Can You Hear Me Now?
Mr. Wonderful, my husband, has been nagging me that I can’t hear anything and I talk too loud. He constantly tells me that he told me things and that either I didn’t listen or I didn’t remember him telling me and will often tell me that I’m too loud.
I have noticed that I am always asking him what he said but I tell him that he mumbles or it’s his accent. He tells me that after 38 years, I should certainly understand him! I chalked it up to “marital selective hearing.”
Those times when you choose to hear and when you don’t. As for me talking loudly? If he would listen, I wouldn’t have to talk so loud. Am I right ladies?
Lately, my adult children have begun telling me that I need my ears checked. My daughter, Ms. Priss, who lives in Tampa, was down recently with her little ones. Several times as she was putting the baby to sleep, she would talk softly or whisper to me and I had no clue what she was saying.
At work, I noticed that one of the girls in the office came in each morning and never said good morning to me. How rude. She keeps telling me she did, but I never heard her say it. On Sundays, a group of us go out for breakfast. Recently, I noticed that the background noise is so unnerving to me that I cannot hear conversations at the table, and I no longer enjoyed our time together.
All these events finally convinced me that I needed to have my hearing checked. At my primary physician’s suggestion, I begrudgingly made an appointment with Audiologist, Michelle Couture-Souvenir of Hear4U and Hear4Kidz in Homestead. After all, only old people have bad hearing and I certainly did not consider myself that old.
After I arrived at the office, I was greeted by Sonia Velez, the office manager, who immediately put me at ease. Leslie Walker, an audiologist, placed me in a sound proof booth and explained that I was to press a buzzer when I heard a sound. After that test, she would say words to me through a headset and I would repeat the words if I could understand them.
Leslie came back in and explained that my high frequency hearing was lacking and she bypassed my ears by placing a device behind my ears and retesting. This was done to see if the hearing loss was permanent or caused by wax, a blockage, or some other reason. The loss was permanent in both ears.
I then was taken to meet Dr. Couture-Souvenir who explained that many people with my degree of loss did perfectly well without hearing aids but yet those with active lifestyles found them beneficial.
My hearing loss consisted of missing the consonants in words which left me losing many words in a conversation. She explained how she believes in giving the patient a two week free trial with the devices because there is no sense in purchasing something that you will not wear or be happy with.
I figured a trial wouldn’t hurt but still wasn’t certain this was for me. Remember, I consider myself young and hearing aids were for old folks.
Looking at the Resound hearing aid, I was amazed. I expected the old beige hearing aids that plug up your ears and look like you had huge shrimps stuck in your ear. What I received instead was a tiny square flat box no wider than an inch and maybe one-quarter inch thick with clear flexible tubing with a tiny microphone/receiver attached to the end.
Dr. Couture-Souvenir adjusted the hearing aids by computer prior to putting them on my ears. She spent time asking me questions about my lifestyle. My hearing aid was set with four special settings; one for normal surroundings, one for noisy places, one for television and one for music.
She explained that I just touch a small button on the top of one of the hearing aids and it changes the settings on both and beeps to let me know which mode it is in. If I were embarrassed by people seeing me pushing the button, there is even a remote control available to change the mode.
Once placed in my ears, you couldn’t even see the devices and when turned on, I was shocked. I could not believe how precise and clear the sound was. What surprised me more was that when I talked, I was extremely loud. So loud that it immediately caused me to adjust my tone.
I wore my aids out of her office and back to work. Sitting in my own office was amazing as I heard my printer picking up a piece of paper, my receptionist outside of my office speaking to me, a paper blowing in the wind and an employee saying goodnight. Even more important, I heard my boss in the kitchen talking about me - look out. He’s in trouble now.
I am now in week two of the trial period and I honestly cannot imagine going without my new ears. I have gone back for scheduled adjustment appointments to fine tune my ears and I am so pleased. Every day I stop and think, “Wow that is a new sound!”
I have three cuckoo clocks on the wall of my family room and I have never heard the pendulums swinging. I do now. When I sing, I never felt that I had a vibrato to my voice - I heard it on Sunday. At breakfast in the crowded restaurant, I pressed the button twice and immediately, the background noise was subdued and conversations became clear.
Vanity is defined as excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements. No one has noticed on their own that I have two hearing aids in my ears. When I tell them, vanity does come into play. Not because I’m embarrassed because I wear them, but because I am proud that I am doing what needs to be done for me to have a better quality of life.
The other night Mr. Wonderful and I were sitting down watching television and I had to tell him it was too loud. Now, I have to eat crow and tell him he was right.