Wednesday, August 3, 2011
I don't hear well.
That will come as no surprise to my family. We have a notebook filled with my mis-heard utterances.
I've not made a big deal of it with my friends. I do just fine with adult conversation, and a laughing "What did you say? I'm deaf as a doorpost," was my standard response when I missed something. Everyone was always happy to repeat what I'd not heard.
But I've lost the ability to hear the high tones, the sweet song of childhood, those soprano-pitched answers to my questions which vanish on their voyage from the booster seat in the back to my ears in the driver's seat. Messers 6 & 8 are losing patience with my need for repetition; though they love me they are also annoyed.
Daddooooo resisted hearing aids until long after I was married. He'd heard that his nerve deafness could not be treated, and he held fast to that belief..... for nearly 3 decades. Once fitted with his devices, he realized that he had found another piece of his life about which he could complain.
And complain he did.
Restaurants were too loud, waiters continued to mumble, movies were designed to torture him. He was the quintessential anti-advertisement.
And then there were the batteries. Oh, those little devils.... they were always whistling and failing and dropping and if there was one topic at the center of most of my parents' many arguments it was those hearing aids.
"You're whistling again,"G'ma would start and off they would go, racing through "Yes, they are" and "Can't be. I just changed them" and ending up with a slammed door or a stony stare into the sink. They would have argued about anything; I just wish that it had been anything except hearing aids.
Why? Because in 30 minutes I'll be leaving my house and driving to the UofA Audiology Clinic where I will be fitted with my own, bi-lateral, assitive audiological machinery.
Big Cuter was proud that I'd faced down my resistance and taken the plunge, and his respect has helped a lot as I struggle with the diminution of my physical powers. I was fast and now I limp. My arthritic pointer finger is bending ever further toward my thumb. Without my contact I cannot read anything smaller than a headline. And now my ears have joined the list of crumbling body parts.
I know that it's not the end of the world. I'm not suggesting that it's anywhere akin to taking 3 bullets. It's a problem with a solution and that is a good thing. But, just as I thought that I'd at least get to my 70's before I needed hip surgery, I am surprised that my youthful body is betraying me in the hearing department, too.
"Youthful body, you say? Honey, you are 6 months away from 60. Get over yourself!" But my perception is still of a scrawny teenager stuck within the confines of this rapidly wrinkling and shrinking body. She is who I see when I close my eyes and imagine myself.
And she doesn't wear hearing aids.