It is amazing; is it even possible? Approximately 90% of my hearing is gone. I walk through the living room on my way to get some tea and I observe my husband watching the television intently but I hear nothing. Then it occurs to me that I have not put “on my ears”. Lord knows I have several devices now to choose from. They all work, but I have to decide, which one I “need”. That is a decision that is based on
- Which one drains the batteries the fastest.
- Which one “looks appropriate for the occasion”.
- Who is present to be heard (some speak louder and more distinctly than others.)
- Is there background noise.
- How many hours of “hearing” are necessary.
- Remember you can wear the one that looks like a blue tooth, but wearing one in each ear makes you look like you are from a sci-fi movie and have horns on the down-lo. LOL
How to speak on the cell phone if needed and do I need to amplify it with my ear piece?
DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS.
And of course if I want to watch television with my hubby there are more decisions;
I honestly admit to now recording shows and watching them after he goes to bed, which certainly cuts into that whole “companionship” thing.
The purpose of this blog piece is not to whine, but to give you a straight forward piece of vital information.
- Not hearing does make you cranky, and even homicidal.
- People tune you out as a mirrored reaction to what they experience with interacting with you.
- Not hearing is a form of imprisonment and while not “sentenced” judicially, you are there none the less.
- It changes your Christmas gift list, as well as your “needs”.
- You now need hearing devices, (do not even write me about hearing aids, I once worked for the leading hearing aid company in America.)
- No, Medicare does not cover hearing aids.
- Yes they are expensive (beginning at $979 to $5600) (you can find exceptions)
- Yes I support “amplifiers” vs.”hearing aids” due to cost savings.
- Yes, I lost my first one within the first week.
- Nope, haven’t found it yet.
- There is comfort in numbers; if it amplifies, “I buys” (a little Johnny Cochran for you older folks).
- Hearing impaired people lose their sense of humor; when you lose your humor, you are the walking dead known as a Zombie.
- Most embarrassing moment so far? Having to wear headphones to a restaurant waiting for my hearing device to arrive. Why embarrassing? I was trying to show that turning 70 was no big deal and I remain my Type A self.
- 2nd most embarrassing was attending a Charity film showing of the Police Fallen in Duty “Heroes Behind the Badge” and just at the end, both devices batteries quit. Spoke to so many good folks at the end and never knew what they were saying unless my newly acquire lip reading skills worked.
- Most hidden fact about losing your hearing is that the person cries alone.
In nursing school I could never quite figure why we devoted so much time to the needs and challenges of the hearing impaired patient. Actually almost all older people are “hard of hearing” but then as I think about it, that explains so much. My husband of 51 years has lost his “gracious faking” a few times as it is so frustrating trying to communicate and having to repeat, over and over. There is also the times he wanders out of the bedroom, into the living room to ask me to turn down the television.
On the plus side, I no longer hear our Greyhounds “rooing” during the night, though overnight guest certainly panic if we forgot to warn them of the nightly ritual whose time can never be predicted but is usually between 1 am and 4 am.
Baby Doll Grubbs in her OU Sooner’s Cheerleading outfit and Big Buddy Grubbs in his Oklahoma State gear.
Just a few closing thoughts.
- Write more notes, cards and emails. Folks think you don’t care when they don’t “hear” from you, and if you are “guarding your secret deafness” they have no way of knowing.
- I learned working in the field of audiology, that “even if you have little hearing left due to nerve deafness/or failure, you will preserve the nerve’s action longer if it is stimulated, which any kind of hearing device will do. BE PROACTIVE. SAVE WHAT IS LEFT.
- Open up and let other’s know what you are struggling with you, and most will “plow the road” for your conversation.
I DO ADMIT FOR THOSE OF US WHO WANT TO BE “TRENDY TO THE END” THERE ARE OPTIONS.
So what’s on my Mother’s Day List?