Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Secret Service Ears...

I want to spend a little time on the hearing aids. 

Aesthetics:  They do not look like the hearing aids of the past.  I actually look like I am a secret service agent ready to pounce on an attacker at any moment.  Much like those ear pieces there is a tiny device that goes directly into my ear with a clear tube that connects to a small banana shaped contraption behind my ear.  The color is a muted pink and when my hair is down you don't notice them at all.  They are very light weight and I don't even hardly notice they are there.  I do get an annoying feeling behind my right ear sort of like when you wear your sunglasses too long but it usually fades quickly. I can't tuck my hair behind my ears anymore and sunglasses do prove to be a bit awkward but nothing I can't live with.

Sound:  When they are in everyone does seem like they are speaking through the phone or a microphone.  With adults I don't really notice it as much but with kids voices it makes a huge difference.  For those of you with children it is like when you go away and then call to talk to your child on the phone.  Their voice always sounds so young and baby like.  That is what is now sounds like to me all of the time. 

I can't turn them up or down anymore - as one friend suggested to turn down the noise on the kids, ha ha.  That is done by a computer at the hearing aid office.  The hearing aids themselves actually adjust for sound instantly.  If I walk into a large room they will immediately focus all of my sound in front of me and attempt to drown out the background noise.  It's really pretty cool.

Functionality:  Obviously I can't keep them in while in water and it is our option to take them out at night.  Other than that the maintenance is simply changing the battery once a week.  I have now cleared a spot out in my bedside table for batteries and alcohol wipes.  Embracing the change.

Personally:  I'm adjusting well.  I always know they are there but I assume that will one day go away.  I have had one fall out a couple of times but only when something brushes by my hair and it gets tangled up like an earring.  One fell out yesterday at the mall.  Good news is unlike an earring I notice right away that the sound has changed.  I don't want to lose one of these things!  I've noticed that when I have trouble hearing my hand wants to immediately go to my ear and push it in further.  This does not help any but seems to be an instinctive reflex.  Perhaps its from years of watching tv shows and movies where they push their ear piece in to hear what is being said. 

The only problem I am having with them right now is, I still can't hear in noise filled situations.  For example I worked the register yesterday at my store and in an hour I had to ask over 10 people to repeat something.  I actually had a conversation with a dear old lady about how hard it was to hear over all the talking :).  If she only knew how close our hearing was.  Along with that on Monday when I worked on our food line I could not hear my co-worker who was standing right next to me and that was frustrating.  I need to be able to hear to do my job.  It's a must. 

On Saturday we went out with friends to a very noisy bar and then club.  I struggled all night long but used the music as an excuse to make people lean in and talk directly into my ear.  FYI no one noticed the hearing aids that night and I had a blast.  It was a much needed night out, I just wished I could have heard a bit more! 

On Tuesday I have my follow up appointment with the hearing aid lady and I am going to tell her I have to move up one level and try the top of the line.  I wish I could get by with the midway for cost purposes but at this point its not an option for what I do on a daily basis. 

This past week Chris has been gone and so I have been sleeping in my hearing aids.  It makes me feel safer knowing I can hear the kids, the phone and the alarm.  It's not super comfortable, think curlers in hair ladies, but it is a necessity.  Well last night I must have gotten tired of them because sometime while I was sleeping I took them off!  I woke up and immediately knew they were not in and assumed they fell out but then a vague memory popped into my head and I saw myself taking them out and even popping out the battery to shut them off.  I chuckle to myself over it even now.  So easily we adapt.

Ok one more hearing aid story and then I am signing off to get some other stuff done while Chase naps! 

Before Chris left we were watching TV one night after the kids went to bed.  Chris went to reach for the remote and I was leaning over to get my drink and boom his hand collided with my head and more specifically my ear.  Almost immediately a voice said, "One." very loudly in my ear and  I started laughing.  "What?"  Chris asked as if I had lost my mind.  "You just caused me to hear voices in my head."  I said between laughs.  "I thought you always heard voices."  He replied smiling at me. 

I love the sound of laughter.