Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HEARING AIDS ~ ~REALLY?

How wonderful it is to be able to hear, I loved to lay in bed and listen to the train whistle at night that was miles down the hill. It sounded like it was only a few blocks away. I enjoyed also hearing the birds chirping and hear them call to each other with their beautiful sounding chirp.  
    About 5 years ago my hearing was not as acute, but I didn't realize the fact. I thought nothing of it. Denial? no - Naive? - yes.
    Once in awhile people have to be hit over the head with a baseball bat before realizing there's a problem. I was one of those people. I had to be told that I was hard of hearing before I realized the fact.
    A library is usually a very quiet place where people come to study, to do research or pick out books, video's, what have you. The library where I work is not a "hush, hush" library. It truly is a fun place to work, and I look forward to going to my job there. Until I realized that I had to keep asking people to repeat themselves, or to speak louder over the phone.
    I thought that the patrons were the ones talking softly, it didn't dawn on me that they were talking in their normal tone of voice and not whispering. At some of my programs I noticed that I could not hear what they were saying, but I thought they were  just talking softly. but then I realized everyone else was participating in the conversation except for me. I tried to fake myself through the program and kept nodding my head and smiling. Very relieved when the program ended. "whats happening to me? why can't I  hear what people are telling me"?
        Oh. I was Embarrassed, Dismayed, & Shocked. How could this be? " I'm not hard of hearing" I thought to myself. Then I remembered that at  home I was told repeatedly that I had the radio or television on to loud, not just by my husband, but also by my sons. And I didn't take them seriously!
        It was progressively going downhill, I had to ask what was being said on television, Ron was patient at first, but then started to get annoyed because I was asking all of the time, At work someone would call me and I wouldn't hear them. and then when I answered the phone I could barely hear unless I turned the volume way up.
     So, another doctor's appointment, this time to a hearing specialist. He is a very nice man and took a lot of time with me. For testing,I was put into a small room with the door closed. He then played sounds. Low, medium and loud and I was to press a button every time I head a sound. I failed miserably on the first two and barely passed the last one. The second part of the test consisted of him saying words and for me to tell him what the word was. Again, I didn't pass the test. I flunked the whole dang thing. Oh I could hear, but just barely and only if I was on top of a person, The last part of the test was when he put hearing aids in my ears and put me back into the little room. That time I passed with flying colors. Seems like I need to wear hearing aids. Really?
       This was not an easy decision to make, even though I needed them, they were not cheap. I just didn't need one, but I needed them for both ears. The cost ~~``~~~~~ a staggering $5,000 dollars!!!! Needless to say we did not have that kind of money. Ron's company had gone under because the owner was a fraud, that meant we did not have health insurance. I was finishing cancer treatments so we had to have Cobra Insurance in order for me to be treated - not cheap, not cheap at all.
       Bless my husband, he said that I was going to get them. What a guy!
 They were hard to get use to wearing but I could hear, not only could I hear but I could hear every ripple of paper being picked up, I heard the static that played along with the music on the radio, if there was a sound I heard it.
Not asking what they were saying on the television was heavenly.
        This went on for about a year before I started to have a problems hearing again. I would go for check ups and they computerize them, but a few months later I would have to go back again, and that's how it has been going ever since. They repair and I go back - -I don't know if it is because my hearing is getting worse or if the hearing aids are worn out.
He doesn't say that I need another pair, every time I am there, he just keeps hooking them up to the trusty computer, I guess the computer is to do its magic, but I think the magic has worn out along with my ears.
     We can't afford to purchase another set anyhow, I find myself lip reading, and it drives me insane when someone is talking and has their hands covering their mouth, or if they are talking to me and their head is turned away from me.
       No, I can't hear the train whistle any more, I still can hear the birds because we sleep with out window open, I can here them sitting on the patio also because they are right there. I'm back to driving my husband crazy again by asking him what they said on television, so usually I just get on the laptop where I can read things and not bother him, If there is a program on I really want to listen to, the volume is up to 40!
        I thought my son who plays the drums would be the one with trouble hearing, but he is the one that tells me I have things on to loud!
        I know it's hard not to take things for granted that we have had all of our life without problems, but when it is taken away from you, then you realize how wonderful it was to hear with out any problems. I'm pretty sure I speak for all people with hearing problems.
        So if you call to me when you see me down street or at the store and my back is towards you, you will understand when I don't turn around.

      
     
         

2 comments:

Sharon Lippincott said...

What a brave post. I'm so sorry you are having trouble hearing again and the cost of new ones sounds prohibitive for most people.

My father keeps reminding me that he gets his hearing aids at Costco for half the normal price. Ditto for eyeglasses. He raves about their service. This is not an ad for Costco because I don't even belong, but if the information helps anyone, so much the better.

Pamela said...

I somehow missed this when you first posted it. It made me laugh out loud! Both my husband and my son have hearing problems. My son's is caused by too much wax build up in his ears. Poor baby has to go every six months to get his ears cleaned. My husband's? Well, who knows since he won't get it checked. I spend all day translated between the two of them. It is hilarious to hear what they think the other has said some times.

Dee's shared items

SO MANY THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR

This time of year makes me think of all of those things I have to be thankful for - - - -
my husband
my children
my grandchildren
my health
my freedom
always thankful for friends made