Why did I wait for so long?


SERENADE 2 SENIORS

‘It’s amazing, it’s thrilling, it’s as clear as a bell,’ is what I danced around my apartment singing. I had just inserted my brand new hearing aids and could hear again. I walked from my bedroom to the kitchen wearing untied sport shoes, laces dragging behind me. I planned to tie them while sitting on my favorite kitchen chair but, I was distracted. While walking, I heeard a faint scraping sound and it took a while before I realized that the sound was coming from my shoelaces dragging behind me. I could actually hear something as ‘quiet’ as that. Then I heard a clock ticking. A clock in MY kitchen? I’d forgotten all about the wall clock as I had been unable to hear it for longer than I care to remember.  I heard birds chirping and, when I used the toilet spray, it sounded as if a bomb had just been detonated!

I can now hear what is being said on television, what the passengers sitting behind me in my car are telling me. I no longer avoid going to the movies or to plays.

When I am with friends, I hear conversations like this.

‘Do you have any spare cash?’ she asked. ‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘I have just taken out the trash.’ While this might be amusing to an onlooker, it tends to become a problem. I know that over the years I had a few hearing tests and each time was told that I was the one to decide when to get a hearing aid fitted. There was hearing loss but nothing I could not cope with. I  should not have waited so long and believe me, it was not the cosmetic aspect that bothered me. I didn’t want to be bothered getting used to it.

My ENT doctor told me that only about 14% of people with hearing impairments actually use a hearing aid. All I can say is; ‘If you think there is hearing loss chances are that you can make life much easier for yourself and your family by doing something about it today’. I found myself saying; ‘I wonder why people mumble so much nowadays.’ OR ‘I love my smarphone as it enables me to send s.m.s’s rather than speak on the phone.’ Now nothing bothers me.

By the way, my doctor reminded me that the ear plays a role in balance, so hearing loss can lead to falls – even mild hearing loss can triple the risk of falling and delayed treatment can make hearing loss worse. He added; ‘If you don’t use it, you might lose it.’ There are men out there who think that wearing a hearing aid is a sign of weakness, while women tend to think it’s a sign of aging. Among the most enlightened of people, hearing aids still carry a stigma. And here I am, blogging away about trying to lessen the stigma associated with mental illness so if a hearing aid is a problem imagine how hard it is to cope with a mental illness. 

hearing aid behind ear

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