Last week, I had rare hearing aid catastrophe which, for once, didn’t happen on a weekend. As I wait for the new one to arrive, I got to thinking about previous first days with new hearing aids.
11 am: Just got home. I hate to admit this, but about two miles after leaving the clinic, I pulled over. It was all too much – the feeling, the cost, the noise. I didn’t want to drive while I was sobbing, so I took them out.
1 pm: Still haven’t put them back in. Sitting at my kitchen table, staring at them. With a magnifying glass. How could something so small cost so much?
2 pm: OK, I put them in again. Actually, I put the left one in twice, because it dropped out the first time. I was nervous or I put it in wrong. But now I’m committed to wearing these babies until I go to bed!!
6 pm: Bedtime. It’s been quite the day and these last four hours have been LOUD! I’m supposed to clean them now. I’m supposed to keep the cleaning kit somewhere I’m sure to see it every night. Decided on the wine rack.
6:20 pm: This cleaning procedure took some time. Couldn’t figure out all the teensy black instruments. I mean, why a little brush? It’s not like the hearing aid has fur. And the long thing, the eeny-weeny riding whip? Do I stick it inside the hearing aid?! Hang on, I’ll check the instruction book.
6:30 pm: Finally done. Not much dirty after 4 hours of wear. I am totally exhausted.
9 am: I slept in. To be honest, I just didn’t want to get up and put those things back in. I don’t want to have hearing loss, period.
10 am: They’re in, finally. I had my coffee and then a shower and then waited a half hour for my ear canals to dry…I’m sure I read somewhere you’re supposed to do that.
Noon: I don’t think I can handle all this noise. At lunch with my husband, the knives and forks sounded like a sword fight. And there’s just too much information! His nose whistles. I can hear myself chewing and swallowing. I think I’d rather be deaf.
2 pm: Have serious concerns about how these look. The pulley things stick out of my ear at right angles. I can’t go out in public looking like a Martian. I need to take them out and lie down and think about this.
3 pm: Whoa, that ding-dongy Hello, hearing aid user! chime thing is getting on my nerves. Is it supposed to remind me that I’m putting hearing aids in my ears? Seriously, what else would it be?
11 pm: Made it to my normal bedtime. Put the wine way, cleaned my hearing aids, and put them in the dry aid. Feeling better about all this.
Midnight: Husband woke me up. He heard a sound coming from the dry aid. I’d forgotten to open the battery cage and one of them was giving. I hope nothing was damaged. Or maybe I do.
7 am: Dropped one again. The cat and I both pounced for it, but I won. Wasn’t worried about the hearing aid, but the cat might choke.
6 pm: I’ve worn them all day. I’m amazing.
11 pm: Watching TV tonight, my husband said how nice it was not to have the volume so loud. I think he meant to be encouraging, but I started to cry. So did he.
Day 4 was OK, except for having to ask everyone to lower their voices. My friend said she was already whispering and couldn’t go any lower. I said thank you for the support, that wasn’t funny. She said, yes it was and to lighten up. I said wait till you lose your hearing, you insensitive cow. Then we both started to laugh, which sounded good.
Yesterday, Day 5, was a better day. My husband enjoys telling me what sounds I’m hearing. Seriously, I didn’t know our mattress creaks so loudly. Husband said it wasn’t that bad when the kids still lived at home. Not sure if I believe him; I’ll have to figure out how to ask my son about this when he comes to visit.
All in all, not bad for the first week of the rest of my life with hearing aids!