There was a point in time where my most commonly used vocabulary word was “what.”
I’d known for years that my hearing was not very good. I worked for a manufacturing company and all employees had to have their hearing checked because of the noise in the shop. My tests always came back showing that I had hearing loss with higher frequency sounds. That makes it hard for me to distinguish between some sounds.
I noticed that I was having conversations where I was politely nodding and saying “yes” without really understanding what the other person was saying to me. Or I would figure out what they had said later after it was too late to respond.
Finally, Debbie talked me into looking at hearing aids. I had one tryout that didn’t work. After some time, with my family getting more frustrated with me, I went to another place. The audiologist there worked with me and explained that a different type of hearing aid would work best with the type of hearing loss I have.
This time the one that I used worked well. The first time I walked out of my audiologist's office I was noticing the sound of my shoelaces as I walked. It took some time to get used to having them in my ears, but I eventually got used to them.
I could tell that they were working and helping my hearing. Either that or Debbie and the kids all stopped mumbling.
Still I wasn’t sure exactly how much they helped. One morning I was listening to an audiobook on my phone as I was putting in my hearing aids. It wasn’t as a test; it was more from a suspenseful book. I put the first one in and it was amazing the difference I could hear from that.
My hearing aids have two settings. I can pick the second setting when I need more of a boost.
When I go to the theater I can boost them to hear the actors better. If you think you see me scratching behind my ear, I may be adjusting the setting.
I love being able to hear better. I have more confidence in talking to people; it helps when you can understand what they’re saying. If you find yourself saying "what" a lot, consider having your hearing checked.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.