritance of a strong work horse, the horse running off, and breaking his leg while trying to break in a wild stallion as a result of losing his work horse. When things that seem to be good happen, problems result. Each time something that seems bad happens, it turns out to be for his benefit. For example, after the son breaks his leg, the story ends with one last lesson on luck: “Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found

With each of these occurrences, the son would always say to the supportive — albeit nosy — villagers, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?” Living with a hearing loss can seem like a bad hand to be dealt. However, as a result of experiencing hearing loss, you may come to understand others with hearing loss better and learn to use nonverbal communications better. (See Page 3 for more information on nonverbal communication.) You may become a better, more attentive listener. You may learn to value relationships and good conversation more. And after the proper treatment of your hearing loss, you may appreciate your hearing more than you would have if you had not experienced hearing loss. Does good luck or bad luck exist? Who knows? But one thing is certain: With the right attitude, you can learn from any challenge that comes your way.

–Lawrence Cardano, Au.D.

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