Thursday, May 20, 2010

Part II: I want to hear the crickets.

I hadn't planned to talk about my audiology experience yesterday, but I told my Fearless Friend in a message to him that I might cut my message from the e-mail and post it.  So, here is "I want to hear the crickets -- Part II.  If you missed "I want to hear the crickets" posted yesterday, it's right here.

The biggest surprise I got was the cost.  Today's technology is just a wee bit more expensive than the technology I bought about five years ago, and it is hugely more expensive than it was when I bought a simple one about ten years ago.  Along with the new microtechnology is a new physical size.  The ones I looked at yesterday are only about a quarter of the size of my old behind-the-ear one I broke.

My hearing in both ears has deteriorated as I had suspected. After the hearing test, the audiologist put a pair of new aids on me and I literally jumped out of the chair. I haven’t heard that much or that well in at least 30 years. It was unbelievable.

The audiologist started a tape of various background noises, a restaurant, music hall, empty room, crowded meeting room, etc., and wandered around the room talking with me. She had told me not to look at her but to just use my ears to hear. I didn’t miss a beat. I didn't even have to make guesses on what she was saying. 

Unless you have experienced hearing loss, you can’t imagine what it is like to totally hear again. This pair of Phonak aids responded 100% better than my old system. Again, you’d have to experience it to fully understand.

Naturally, I said, “How much?” This time I fell out of my chair. I had planned to buy hearing aids yesterday, but after hearing the price, I decided I needed a consultation with Gator Wife even though she had told me to go for it. No problem there, of course, but the audiologist asked if I’d be interested in giving GW a sample of my hearing.

The hearing lady has a simulator there that can first duplicate my current hearing and then what it would be like with the new devices. The simulation would demonstrate to GW very dramatically what I'm hearing and what I could hear.  We have an appointment for today and she’s willing to have the demonstration.

Again, like most physical things that affect us, one has to go through them to fully understand them. I’ve been doing as well as I can for several years; now there’s an expensive opportunity for me to never again answer a question like,  “What part of Florida are you from?” with something like, "Of course the Gators can win the game."  That means, of course, I heard “Florida” and assumed it was a question about a Gators’ sports team.

My hearing saga continues, but if I can figure out a way to pay for those real tiny hearing aids, there's no question about my hearing those crickets.  And a whole lot more stuff.  Finally, perhaps we can even tune the volume on the TV to a nicer level for GW.


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