Hearing aids? I hear all I need to now.

“But I say to you who hear….” (Luke 6:27)

Every man in my family has worn hearing aids by the time he reached his mid-50s. I’m the only exception.

There is one big reason why, at the age of 72, I have never used hearing aids: “The problem is not with me.”

People don’t talk loud enough.

When I turn up the television so I can hear, my wife complains.

When I’m not looking at the person talking to me, he or she mumbles. I have to turn in their direction and ask them to repeat it.

I recall when our dad finally relented and bought hearing aids. He made jokes about the fellow who bought one without his family knowing and began to hear what they were saying around him for the first time in years. “He changed his will three times,” Pop said.

When you were talking with Dad, you had to learn first whether he was wearing the aids. If not, you could expect to have to project, to make sure he was paying attention, and sometimes to repeat what you said.

It was a burden on everyone around him.

So, not because I need one, you understand, but out of consideration for the people around me, I’m getting hearing aids.

This is being written Sunday night. My appointment with the audiologist is for 9 o’clock Monday morning. She has ordered the ones we chose and I should be walking out a half-hour later wearing them.

How different will life be from then on, I wonder.

Margaret and I saw the movie “Hitchcock” Friday evening. What struck me was how loud the previews were. So much so, in fact, that several times I wanted to put my hands over my ears. Now, imagine if I could really hear.

Those aids had better have control dials on them.

I’ve sometimes told friends around me that I miss part of what they are saying because of hearing difficulties. In March, just after arriving at the pastors/wives’ retreat at the resort below Naples, Italy, I sat at a table with several pastors and leaders of the International Baptist Convention. At one point, I said, “Guys, I need to make you aware of something. I have a hearing problem. So, sometimes when you are talking, if it seems that I’m zoned out or not following the conversation, it’s because I can’t hear.”

I added,”I am long overdue for a hearing aid.”

The youngest pastor at the table, barely in his 30s, said, “Take a look at this,” and pulled off his eyeglasses. Attached to the earpiece was his hearing aid.

“I’ve worn these for years,” he said.

Why, I wondered, am I being so reluctant about this? I’ve worn bifocals–and even trifocals!–for years, and never give it a thought. It’s just life, and I’m grateful to have glasses that do what these allow me to do.

And so, tomorrow, I get a hearing aid.

How will life change? (Maybe I’ll change my will, too, Pop.)

We’ll see.

I promise to return here and write a paragraph or two about the difference. After all, someone else needs a hearing aid and might need the prodding.

All right. Monday morning, 10 am. 30 minutes after getting the hearing aids….

I was still in the doctor’s office, had just written my check and been handed the receipt, when it hit me how loud the paper was as I folded it for my shirt pocket.

Then, walking out of the office and down the hall to the elevators, my shoes were squeaking. I had not known they did that.

In the parking garage, as I scooted across the leather seats of the car, the sound of that was perceptible.

Other than that, nothing else so far.

We’ll see how it goes.





9 thoughts on “Hearing aids? I hear all I need to now.

  1. I got hearing aids for both ears in Spring 2012. I worked at Caterpillar for 30 years and was in the machine shop at the beginning and later in the office and had to go out in the shop several times a day. I did not wear hearing protection. After being fit for the digital hearing aids that have no level adjustments, the turn signals on my car was irritating. We went to Walmart to shop and I got a squeaky wheel cart that I abandoned in the store. I can differentiate speech when two or more people are talking; could not before. In rooms with high ceilings or bad acoustics it had been previously nerve wracking. Now I can hear and focus on any particular conversation. You will hear things that you never heard since younger days. Your own voice will even sound differently, at least it did for me. After a few months, I begin to think that they were not effective as when new. Nothing worng with the aids, just that I was getting used to them. You will wonder as I did “why didn’t I get them earlier?”

  2. I am 67 and I am sure I need hearing aids – I find myself (while sitting next to someone in Sunday School) and they say something to me, leaning over to listen better instead of just talking back and forth! Ah, what next? lol

    • Yep, Linda. I sometimes turn to the person next to me–even total strangers–and ask, “What did he say?” — Just think. From now on, I’ll be the one who knows and can tell those with hearing problems what “they” said. 🙂

  3. When my husband got hearing aids at 60-ish, he thought the (new) microwave was broken. He had never heard the fan in the microwave……… or ice drop in the automatic ice maker in the freezer.

    • Ha. I’m smiling, Betty. Soooo true. I hear noises outside the house and wonder if it’s raining. Walk out the door and there’s not a cloud in the sky. No telling what I was hearing, but clearly something previously unheard by these ears. 🙂

  4. The reason you get hearing aids is so you can hear people say, “I love you”…..”Come here I want to give you something”……If more people wore hearing aids fewer people would fall asleep during the sermon.

  5. Please keep us posted as to your progress. I can hear fine with my right ear; but almost nothing with my left ear. In crowded rooms I hear very little. The only reason I have not gone for hearing aids is that I know so many people who have had problems getting the right fit. I will watch your progress and if all goes well I may ask for name of your audiologist.

    • Okay. So far, so good. If you’re in the metro New Orleans area, her name is Dr. Keri Mayeux, and she works out of the offices of Dr. R. Daniel Jacob in the medical arts building next door to East Jefferson Hospital in Metairie. You make appointments through his phone number which is 504 454 3611. — Dr. Jacob is an E-N-T and as good as they come. He’s treated us for 20 years and performed several surgeries. (He goes to mass every morning at 6:30 to pray for his patients.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.