What? What?

Jun. 4th, 2009 11:42 am
outsidetheparty: (Default)
[personal profile] outsidetheparty
I'm getting a hearing aid!

They gave me this book to read, more than half of which is devoted to handholding patients who really don't want a hearing aid: chapters titled "The Emotions of Losing Hearing" and "A Bridge To Healing" and "Why Some Consumer Reject Hearing Aids But How You Could Love Them!" and etc.

This was unnecessary. The minute they confirmed that yes, I actually do have measurable hearing loss and it's not that I'm just not paying enough attention or something I was all HELL YEAH HOOK ME UP and [livejournal.com profile] squirrelhaven was all SEE I DO NOT MUMBLE I AM VINDICATED. The doctor wanted to send me home to think about it first and seemed a little amused by how quickly I said no that's ok I can has hearing aid nao plz?

I have, apparently, a problem with the hair cells in my inner ear: I can hear very high pitches and very low pitches just fine, but the midrange, where human speech is conveniently located, drops off quite a bit. This matches the results of a (much less in-depth) hearing test I had done about five years ago, though it seems to have gotten somewhat worse over time. It's not a result of exposure to loud noises (which would damage the high pitches first) so I don't have to stop drumming or anything, which is good -- it's just a manufacturing defect of some kind. I can live with that.

It really is amazing what a relief it is to have this confirmed. I've been watching movies with the subtitles turned on for a while now, and completely faking it in group conversations -- by the way, if any of you happen to have told me anything important when there were more than three of you in the room, you might want to email me about it or something because odds are I have no idea what you were saying and just nodded and smiled because that usually seems to work -- and even during the test where they play the little beeps at you through a headset and you're supposed to raise your hand when you hear something there was that nagging uncertainty: am I just imagining this? Am I just not paying enough attention?

But then they did a different kind of test where I just had to sit there while this device pressurized my ear and, like, listened for echoes or something (I'm a little fuzzy on the details here, obviously) and drew a little line graph of the results, which just zigzagged all over the place instead of the neat tidy line a normal ear would produce.

Objective evidence is totally awesome.

So in two weeks I go back for a fitting, and I'll pick out a color (they come in colors! What do you think, should I get the leopard print?) and sometime after that I'll look like one of those dorks who wear their bluetooth headsets all the time. And, with any luck, I'll be able to understand you when you talk to me. That will be nice.

(Hey, [livejournal.com profile] bayleaf, any suggestions re brands or styles to look for / avoid?)
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