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My Hearing Bucket List

If you haven’t noticed, my life is a bit of a bucket list right now.


Traveling for weeks at a time and experiencing the most incredible things.


But when I was first diagnosed, traveling was not my priority.


At the time, I didn’t realize all of the other complications my body may experience and assumed only my hearing would be effected.


So, I came up with a hearing bucket list.


If you read my “2 Years of Marriage” post (which you can find here), then you know that I visited Cardin (my fiancé) a few days after my diagnosis.


During that trip, we created a list of all the hearing focused activities we want to experience before I lose my hearing.


The number one item: Concerts.


Before my hearing problems, I enjoyed music but didn’t have much of an interest in attending concerts.


Not that I didn’t like them, they just weren’t a priority.


But once the threat of hearing loss hit, concerts suddenly became a big deal. And constantly listening to music became a new way of life for me.


Unfortunately, I hadn’t quite grasped the reality of what my hearing loss meant yet.


I didn’t realize that I would hate bass noises and loud music.


I didn’t realize that I would need to wear earplugs to church every Sunday.


I didn’t realize that concerts would be hard for me.


During my first year of living in Florida, I discovered a band called Johnnyswim. They were being interviewed on my favorite podcast so I decided to check them out.


And I loved them.


If you’ve never heard of them, they’re the band that sings the theme song, “Home,” for the HGTV show Fixer Upper.


I started listening to their music while I got ready for work every day, which meant my husband also had to listen to them every morning.


When my 25th birthday rolled around, Cardin found tickets to the Johnnyswim concert in Jacksonville but wasn’t sure if I’d want to go.


Aside from my general struggle with loud music, concerts also offer the potential for damaging my hearing. I always carry special earplugs with me (which you can find here), but they only lower the noise a few decibels.


My initial reaction was to decline the offer—until I remembered my long forgotten hearing bucket list.




This was my chance (possibly my only one) to see a band that I love before I lose my hearing.


So, we bought the tickets and booked our trip to Jacksonville.


• • •


And the concert was hard.


My word comprehension in my left ear is extremely low. It’s no longer considered functional and is virtually useless—except when it comes to bass noises.


It’s like I have a microphone on that side of my head that only picks up the awful low vibrations and overpowers every other noise in the room.


It drives me crazy.


It also makes me panic thinking I’m going to damage my hearing from such powerful bass.


I have constant tinnitus (ringing) in both of my ears, and loud noises are a big trigger for it. Usually, I can tolerate it, but loud music tends to triple the ringing volume and lasts for hours.


During the concert, I wore my earplugs, but even those were no match for that ever-present bass.


So we spent the majority of the concert in the hallway.


Just outside of the music.


Enough to where I could still hear it without the fear of hearing loss and without feeling overwhelmed.


Every few songs we would take a break and stand in the hallway again.


And you know what—I’m so glad we went.


It may not have been the bucket list experience I dreamt of, but I loved it.


The music was beyond amazing, and the lead singers, Amanda and Abner (who happen to be married) are so fun to watch! Plus, Abner is from Jacksonville, so his family and friends were all at the concert.


The atmosphere was perfect!


So even though it was hard, it was worth it.


Last month we found out Johnnyswim was on tour again, but this time they were coming to Orlando.


We debated going but decided against it because the concert date was a few days before my hearing test. My last hearing exam revealed a slight decline in my right ear, so we didn’t want to risk anything in case it caused a temporary decline.


And then we got a phone call saying that my doctor wants me to wait for another 3-months before rechecking my hearing.


(That in itself is a celebration because I’ve been undergoing hearing tests every 3-months for two years now.)


But it also meant that we could go to the concert.


We were still debating, but the night before the show, my sweet friend who also has NF2 shared an Instagram story of her wearing noise-canceling headphones at a concert.


She texted me the brand of the cheap headphones she purchased, and on a whim, we finally decided to buy the tickets.


So here is a picture of me wearing my not-so-cute lawn mower headphones:

Shortly after getting to the concert I donned my new fashion accessory, and sadly, they were no help.


All they did was silence the actual music, so ALL I could hear was bass. Not exactly the result I was aiming for…


But thankfully, I brought my handy earplugs, and we repeated our routine of taking periodic breaks and sitting in the hallway.


It didn’t go how I hoped it would, but we still had so much fun. And the music was even better than last time.


Definitely worth it.


My concert-going struggles have been a big lesson for me.


I’m learning that we can’t control our dreams. No matter how badly we want them to work, they may not. And if they do work, they may look very different than we expected.


We may have to adjust.


The important thing is to adjust our dreams without letting the adjustments stop us from accomplishing those dreams.


I’m proud of myself for taking the risk and going to those concerts. Because of that, I’ve gotten to see my favorite band TWICE!


And when I lose my hearing, I will be able to think back on how magical those experiences were.


What are some bucket list items you’ve checked off? Comment below or email me!


***And if you’ve never heard of Johnnyswim—click the video below to hear one of my favorite songs!


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