“Don’t talk with mush in your mouth!” That’s what my Mom always said. Now I am her.
I haven’t heard well in years. Listening is work especially if there is background noise or a crowd of people. (More than two is a crowd.) I’ve been smiling and nodding for quite a while now. I unknowingly agreed to do things that were fun and never showed up. Maybe they were illegal. I’ll never know. I wasn’t there. Never heard about them. No police at my door either.
The beloved husband and I accuse each other of mumbling. (He does. I don’t.) He faces a different direction when he talks to me (of course I NEVER do that). We both have selective hearing…or do we?
I needed to get tested again. I don’t want to agree to anything too kinky. Especially if I’m a no-show. Then again, I don’t want to miss an invitation to a free beach house vacation!
The medical practice was ear, nose and throat but there seemed to be a lot of ear people there the day I went. The staff used their outside voices (similar to a barker at a carnival or a loudspeaker at a rock concert) to call patients and even then there were times no one reacted. They upped the volume and eventually someone stood up. Everyone was kind. No one rolled their eyes. They probably didn’t hear the first several calls either. Or in my case I was wondering if it was my name they just called.
The test is straight forward. You are in a sound proof booth with ear phones while sounds are made at different pitches and loudness. Some I heard well. Some not so much.
My audiologist sat down to deliver the news. It was good with a slight twist of bad, like a martini with a twist of lemon.
My hearing is borderline except for the high pitch in my left ear. Those are not so good. As long as I can compensate with my right ear, I’m not a candidate for aids. Not yet but that day is coming. The good news is that today’s aids, while outrageously expensive, are smaller, lighter and work better than the old heavyweight speakers you had to dangle on your ear.
There are letter sounds that I can’t hear so well – f, s, v, th and a few more.
(Conversation at Starbucks: Me — “I want a venti.” Barista — “Venti.” Me — “What?” Barista — “Venti, you said venti.” Me — “I don’t want tea!” All I heard was the second syllable.)
Do you think people could have been using bad words and I didn’t understand? Maybe I missed a lisp.
Doesn’t matter. If you want to swear at me aim for my left ear. I’ll nod and smile and agree to accompany you but I may not show up.
Did you just offer to buy me a Starbucks mocha latte? I’ll be there.
Author’s note: I recognize that hearing loss is a big disability. Not everyone can be fitted with aids that work well. I am not making fun of the hearing impaired. As is always the case, I am targeting myself.
Additional note: Venti is the large size at Starbucks.