Monday, March 29, 2010
Better Late Than Never
My Dad's hearing has been going since he was my age, mid-50's. He's now 93. At the mere mention of a hearing test or hearing aid, he'd laugh, civilly tell us he'd "think about it" or say, "You're probably right; I should check that out". But he never did........until about 6 weeks ago when I mentioned that I thought his hearing was approaching totally deaf levels and that I was weary of screaming at him all the time. People were looking at us funny out in public. Not good.
Dad is the type of man who has to warm up to any new idea, especially when it concerns something like hearing aids. I'd say 30 - 40 years is about right. He told me he was ready to get his hearing "checked out" and could I arrange the necessary appointments. Sure enough, he's pretty deaf. Fast tracking the process, he was tested, fitted, signed on the dotted line (lots of paperwork and bring-back-within-two-months-for-a-full-refund clauses to initial) and then had hearing aids programed complete with instructions for daily use and care all within a few weeks. Darn but they work well; even Dad's pleased. I'm told that at "this age" people don't always react well to these miracles of modern science and complain about the fit, the noise, the hassle of putting them in and taking them out, maintaining them in working order and God forbid, the expense. But Dad can finally hear; he comments about the rustling of the newspaper and the sound of his shoes on the hardwood floor, sounds we take for granted.
One of his main reasons for getting hearing aids was so that he could hear dinner table conversation. Mission accomplished. There's a very nice lady who sits on either side of him for meals; one talks lots and the other keeps quiet (my Mom). He's able to hear and converse now. For that I'm very grateful.
His other motivation for wearing hearing aids was "so I can hear your Mother". From my observation, older peoples voices become weaker with age and both of my parents talk like they're on their last legs sometimes, quavery and soft. Dad can now hear most of what Mom says. I'm not sure that's always a good thing though. She's disjointed, wanders off mid-sentence, and punctuates most of her talk with old fashioned idioms (like finer than frog's hair) and some remarks entirely unique to her ever swirling, active mind. He doesn't seem to mind; yesterday I caught his stray smile and half laugh out of the corner of my eye when she remarked, "I'm foraging through the mucous in my mind".
So far so good with these new hi-tech ear pieces. I think he looks cute wearing them; I can barely see them they blend in so well.