I have written in glowing terms about my hearing aids and sound processors.
How they lift me from a place of missed words, undecipherable sounds, and misplaced meanings.
How they alert me to movement and action. How they connect me to people.
I love my devices; I respect and even revere them.
Except when sometimes, somehow, they go off the rails, dragging me with them. My hearing and comprehension are once again spotty, compromised, anxiety-inducing.
There was a time when my only worry was a dead battery – was it just a drained battery, or had I gone deaf? A fear quickly dispelled when a fresh battery brought my device to life again.
Now, the technology is amazing with all kinds of connectivity. But there are more components that can, occassionally, make that connectivity jittery. Understanding how they work is one thing. Software programs updates and other ‘things’ that can temporarily shut down or compromise smartphone apps are another.
But then I remind myself, there’s always a fix. Always helpful advice from my hearing loss community and my hearing care professionals. I just have to calm down and ask.
And remember how much my devices have given me, how I once wrote this.
Ode To An Aid
You’re lying on my bedside table and before I fall asleep
I’m looking at you closely for the first time in a long time.
I’m thinking about how much, to my surprise, I love you—and why.
Well, it’s not because of your looks.
One square inch of plastic and wires,
Your colour referred to professionally as flesh tone
By people without imagination as beige
And by me, in all honesty, as ugly.
For such a small creature, you have a lot of orifices,
Openings that suck sound in one end and belch it out the other.
Out of the biggest opening comes a plastic wheel-well
That clasps a fresh battery and disappears with it inside,
And you chime your delight, immediately changing
From a lifeless lump of plastic
To a life-changing spark plug.
You know what they say about beauty –
It’s what’s inside that counts, and I guess that’s true about you.
But I don’t really want to see your inner machinery
Because I’d be disappointed not to see tiny hearing elves
Making magic happen.
I do love you.
For all the times I’ve cursed you, dropped you, and lost you,
I have expected more from you than you can deliver,
Because you cannot be a perfect hearing system. Not yet.
And I have not thanked you when you delivered more than
I ever expected, giving me sounds that my memory had forgotten
And new ones that did not exist before my hearing left,
Like the sound of my own baby breathing.
No, you’re not pretty.
You’re high maintenance.
You cost money.
But if I didn’t have you, I would be heartbroken and
Isolated, cut off from my people.
So no, you’re not pretty—you’re beautiful
And I love you,
And THAT is how I REALLY feel about my devices!
Note: See my article, When Your Child’s Journey Continues After Leaving Home this week on HHTM’s Hearing and Kids.