Posts Tagged ‘hearing aids’

The Movers

I’m sure everyone has had the experience of hearing people moving furniture and boxes and stuff around the room next door. In your house. In a hotel. In an office. In a school room. That sound of things bumping against each other and rubbing along the floor is so familiar. We all know when we hear those sounds that someone or something is on the move.

I hear it all the time. It’s not really unpleasant. I’m almost not aware of it until I realize that no one is around and that there can’t be anyone making those sounds. I’m used to it now. What is it? It’s in my head. No. Not going crazy, although that is probably also going on. It’s the sound I hear since my hearing has gone so bad that even screaming in my ear sounds like a whisper to me. It’s kind of ironic that I don’t hear sounds that are actually there but I do hear what isn’t.

It took me awhile to realize it was in my head. Years ago, like fifteen or more, I used to hear a kind of high pitched hum which I thought was the sound of the electricity going through the air. I started hearing it when I moved to Santa Rosa (California). It was withing a week of moving there so I equated it with the new location. I thought it was the power lines or something. Then I realized that no one else could hear it. Only me. It was in my ears. The specialist verified it. Tinnitus. Constant. And now it’s the moving sounds instead of the humming, although once in awhile the humming returns.

I’m not sure which I prefer. Humming or ringing. I don’t even have a choice. I get what my ears give me.

Well, the movers are getting louder right now so maybe I should try to distract myself. Ciao.

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My first school dance was in seventh grade. It was in the gym, right after school. We had a live band! Normally, it would have been just DJ type of entertainment but one of the teachers, Mr. Spitaleri (yeah, what a name!), had a teen son who was in a band and they came to play for our dance. They were pretty good. And of course, all of us girls were right up at the foot of the stage ogling the guys in the band. Yeah, even me. It was a lot of fun. In fact, it’s probably the best school dance I ever went to. There were no expectations. We didn’t have to get dressed up. No one had dates. It was just a fun time. My favorite song that they played that afternoon was Spinning Wheel (originally by Blood, Sweat, And Tears) which was climbing the charts at that time. They had one of those lights that has a color wheel turning which makes the room look different colors. I still remember those couple of hours so very well, even though it was fifty years ago!

Well, that’s what my life has felt like this past month…like I’m on a spinning wheel and I can’t get off. As soon as it slows down a bit and I think I am going to get a chance to catch my breath it starts up again at full speed. Let’s see, I guess I can tell you that I have fallen down four times in the last six weeks! I lose my balance, due to the medication I take for the pain from nerve damage. At least that’s what I think is causing it because it is a documented side effect.m But I will definitely discuss it with my doctor at my next appointment on the twentieth. And I am having a lot more problems with my eyes. Reading has become next to impossible and I am thinking that a lot of it has to do with my new glasses. I had so much trouble getting the prescription right. It took them four tries to get them to where I could see distance and read. But they aren’t perfect. I’m still dealing with very watery eyes when I try to read and having to close one eye so I can focus with just one. So I guess I should go back and see if there is anything they can do. Or go some place else. Not happy about that.

I do have one very good thing that has happened to share with you. You might recall that I also am deaf. Almost completely now. I had been using some “sound amplifiers” which look like hearing aids but are a fraction of the price. They didn’t work great but they helped me get through day to day living. Then one stopped working and about a month later I lost the other one. They didn’t fit right and I think it just fell out someplace. Well, you might also remember me telling you about Buy Nothing which is an international “gift economy group.” I am now an Admin for my local group and have met a lot of people. We do this “Big Ask, Small Ask” thing each month. Members list one big thing they need and one small thing then other members try to fulfill the needs. I had posted twice about needing hearing aids and asked if someone might have some from a relative that “no longer needed them.” Nothing. Then last week I got a message from a new member that said her mother had died and she was wondering if I could use her mom’s almost new top of the line hearing aids! I jumped at the opportunity so now I have new hearing aids. They need to have new molds of my ears made so they fit right but one is almost a perfect fit and the other is good enough as is until I can find someone to do that for me and save up some money. But I can hear now! They are amazing! They’ve brightened my days and my outlook.

In any case, that’s what is going on with me. Currently I am in bed and on pain pills because I have some kind of undiagnosed pain in my leg which is excruciating. I think I might end up seeing the doctor before my next appointment if this keeps up any longer. But we’ll deal with that.

What is up with you? I’ve missed blogging and hearing about everyone’s lives. Let me know how YOU are!

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It’s just 11 am and already I know it is going to be one of those days.

It started when I went to bed last night and left everything ready for this morning so I could sleep in a half hour. I set the alarm for 7:15. Then I got up and could not find one of my hearing aids. I looked and looked. No luck. It was 7:45. So I figured I would get dressed and finish getting ready and maybe I would find the missing hearing aid by the time I was dressed. I was dressed and had my coffee and still no hearing aid. I looked and looked again. No luck. I sometimes take them out when I am in bed or about to nod off on the couch. If I am awake enough, I put them in a safe place (one of the tables next to the bed or the couch). But sometimes I am more than half asleep when I take them out and I either hold them in my hand or put them under my pillow. It wasn’t any place. It was not in the car. Not in my purse or my tote bag. Not under the couch or under the bed.

