More than thirty years ago, my now deceased father was diagnosed with severe hearing loss, and was prescribed a hearing aid. Daddy went through the process of finding hearing aid clinics, and eventually was fitted with a fine set of hearing aids. He brought them home, then he promptly put them in a drawer.
It was a family joke to come into a room where Daddy was sitting, and move our mouths as if we were speaking to him. Every time we did this, Daddy would say “What?” and then the rest of us would start laughing. I know now that it was probably a mean thing to do, but after a couple of months of that, he started wearing his hearing aids.
A couple of years ago, Fabgrandpa’s Dad decided it was time to get hearing aids for himself. He is a retired military man, so he had to go to the VA Medical Center closest to him to get his hearing loss diagnosed. The clinic was about 150 miles from his home, and he had to make the trip three times to get everything done. Because of his advanced age, he couldn’t make the drive himself, so one of Fabgrandpa’s brothers drove him there and back. On the last trip home, after they picked up the hearing aids, they were involved in a head-on collision. Neither of them were hurt, but my brother-in-law’s car was totaled. And now that my father-in-law has those hearing aids? They sit in a drawer.
Now that I am getting older (I AM sixty, you know!) I find myself doing the “What?” thing more and more often. I also have a constant ringing in my ears, that tends to drive me crazy much of the time, especially when I am at home by myself. I have been doing some research about tinnitus, and I think that may be part of my problem. My husband, Fabgrandpa, is starting to get irritated with me for asking him to repeat just about everything he says. It might just be time for me to go and see an ear doctor, so I can get my hearing aid to throw in a drawer.