Old Habits Die Hard

Ever since I went completely deaf, I wake up in the morning and put my hearing aids in.  Every morning, without fail.  This is as helpful as putting in my contacts after I’ve lost all my vision, but still I persist.

The first week or so after I lost all of my hearing, I actually was still able to hear certain sounds if my hearing aids were in.  Well, I can think of two sounds:  our dog barking, and the high-pitched beep that my electric scale makes when it’s first turned on.  (I use it to measure fragrance oil when I’m making candles.)  That helped perpetuate the feeling that I was getting some help from hearing aids.  But within a week, even those sounds were gone.

For a while I turned them up as high as they would go, and that would help me get some vibration in my ears from super-loud noises.  That didn’t last long though, because Dave would tap me and say, “You’re squealing.”  Take the hearing aid out, turn it down a bit, look inquisitively at Dave.  He shakes his head; nope, still squealing.  By the time I got it to stop squealing, it was back at the old volume level.

And to be honest, even at the highest level they stopped giving vibrations eventually.  So here I am, wearing these totally useless hearing aids in my ears day after day.  It’s kind of funny, considering most people avoid wearing hearing aids even if they help them hear.  I remember my grandmother leaving hers in her dresser drawer all the time.  I know many people are self-conscious about how they look or hate the way they make things sound.

I loved my hearing aids.  I put them in as soon as I woke up and wore them until my head hit the pillow at night.  I was loyal to the brand (Beltone, which I know many people scoff at) and the type – I wore analog hearing aids all my life.  Those bi-CROS hearing aids were the best things I ever purchased and I absolutely treasured them and they way they made things sound.

Today is the first day I faced reality and didn’t put my hearing aids in.  They’re still in the bedroom in the little box next to my bed.  I started putting them there back in 1985, when I got my first cat.  Before Bear came along, I used to just lay the hearing aids on the nightstand.  (For some reason, I never used one of those Dri-Aid containers – nobody ever told me about them, I guess.)  Well, Bear decided that ear molds were tasty and dragged my hearing aid off the nightstand one night.  I was totally panicked when I woke up the next morning and couldn’t find it!  I eventually found it under the couch but I did need to get a new ear mold.  After that I started keeping my hearing aids in a little decorative box with a lid, to keep them safe from earwax-loving felines.  🙂  (Bear, by the way, lived to nearly 20 years of age – he was an awesome cat!)

I can’t believe how naked I feel.  For the first time in nearly 40 years, I’m not wearing a hearing aid in either ear.  I will never wear hearing aids again.


About wendiwendy

I'm a real-life bionic woman.

Posted on June 12, 2008, in Emotions & Attitude, Observations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. That must feel really weird.

    I’ve worn one HA most of my life (an analog one too–don’t know what I’m gonna do if this one croaks as HA’s have now gone digital), always put it in first thing in the morning and take it off before bedtime.

    However, I’ve started to take it off in the afternoons whenever I’m painting in my studio. Found the lack of sound helps me to concentrate better and not get distracted by phones, noisy garbage trucks, gardeners’ leafblowers, etc. My brain seems to remember symphonies, songs or bits of operas, and it’s a way that I get into the “flow” of creativity. Weird how the brain works really.

    First time I’ve read your blog. How did you lose the rest of your hearing or is it due to unknown cause?


  2. Chuckled a bit at the story about your cat stealing them. I remember BEG having to make her dogs (either two or three at the time) puke when she couldn’t find one and feared that one of them had eaten it, mold, aid, battery and all.

    Those dogs were NOT happy … BEG ended up finding the thing in the backyard a few days later, I think.


  3. Oh my gosh…LOL…I can’t imagine having to make my dog puke! But I would think the same thing if the hearing aid and ear mold were totally missing. 🙂

    Ann, I have no idea why I lost my hearing but I suspect it’s a genetic thing. I just lost the rest of it over a period of about 3-4 days this past April. (I wrote about it in my first post on this blog–it’s in the archives for April.) Looking back I realized I knew something was wrong with my hearing for probably 2 weeks before the big major loss, but at the time I blamed the TV set and the car for sounding so weird. It couldn’t be my *ears*, of course! LOL


  4. Bear is a great name! Wow what a grand age to live to for a cat. Speeder, the worlds fastest dog, that lives in our house seemed intrigued that when I came home from the hospital, his bark was the only noise I ever heard. Once my cochlear was implanted, that was gone, until activation of course.


  5. I didn’t start wearing HA’s until my 20s, but I’ve worn them faithfully just like you for years I’d put them on first thing in the morning and take them off last thing at night. Then a couple years ago, after my last drop in hearing, I stopped. I go for days without wearing them now. It’s not that I don’t benefit from them, because I do somewhat. It’s just that the benefits no longer outweigh the discomfort of having something tight in my ears. My molds don’t hurt. They remind me of wearing tight shoes all day. I don’t wear shoes in the house either, just slippers. I can lipread my family pretty well without them. I have a lot of good low tone residual hearing left. Thing is, I have to lip read either way– with or without the hearing aids. Doesn’t seem to make a bit of difference.


  6. its an amazing thing; that the loss of hearing doesn’t mean the loss of the human soul. If anything, I think it makes it all the more noticable since it’s a different state of mind and place.

    Love your blog; lookin forward to your next post.


  7. Are you a member of SWC? I think I asked you this before, cuz you mentioned it.



  8. Kim, Dave and I both used to be members of SWC! It was a long, long time ago (1997 thru 1999, I think) and when I joined, it was just one list.

    When they started splitting up into 4 or 5 lists, we had so much going on in our lives and it got a little confusing (some of our friends got moved to other lists and it was getting hard to keep track of who was where) so we ended up leaving the list. I will always think fondly of SWC though — we met some fantastic people there, and of course, we never would’ve met if it wasn’t for the Say What Club! 🙂


  9. Ah. You must have left before I joined then. When you said you were a member before, I thought you were *currently* a member and I suggested to my SWC blogging buddies to ask you to blog for SWC, but they couldn’t find you on any of the lists, so I was confused. Sometimes bloggers use blog identities though, so I wasn’t sure if your real name was Wendy. Yeah– it’s what you mean about the lists being separated. Now we have Explore. You have your home list, then anyone on any of the lists can join Explore. It’s like a big general list. We also have the yearly Conventions. One is coming up in July in Philly. I was hoping to meet you. Oh well.

    I really enjoy your blogs. Your husband is like mine. We don’t kill spiders. My husband also has hearing loss.



  10. I was the same way when I lost my hearing. Every single day I woke up with anticipation that the my hearing would be restored. Every day I wanted to cry. I stopped wearing them when I was home. I loved the memories that they given me. It was very tough to part with that.


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