If the Shoe Fits
Dog Day

Listening to You

Today's soundtrack brought to you by Pete and the boys . . .

 

Listening to you . . .

I get the music . . .

Listening.

Think about all the sounds you hear every day.

The click of the keyboard keys.  The sound of someone filling the dishwasher.  The oven timer going off.  The dog walking across the wood floor.  The furnace kicking on.  Music on your iPod playing in another room.  Regular conversation.

Just the mundane, normal sounds of life.

Guest speakers at a conference.  Co-workers during a staff meeting.  Friends enjoying a lunch together in a noisy restaurant.  Television dialogue.

Just the mundane, normal sounds of life.

Right?

Sure.  Unless you notice that you can't hear those mundane, normal sounds of life quite like you used to.  Maybe you stop using the oven timer altogether and set your iPhone (turned up loud and with the "vibrate" setting on) instead.  Maybe you've figured out just where to sit at staff meetings so you have a better chance at hearing even the more quiet speakers.  Maybe you just stopped watching television altogether -- unless you can plug in earphones and watch on your iPad.

Maybe. . . you're going deaf.

Maybe.

Just maybe.

Well.  Probably.

For years - at least a decade - I've noticed (and my family and friends have noticed) my hearing deteriorating.  Oh, I can still hold my own in one-on-one conversations, and I've developed coping strategies to adapt to my growing hearing loss.  I know just where to sit in group meetings.  I've learned to arrive on the early side and sit down front at large gatherings with guest speakers.  I rely more and more on my earphones for television.  And I pretend I hear things I really don't (because, really, there are only so many time you can ask someone to repeat themselves.)

But in the last year, things have gotten noticeably worse.  I'm having a harder and harder time getting the details in meetings.  I'm missing pieces of information I need.  It takes a lot of energy and hard work for me to concentrate on hearing clearly.  My family, even though they're patient and understanding, get frustrated with me.  My Not Hearing is beginning to take a toll.

So last month, my doctor referred me to an audiologist, and I went through an extenisive regimen of ear and hearing tests.  Turns out I have moderate sensorineural hearing loss (nerve damage; very common as we age; some people are even more prone - thanks to heredity).  It's permanent.  And progressive. 

Lucky for me, I don't feel ashamed that I have a hearing problem.  (Lots of people seem to have a stigma with not being able to hear . . . I don't quite get that.)  Lucky for me, I am open to using assisted-hearing devices:  hearing aids, closed captioning, etc.  And, probably luckiest of all for me, our health insurance includes generous coverage for hearing aids (I had no idea hearing aids were a major health investment -- but they are).

I picked up my "new ears" today.

IMG_1465

(Spot them if you can!)

It's going to take a little while (but probably not too long!) for me to adjust.  The world . . . it turns out . . . is a Very Noisy place! 

I'll share more with you . . . as I surprise myself . . . with my new-found hearing ability.  For now,  it is simply a pleasure . . .

Listening to You!

 

 

 

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