Yes, that’s right, I’ve had another trip to audiology.
The biggest change is that I’ve now been fitted with two hearing aids, one on each ear funny enough. This time I had one of the old (not in age) audiologists who would never fit me when I was a child or teenager. Thanks a bunch honey. (But no grudges held, of course!)
I probably drive people mad because I don’t just like things to work but I have to know how things work, the whys of things. I like to have my eyes on people’s computer screens and watch the little charts go up and down and ask why these things are being done and how it all works. I’m always the customer or patient who asks questions. Maybe some people call it curiosity although I don’t think you can really push it as far out as nosiness. Personally, I just see it as a quest for knowledge. I like knowing things.
The new technology is mind-boggling, each hearing aid has to be customised to each ear’s hearing loss. As I now have two ears to be tuned and because I have an especially unusual hearing loss pattern on my right ear (naturally!), it took an hour and a half to tune and fit my new ears. I did apologise.
It was also starting to get a little bit boring because quite early on I could hear an awful lot more than I normally can. I’m quite happy with any improvement because I have a tendency to believe that it’s necessary and normal to struggle in life. I’m used to not hearing things and it’s only everyone else who, for some reason, feels that this is a problem. The problem too is that you get used to a fairly quiet world and noise starts hurting. I have sensitive little ears!
Now I have a marked improvement, I don’t think I was getting any low tones at all, and the world has become a noisier, busier place. There’s traffic all over the place now. Fortunately I’ve got volume control so I can turn it down a bit until I adjust. Which is probably going to take a while.
Because of this big drop in hearing I’ve had to have entirely new models, I didn’t realise that each model covered slightly different ranges although I guess it kind of makes sense somehow. Instead of clinical brown (presumably this brown-beige shade was chosen for its compatibility with an average skin tone, which therefore means it’ll be too dark or too light for everyone other than a resuscitation dummy), I got to choose colours.
I’m not good with choices. I get overwhelmed easily. And choosing hearing aid colours is pretty much like choosing glasses frames, it sounds a deceptively simple, easy decision but there are an awful lot of things to be taken into account and then you’re going to have to live with it for yonks to come.
There were quite a few cool colours, a nice primary red, a funky purple, a beautiful pearl pink, I like colours. But you also have to balance practicality. For example, I can guarantee that if I chose a red hearing aid then I would only ever wear pink and vice versa. (I guess this where having a work uniform comes in handy). Then there’s the fact that I usually wear my hair back so any really strong colours would stand out. I actually like to be quite discreet about such things (in fact, I’m amazed at how many people don’t actually realise I wear an ear at all, it’s quite scary especially when you think about the size of the old mould), nothing too flashy (don’t get me started on white trainers, they actually freak me out when I wear them). Plus of course I had to choose two colours, one for each ear so I don’t get confused. (Who, me, confused?!) So this meant that I had to select two colours that also went together, it just wouldn’t be right wearing a pink hearing aid with a red one, would it?! It was so difficult.
Anyway, I finally settled on something comparatively plain and simple. Two different greys that I can wear with anything and won’t feel conscious about having on my ear. Meet my new ears:
Although the world is now a very noisy place, I’m looking forward to being back on ‘radar’ duty and being able to pick up other people’s conversations from afar (hmm, that might be nosiness!). Oh and trying a local T loop again, it’s been really quiet for months and boy have I complained! But now I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that the volume might just have improved so there might be humble pie for dinner!
Oh and don’t tell the husband, but the audiologist reckons that I should wear them inside too not just when I’m out and about. Ssssh.