Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Well Enough, and Leaving It Alone

I got bionic ears recently ~ aka hearing aids.  Fortunately I was able to get them at a huge discount because I'm low income, and I got a pair that had been reengineered or refurbished.  Brand new hearing aids cost upwards of $1000 each these days, if you're not aware of that.

I was on the fence for a long time, because I spend 95 percent of my time alone.  But decided to go for it back in May when I attended a meeting where it was difficult for me to hear.  The truth is, it was difficult for me to hear for many years when I was working and regularly attending meetings (and consequently I probably missed 50 percent of what was said ~ I got quite good at filling in the gaps on context).  But as seldom as I go to meetings these days (and now it is art workshops or similar gatherings, not boring work-related meetings), I do want to hear what's going on.

So I got the hearing aids, and picked them up just last week.  I have another appointment with the audiologist to fine tune the settings, something that has to be done by computer.  The right one is SO loud, even turned down as far as I can get it to go, that I can't wear it.  Standing by the sink and running the water sounds like I'm next to Niagara Falls. The left one works fine.  I've been wearing it some, when I remember, and it has helped in face to face conversations...but it does give me a bit of a headache.

I plan to wear them in specific situations (gatherings, conversations, movies), but not all the time.  Other than the rain and birdsong, some of which I already hear to some degree, there really isn't anything in the aural environment that I feel I'm missing.  And because there are only certain ranges of sound that I miss, I'm not what you'd call deaf.  There's a lot that I hear well that I'd just as soon not.

I've also become quite comfortable in the aural cave I live in.  Makes me wonder how much of my hearing loss is a physical phenomenon versus a psychological one.


  1. Maybe you're just very absent minded and dreamy and you're tuning out the world. That may be very pleasant. Stranger things have happened. My mother thought I was hard of hearing when I was a kid :o)

  2. I keep getting mine tested and being told I'm fine, but I know for sure if some people don't look at me while they speak, I can't hear enough to get the whole conversation. But I'm gold I'm fine. Go figure.

  3. I don't blame you for not wanting all the noise pollution to invade your space! However, it is nice to be able to hear when you want to, so I hope you're able to get the aids adjusted well enough to wear comfortably when you need them.