Today’s post is not about crafting but about something personal. It’s hard to believe, since I am so perfect, but I am hard of hearing. I’ve always suspected that my hearing was less than perfect since I could never pass the hearing test at school and people seem to mumble around me. My suspicions were finally confirmed by the good doctors at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) when I was getting ready to go to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in 2007. I was medically disqualified from joining the military, which was a tough pill to swallow. I don’t seek treatment or a second opinion since I had graduated from college and I didn’t have health insurance until 2008. It gets really bad at my first full time job where my boss is trying to speak to me while my back is turned and I walk away because I didn’t hear him. I didn’t lose my job, thankfully, but I again was in deep denial.
In 2009, I married my husband and really the only condition he put is that I get my hearing checked out since we’ve had arguments stemming from me misunderstanding/mishearing something he said. And then getting really angry when he pointed out that I’ve got a problem. So I broke down, admitted I had a problem and saw an audiologist who was willing to bill our insurance company since our old plan covered one pair per lifetime.
I wear a pair of BTE (behind the ear) style Oticon Delta hearing aids in purple. They look like this:
They practically disappear when I put them in my ears. Now that my hair is so short, you can see the purple part. I love them so far. They’ve helped control the ringing in my ears (tinnitus) and they generally make it easier for me to hear people speak. Most importantly, they help me realize that my husband isn’t a jerk, he’s right when he says that I’m shouting. The only problem is that since I live in a noisy city, the squeals of car breaks engaging or construction makes them start to whistle or produce feedback right in my ear. Also birds tend to aggravate my hearing aids as well, which is sad since I love hearing birds sing and chirp.
I need to find a new audiologist to get them adjusted and my hearing retested since chemotherapy can kill off the nerve cells of the ear that are responsible for hearing. Plus, we’re saving up for me to get the really cool Bluetooth remote that hooks up to the aids. With the remote, I can answer my cell phone through my hearing aids (though I wish more people would text me instead) as well as control the volume of the aids themselves. I can also hook it up to the TV and make the TV as loud or as quiet as I’d like with out disturbing my husband’s delicate hearing.
Why am I, at 26, losing my hearing? The doctors aren’t sure why. My dad was very hard of hearing but he also had his eardrums patched from a factory accident. He also had tinnitus and my mom remembers that when they were first married (before the accident) his hearing wasn’t the best. My siblings probably have degrees of hearing loss for various reasons or are also in deep denial. As a kid I was attached to my Walkman cassette player, then my portable CD player in high school, and then in college my iPod which would blast very loud punk rock. So my crazy conspiracy theory is that it’s a combination of bad genes and blasting my ear drums with my headphones.
If any of my readers are parents of teens who blast music all the time, feel free to pass this on to them! A word of warning from the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come, I suppose!