Yes, I was hoping to strike a small note of melodrama with that title. I probably should have tried to work ‘curse’ into to it as well for best effect, in tribute to the melodramatic and wordy titles of 1930s graphic novels and detective stories, but I’m not quite sure how it sits with the grammar. Can a curse strike again? And if the curse is of someone then does it mean that they are cursed or that the curse belongs to them, that they activate it? Too much for wee head right now.
Anyway, maybe I should try going back to my original subject or else this is going to turn into some verbose Victorian novel with asides bigger than the plot.
As you know, I have ears. Yes, not those normal ears like everyone else, the other artificial kind. The kind that actually hear things, to be truthful. (I think I’m the only person who has ever called me four-eyes, as another aside, and technically for many years I was six-eyes. I’m meant to wear a prescribed tint in my lenses to help balance the effects of my perception disorder but I can’t find anywhere anymore which does the testing. I do notice it when I spent too much time on the computer especially but anyhow, to resume!) And my new shiny ears have the new cord system. There are pros and cons to this, I rather like how the old mould kept my ear free from draughts and besides which, the cords have to be replaced every couple of months. For someone who worries about waste, this is definitely not a benefit nor indicative of a new and improved system or technology. When I had my ears fitted, I sensibly remembered to ask the whens and hows of this and the audiologist, that audiologist, explained that I just had to waltz into the main reception at the hospital and ask them to hand the tubes and domes over like they do batteries. (Getting batteries from Main Desk requires an extensive session of begging, production of an up-to-date audiology logbook (yeah, like I can find it) and various identity and background checks).
So after the number of required months and slightly clogged pipes (tubes, officially), I trotted into the hospital. And there the fun started. Main Desk looked at me very blankly. And eventually determined that I should be sent to Outpatients. Outpatients looked at me very blankly. And eventually determined that I should hang around the bottom of the corridor where audiologists live and see if they had any better ideas. Hard work.
So with this five minute errand rapidly turning into something like a tooth-pulling operation (metaphorically) I set myself to lurking. It’s hard enough to get an audiologist’s attention when you have an appointment so I wasn’t entirely optimistic about my chances. I may have mentioned before but audiologists have the ridiculous habit of popping their heads out of doors and calling for their patients softly. Now why are most of us in audiology for?
I did find an audiologist, the lovely one, the one who had gotten me retested originally, and despite being on her lunch break was more than happy to help restock me with cords and domes, giving me extras so I don’t have to go back in again too soon. I really appreciate an audiologist like that, well anyone in any line of work really, who goes out of their way to help. And does actually help.
It was when lovely audiologist was helping that we found out that my audiology log book (I had even gone to the effort of locating it just to placate Main Desk) was not correct. No, the evil audiologist with whom I have been at loggerheads for over twenty years had written down the wrong size domes. (Domes are the little nozzle-y bit at the end of the tube which plug into your ear). Nice, helpful. Lovely audiologist took black pen to my book and corrected the entry.
As I was now talking to lovely audiologist (who actually wears the same model hearing aid as me, audiologists tend not to have any personal or family experience with Hearing Loss), I asked a wee question that had been bothering me. When I go to use the T-loop setting on my ears it’s really hard work to find it, sometimes I end up convinced that I have five different settings not three. And of course the time I spend faffing trying to find the setting means time that I’m not hearing what’s going on and I had got thoroughly cheesed off by the new improved ears.
She asked me what I was doing. I explained that evil audiologist had told me to press the middle of the rocker switch hard to move between settings. She looked surprised. I said that evil audiologist had sworn that this was the best way of doing things. She told me that was not the case. Just as I use the rocker switch to raise or lower the volume (I struggle with hyperacusis with my ME so I tend to use a lower volume than I technically should) so I should be using it to move between the settings but just pressing and holding instead. This is a much more efficient and accurate system to switching between settings (when you hit the middle, you have a 50/50 chance of either going up or down which is why I was getting so many different options, not just moving up as indicated by evil audiologist) and even more impressive, is that I can go back down. My old ear couldn’t go down, it just cycled from 1-2-3-1 but now I can go from 3 (T-loop) to either 2 (forward mic only, it’s great for places with lots of background noise) or to 1 (normal). Just like that. I like that.
I then asked how I was meant to obtain the relevant parts as evil audiologist had sworn that Main Desk was the way. She looked surprised again. Then checked with various other department members to make sure that she wasn’t cracking up. Collection from Main Desk was never an option. But in the future if I email audiology to let them know what I need they can leave a marked envelope at Main Desk if that’s easier.
Evil audiologist strikes again. Do not trust her.
UPDATE (17/04/12): I have added a couple of diagrams of hearing aids to clarify the vocabulary used throughout, I couldn’t do it before as I didn’t have a right click working on my mouse!