By then it was time to leave and I hadn’t found it so I figured one hearing aid was better than none. Then came the game I hate. It’s called the “I can’t find my keys game.” I play it often. At that point I was 10 minutes late leaving so I called my daughter to ask if I could use her car. Just as she answered, I found my keys under the front passenger seat. So off I went into the sunshine. We usually have fog at that hour so I wasn’t prepared for the sun. I had to pull over and find my prescription sunglasses and put them on.

I arrived at school to find NO PARKING. So I double parked and stuck a note on the dash saying where I was to be found. I ran in the classroom and realized my prescription sunglasses were still sitting on my nose and they were too dark for indoors. So the principal was there and I asked him to stay with the kids while I ran out to the car for the regular glasses. I gave the kids a starter assignment and ran out to the car.

The rest has gone okay but it’s not even 11:15 so who knows what turn the day will take!

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My hearing is really bad.  It has been at least since my mid 30’s.  Maybe before and I just didn’t know it.  My mom’s hearing has been bad since she was about the same age so perhaps I got that from her.  When my kids were little, I would go visit my mom and the kids would stay with her while I went to get my nails done or went shopping with one of my sisters.  With two little ones it was hard for me to get out so when I made the weekly hour drive to see my mom, she watched the kids for me.  One day, she told me about crossing the street with my two kids.  She was holding their hand, on on each side of her.  As she stepped off the curb, someone grabbed her and the kids and pulled her back onto the sidewalk.  As she squeezed the kids’ hands tighter thinking that someone was going to kidnap them, she realized that there was a fire engine speeding by.  Had she not been pulled back, they would have been hit!  She had not heard the siren.  She was THAT deaf. It really scared me, as you can imagine.  That same day I looked into hearing aids for her.  Within a week, I had taken her to the audiologist near me and had her fitted for in ear hearing aids.  They were very costly but not as costly as losing a life, especially my own children’s.

Years later, I had not had that kind of a close call, however, it is very embarrassing always having to ask someone to repeat what they said.  Sometimes, I would just smile and pretend I heard and go on.  That made me look dumb because I would later find out that something I smiled at required an answer that I didn’t give.  Or sometimes it wasn’t something to smile about.  You get the idea.  It bothered me but hearing aids are very expensive and I no longer have the resources or the insurance to cover the cost.  Then a few things happened.  My first grandson was born and I sometimes couldn’t hear him crying when he was here with me at home.  When he spent the night, I wouldn’t sleep because I was afraid he would wake up and I wouldn’t hear him crying.  Then he learned to talk and unless I was right next to him, I couldn’t hear his beautiful sing-songy baby talk.  Then my son was getting married. I didn’t want to look like the dumb mother of the groom at the wedding.  I didn’t want to meet people there and not hear what they were saying to me.  I didn’t want my son to look bad because of me!  So I looked around and found some hearing aids that you don’t need to see an audiologist for.  You can order them online.  I knew they weren’t top of the line hearing aids but I figured they were better than nothing and they had a 45 day money back guarantee. While still pricey, they were affordable to me because it was very important to me that I hear better.  I ordered them and they arrived the week before the wedding. I was too busy running around trying to get everyone where they needed to be in time for the wedding in Seattle. Finally, it was the day before we left for the wedding and I got around to having my daughter’s boyfriend help me (the tubing had to be measured and cut and I couldn’t do it alone) set them up.  The difference was amazing!  I could hear!  I could hear things I had not been able to hear in ages, or ever.  The wedding was wonderful and I didn’t look like a fool or feel like I was missing what people were saying.  Yay!

I’ve since upgraded to a nicer, smaller pair and better quality pair (because I forgot the other ones were in my pocket and I put them in the washer and dryer…BIG no no!).  And what can I hear now?  Right now, as I type this, I can hear the rain outside the window.  I can hear the oscillating fan as it sweeps back and forth.  I can hear the ball bouncing as the neighbors’  kids ignore the gentle rain and play out in the street.  I just heard a bicycle.  I can hear the very soft tinkling of the wind chimes my son brought me after his first trip to Japan. I can hear the dishwasher as it cycles through the wash. The world is now full of sounds that were lost to me before I got my hearing aids.  Of course, I can also hear the neighbor’s yappy little dog yapping all night long and the other neighbor’s compressor when it goes on throughout the day and night.  Yes, there are some sounds I would rather not hear but that’s the price you pay when there is so much you do want to hear.  Then again, if I really don’t want to pay that price, I can just take out the hearing aids, or turn them off!

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