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.