For years, the first word out of my mouth when addressed by my wife was, “Huh?”. This was usually followed by a repeat, on her part, of whatever it was that I didn’t hear the first time, and completed by the words, “will you PLEASE check into getting hearing aids??!!
This went on, as I said, for many years. More than a decade, actually.
Then one day a little over two years ago, I decided that, maybe, I should have my hearing checked and I contacted the VA medical system to set up an appointment.
It was all pretty painless and after two visits – one to get tested and measured and one to pick them up – I walked out with a brand new pair of electronic ears. I commenced to wearing them over the next several days to get used to how they work.
These particular devices are built so that they fit into your ear in a fashion that makes them almost invisible to the naked eye. AND you can control them with a device that hangs around your neck and connects to the aids via Bluetooth technology.
AND that’s not all! you can also connect to your cell phone the same way!
But, after a few days of wearing out the novelty, I stopped wearing them on a regular basis. Oh, I didn’t just let them rot for six months at a time, I would throw them on every so often when I could see Judy becoming frustrated with the word “Huh?”, but I kinda let them rest for weeks or a few months between required usages.
As time went on and the TV volume grew in inverse proportion to my hearing ability degradation, Judy began to start moving further from the living room when I was observing whatever show I was enthralled with at the time.
I believe the camel’s back finally ruptured when I discovered The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. The show seems to fit in well with my level of sophistication but it is not a good match for Judy’s tastes.
And there is the fact that, by now, the volume is up to about 79.
Well, being the perceptive and loving husband that I am, I decided, yesterday, to give the old hearing aids another shot…
I am happy to report that the situation has improved a lot since the day before yesterday!
And today I figured out how to connect to both my computer and the TV! I watched a whole episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Judy couldn’t hear a thing!
With these little buds in my ear canals, I have the hearing of Superman! I can hear EVERYTHING!
And I mean everything. I can hear so much that, depending on what’s going on around us, I am now having a bit of a challenge hearing Judy when she talks to me…
So, what can I hear? I’ll tell you…
In addition to Judy’s voice and friends talking to me, here are some of the things I can hear with my hearing aids:
- Dog talking to me
- Flowers in the garden talking to me
- Ants crawling on the sidewalk
- Every breath I take
- My heartbeat
- Blood circulating through my veins
- Me in my “outside” voice
- Me breathing
- My hair growing
- My finger and toenails growing
- Me scratching my head
- Toothbrush – sounds like a train
- Eyes blinking – mine and everybody else’s
- Teeth grinding
- Joints cracking
- Everybody’s thoughts
- Dog’s breathing
- Dog’s tags jingling
- Bird wings flapping
- Electrons running through wires connected to outlets
- Vehicles driving along three miles away
- Cookies, chips, watermelon, crunching so loud when I chew that NOTHING else comes through
- Ice cream melting in my mouth
- People staring at me
- Paint fading
The only time I can’t hear any of this stuff is when I’m actively connected to the phone, computer or TV. (And when I say “any of this stuff,” I also mean the human voice…)
Unfortunately, all of this racket is going to drive me nuts so I may have to use the aids somewhat sparingly. Or figure out how to filter some of this stuff out.
But at least I can turn the TV volume down to zero…
And after taking the garbage out today, I’m really glad that there’s no such thing as smelling aids…