So, as those of you who read my Hearing Loss Posts know, I have a mild hearing loss in both ears. Fortunately, because it’s mild, it doesn’t give me nearly as many issues as people with more severe losses… Unfortunately, because it’s mild, the moments when it does become apparent are random, varied, and generally unexpected.
For example, I have little to no trouble understanding my family, because they generally speak clearly and I’m attuned to their voices. However, when I go to this one particular friend’s house, I have to ask “What?” more often because nearly the entire family speaks quietly.
As for what prompted me writing this post today… My parents and I have been wanting to get me hearing aids for the last 5 years or so. I want to at least try them, and I know that it’s a good idea, but… Sometimes I wonder if I actually need them. I go through my days and I pretty much hear everyone (but then, I’m at home a lot, which means I’m mostly listening to my family), and I wonder if hearing aids will actually be of any help.
There have even been times when I’ve wondered if I really had a hearing loss, because I feel like I hear a lot of things that my audiogram says I shouldn’t be able to. When I have this doubt, I usually go get my jingle socks, plug my right ear, and shake them around to remind myself that the audiogram is accurate (I can hear the jingling from several feet away with my right ear, but with my left ear I have to literally hold the socks a few inches away from the ear in order to hear it). However, even with this, there are some times I wonder…
And then days like yesterday and today happen. So far there have been four specific instances which have reminded me why I want to get hearing aids.
- Yesterday, I was on a hike with some friends, and I was talking with a lady who I believe was originally from a foreign country. She’s a very nice lady, and I liked talking with her. There was just one problem… She has a very thick accent. She also tends to talk pretty fast. Accent + Fast Talking = Comprehension Difficulty– whether you’re hard of hearing or not.
- Today, I went to church and was following my mom into the kids’ church room, where my niece and nephews were. The guy who was speaking said something on the loudspeaker… and every single one of the kids understood what he said. I know this because they followed his directions. Me, I was just standing there thinking “I’m really glad I don’t have to answer questions about this, because I haven’t got a clue what he’s talking about.”
- Later, I was riding bikes with my nieces and nephews. It was a lot of fun, but the kids kept trying to talk to me while facing away from me/riding in front of me. There were several instances where I had to tell them to turn around so I could hear them. The fact that they assumed that I could hear them tells me they can probably hear me when I’m not facing them.
- While bike riding, Mom happened to come out to walk the dog. At some point, my nephew noticed a spider on his bike, so he stopped and asked me what to do about it. I called out to Mom, who was about 40 feet away, and she answered “Hit it with a stick.” Problem was, I didn’t hear what she said– I just heard a bunch of vowels and garbled consonants. So I asked her to repeat- twice. I was just about to ask her a third time when my nephew, who was right next to me says “She said to hit it with a stick.” And I was just standing there like, “Oh… you heard her… ok then…”
Bonus Instance: Also, a couple days ago, Mom and I were in the church office. It doesn’t have very good acoustics AT ALL. SERIOUSLY. Really, a couple times I was no more than three feet away from her and couldn’t understand a word she said. That was the first time this week that I thought “This is why I need hearing aids.”
As I’ve said before, a lot of my blog posts will be whatever is on my mind at the time. This just happens to be what I was thinking about today… It seems like my last 4 or 5 posts have been about my hearing loss… That’s not on purpose; I think about it quite a bit, but only because I have so many moments like the ones mentioned above. It doesn’t define me; it’s just a part of who I am, and something I’m inevitably going to end up talking about.
Anywho, now I get to go to square dancing, where I’ll occasionally get confused because the music will interfere with the caller’s voice and I’ll have yet another reminder that I really should get hearing aids because everybody will know what he said except for me… yay!
In all seriousness though, square dancing is fun. You should try it sometime! Or some other type of dancing, if square dancing seems too corny for you.
I’d better get going! Have a great day! God bless!