Monday, February 22, 2010

Returning to a Place of Long Ago
I feel like a visitor in a strange country. I haven't taken any psychedelic drugs (not that I ever would), yet my senses are hightened -- at least one. Tonight seems very strange.

Both my father and his mother had hearing problems, so I imagine that my hearing difficulties are part hereditary. My dad, however, also worked in loud environments for a number of years -- a partial contributer to his loss, I'm sure.

I can't really say when my problems began or how much the environment played a part. I don't think that I was any more of a headbanger than the average young guy -- lots of loud music, great concerts, etc. However, I did notice a slight loss in early adulthood, but the loss didn't seem to cause me much trouble.

Back during the Bill Clinton years I noticed a dropoff in my hearing and had an audiogram. I was not surprised to find that I had borderline hearing loss, especially at the high ranges. However, the options at that time were not great, so I elected to leave things as they were.

Over the past few years I noticed more hearing loss and began to have increasing difficulty following simple conversations. Being a typical male, I kept putting things off, putting things off (no guys ever WANT to see a doctor, right?). But ... I made a pledge to myself that I would face some medical issues in 2010 that I had been delaying for several years.

I've been spending the past several weeks taking care of these issues, my hearing loss among them. Today I received two hearing aids and am in the process of getting used to them. It has been a strange day.

I was standing in line waiting to pay for my devices (a nasty cha-ching cha-ching) and I actually heard the conversations of the people around me. Sheesh -- I felt as if I were eavesdropping! Who knew that you could actually hear buttons being pushed -- like on a regular land phone?

But what an adjustment -- now it seems like I am hearing way more than I want to. I know I need to be patient with the aids or might need to get them slightly adjusted after a few weeks. And I now have less of an excuse for not hearing my wife ... uh ...

So ... life might just be a little better for me and for my family and friends who have put up with my sluggishness in taking care of this matter. When you are young you feel immortal and none of this shit seems to matter. As those young adult years get further and further away from you, you start to worry about what life will be like -- and what you will be like -- if you don't fix those things that need fixing. Well, it seems like I'm on the right track.

7 Comments:

Blogger bastinptc said...

Not to minimize your hearing loss, yet it reminds me of neglecting to get glasses a few years back. The new details in the world were a bit overwhelming, even disconcerting, and took some getting used to. Now, I feel exposed without my spectacles.

As for choosing to tune out, you can always say, "Sorry, I must need new batteries."

12:52 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

Congratulations on the reawakening of your senses, of sorts. Sometimes, we really don't know what we've lost until we've gotten it back. Certainly, being able to hear much better will make your world more interesting....though to be fair, all that noise and babble is just...well, sometimes, noise and babble.

But just being able to carry on a real conversation has got to be reinvigorating. I'm thrilled for you.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I bet you'll notice more things at the table when you play live poker! Players give away a lot of information by making comments and discussing hands afterward.

9:28 AM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Congratulation on getting aids...the good kind of aids, that is.

My wife is a speech pathologist and has studied audiology. She works with audiologists too. Its amazing some of the things technology can do nowadays.

11:17 AM  
Blogger BamBam said...

Would you expect anything less from me than.....

Nice to hear!

:)

7:30 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

just make sure you wear them. my dad has 2 hearing aids and drives me nuts when he leaves one out.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Wolfshead said...

Good for you. It's amazing to me to hear people say how improved things are when they face a medical problem and do something about it. Friends had knee and hip replacements which they put off and when it was done swore they were sorry they hadn't done it sooner. We all just seem to get to that age.

Now talk to my father about it will ya. He refuses to admit he's losing some hearing and keeps bytching that someone keeps lowering the ringer on him.

Good luck with them.

4:13 PM  

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