Okay, so I got my new hearing aids today, and I’m wearing them as I speak. AAUGH!
It’s a difficult adjustment, but I’m going to try to hang in there and not give up. In the meantime, I can let myself decide when to wear them: whenever I leave the house? All day when I’m not sleeping or in the shower? Special occasions?
There are two major problems with the above “special occasions” option:
- These bad boys cost over $1,900 inclusive of the $50 hearing test and fees, which is a lot to pay for special occasions; and
- If I were to just wear these to Prague, for example, I’d be miserable because I’m miserable now. I need to adjust to wearing them, assuming such an adjustment is possible and isn’t just an urban legend.
For that last reason, I’m glad I got these now, because I still have a few months before my trip to Prague. Actually… ah. I’m leaving town in exactly three months from today. Go figure. COUNTDOWN!!
I’ve read a few articles that say that adjusting is entirely possible. I’m just not sure. Do you really get used to them, or do you just accept that your whole quality of life has gone down the toilet? No really, I’m asking.
- They feel weird in my ears. They’re the in-the-ear model. Let me try to find an internet image. Hold on… okay, image found. This might even be my exact hearing aid model:
- (continued) And so the problem is that whenever I smile or frown (and let’s not take bets on which one I’m more likely to do), I’m afraid they’re going to pop out of my head. Do I really want something in my head that’s going to discourage my rarely seen happy face? AAUGH.
- Also, it’s a sensation. Imagine if you put your fingers in your ears and still feel that sensation all day long, but with the inclusion of microphones that make birdsong sound agonizing! Damn those happy birds.
- Moving past the sensation of having molded marbles with microphones jammed into my bodily orifices, hmm…. I mean, aside from that, I feel okay right now. I’m here typing, and I learned pretty early on to turn down the aids’ volume when I’m typing so that it’s not hurting my ears. I think I’d be likely to use a higher volume if I were out and about. Probably nothing wrong with that, and adjusting the volume is quite easy. You just push the little button shown in the photo above the battery door.
To give some quick background, I was born with bad hearing: bilateral premature presbycusis. My parents were told I had bad hearing when I was in third grade. They were also told that nothing could be done about it, even though hearing aids already existed then. When I was nineteen, I asked my mom why everything seemed so much quieter than it should be. She seemed thoughtful and said, “Oh, right, they told us when you were in third grade that you have bad hearing and that nothing could be done about it.”
I just stared at her.
She immediately offered to buy me some hearing aids.
My first pair, acquired then at age 19, were great, but it was also sort of an adjustment. An easier adjustment than the current adjustment, I daresay. I wore that first main pair everywhere, particularly whenever I left the house: class, work, socializing, church, shopping, etc., etc. Now that I recall, I didn’t wear them around the house. I could choose to do the same with my new pair and wear them every time I go out for any reason: shopping, walking the dog, visiting my mom, etc. That’s an option.
It adds to the overwhelmedness, though, of any given situation where I’m not at home being perfectly introverted. Ugh.
- I can’t hear my dad any better with the hearing aids. I’ve often sensed that it’s not the fault of my poor hearing that I can’t hear him. The problem is that he’s a hardcore cigar smoker. He never smokes indoors, but he always and religiously has a cigar going whenever we’re out walking, or whenever he’s out driving, or whenever he’s eating outdoors at a restaurant. He used to be one person I could hear loud and clear, no problems. That’s no longer the case. Sadness.
I could’ve opted for the over-the-ear model:
A small part goes into your ear and connects to the main body, which goes behind your ear there. But I hate the whole idiotic sensation of having the main body come forward from behind your ear, because then people can see it floating around near your head, and it’s embarrassing; and also, I hate having something else on my ear along with my eyeglasses.
It’s going to be hard, but I’ve got to try to adjust to them. I’m probably pushing myself by still wearing them today. An adjustment should be more gradual, and at this point I’ve been wearing them for several hours.
If anyone has any suggestions or support, I’d be glad to hear it!! Part of me just wants to revert to partial deafness. [Eyeroll.] Oh, I asked the audiologist how deaf I am, and she said that based on which sorts of sounds we’re talking about, I have mild hearing loss (for lower frequencies), moderate hearing loss, and moderate-severe hearing loss (for higher frequencies). She said it’s normal for the graph to go like that, since high-frequency hearing loss is very commonplace. I think.
I’m taking them out! I’m taking them out!! No one can stop me!! AAUGH!!