April 27, 2017.
Dr. Noyek talks to Marilyn Reed, Audiologist, about how his wireless hearing aid technology helped him during a recent surgical procedure.
Marilyn: “Hi Dr. Noyek, it’s good to see you!”
Dr. Noyek: “Can you imagine what Baycrest Audiology has just done for me by way of service? I really appreciate how my hearing aids helped me during a recent surgical procedure. Now as you know I’ve been responsible for the growth and development of colleagues like you and others of the Baycrest Audiology clinic, going back to the late 1960’s. That’s a lot of history when we started with nothing. But I have gotten older and sometimes when we get older we get a little bit infirm and sometimes we have to be sure that the infirmity doesn’t get in the way of what we want to do. So, I’m still in here in the Baycrest clinic, every Wednesday morning when I am capable but I got into some hot water about six years ago. I became ill in a major way and this ultimately led to my needing to have some very urgent heart surgery. 16 days ago I had to have my aortic heart valve replaced with a procedure done through a blood vessel in the groin. It was quite an experience because that also necessitated having a pacemaker. But what was so overwhelmingly remarkable about this experience was that it had to be done under local anesthia because I have a couple of cancers that don’t allow me to have general anesthetic. And so they did this procedure with local anesthetic at the UHN and here I am sitting with Marilyn talking about my experience and how having the very best in hearing health care enabled my surgeons to give me instructions that enabled me to come through this procedure in the most amazing way.
Marilyn: “ So, how important, Dr. Noyek, is it for patients to be able to communicate with their doctors when they are going through procedures like this and in health care in general?
Dr. Noyek: “Its everything. If you don’t communicate well with your physicians, you’ve lost the whole point of the mission. Because the essence of hearing health is to restore the patient to good hearing but the family physician and others involved must know the patient has a hearing disability. Now not all hearing disabilities are created equal and some are characterized by a loss of discrimination, the ability to hear sound clearly and that can make it difficult not only for patients to talk to their physicians but to talk to their families who they are going to need to support them in these very intense times in their lives. So good communication is essential to everything we do in this world.”
Marilyn: “Absolutely, I completely agree. Can you be specific about how your devices helped you in this particular situation?”
Dr. Noyek: “That’s a wonderful question. Now, I’m hard of hearing. I have hearing loss that comes with, hate to say it, getting older, but we all do, but with that I lost some of my ability to recognize sounds clearly. Now, I have a set of hearing aids that I have had now for a while. I’m very comfortable with them. But there is some new technology linked to these hearing aids that enables a speaker, in this case my surgeon, to speak into a microphone that transmits their voice directly into my hearing aids wirelessly by Bluetooth. So, if you go back to what I said in the beginning – can you imagine what a boon that is to someone who is hearing impaired and is getting some lifesaving instructions in a critical moment on a surgical pathway!”
Marilyn: “That’s a wonderful example of what modern wireless hearing aid technology can do. So, what advice would you give to our patients, Dr. Noyek?”
Dr. Noyek: “The first thing I would say is that you have to be positive. No matter what the nature of the problem, you have to got to stay positive. Now some of our patients our getting older, they’re losing some of their cognitive capacity. Having good hearing support can help to delay that process, and be very helpful to patients and their families. So my advice would be, don’t be afraid to seek out hearing help. Now, hearing aids are expensive, we know that, but they pay tremendous dividends in life capacity. When you can sit around the table with your family and enjoy a family conversation or enjoy the pleasure of grandchildren, it’s pretty hard to put a dollar sign on that. So, I would tell patients to think very carefully about this issue and if they really want to get the very best in hearing health care, its right here on their door step at Baycrest!
Marilyn: “Thanks Dr. Noyek, that means a lot coming from you!”
– Dr. Noyek