The Cost of Sound

My new hearing aids that I go all excited about a few posts ago have arrived.

These squiggly little things?

These squiggly little things?

The sound quality is streets ahead of my old ones – five years of technological advances in micro/audio electronics, baby! – and I don’t feel like my head is an echo chamber every time I talk. They’re so unobtrusive, I actually forgot I was wearing them the other day.

***

I am surrounded by sound.

Typing. I type loud! I reckon it comes from learning to type on a 20th Century clunky old electric typewriter. I did own a manual one …

I think mine was a boring cream colour

I think mine was a boring cream colour

… but thankfully transitioned fairly quickly to my trusty IBM

You could choose green, green, or green

You could choose green, green, or green

(then I upgraded to my Smith Corona daisy wheel for serious writing-ly stuff)

***

The bell-tone of my fingernail brushing up against a ceramic bowl. The gurgle of hot water falling into my teapot. Walking barefoot across a carpet and hearing the floorboards underneath murmur to each other.

The sounds of my passage through my home are all soft.

Outside, gravel crunches, grass crackles, wind clunks tree branches together, cars rumble, birds sing, doors slam, children chatter, traffic screeches, the cacophony of a cafe, I swear I can hear the clouds letting go of raindrops …

When I get home I take the hearing aids out and feel the tension in my body dissolve into the familiar quiet.

***

This is gonna take some getting used to.

The filters I used to have to block out extraneous sounds slowly drifted away as my hearing deteriorated and I evolved different senses to navigate my everyday world.

These new little blue ‘ears’ that enble me engage with that world have their advantages and disadvantages. Phone calls and face-to-face conversations are easier, (although I’ll have to retrain my brain not to anticipate so much – filling in the words I didn’t hear) physically navigating through complex spaces (narrow isles in stores for example) is tricky – like my ‘sonar’ doesn’t work.

It certainly makes it easier for others to engage with me. (which for the purposes of this post is a separate issue from how far the differently-abled are expected to move beyond themselves in order to make the ‘other’ feel comfortable around them)

***

So, my external support devices:

Synthroid – for the missing thyroid organ. Walking stick – so I don’t fall over when my knee gives out. Hearing aids – see above. Glasses – three different kinds, driving, computer and reading. Four, if I count really close-up for crafts.

I am a cyborg of the 21st century!!!

***

Mirabeau - Ooooh, I can hear the Galaxy breathing! Widder – You’re hearing yourself. Mirabeau – No, it’s the Galaxy. It has a Scottish accent.

Mirabeau – Ooooh, I can hear the Galaxy breathing!
Widder – You’re hearing yourself.
Mirabeau – No, it’s the Galaxy. It has a Scottish accent.

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22 comments on “The Cost of Sound

  1. hmm, I’m hearing Simon Pegg as the galaxy then. I wonder what a rainbow would sound like. After hearing annoying noise for several hours, I love the sound of quiet.

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  2. Whatever you need – we have no replaceable parts, not on a large scale yet. You have a choice I don’t: blocking out the neighbor with the jet-engine powered leaf-blower. I have to go to all kinds of contortions to block the sound (maybe we’ve had this conversation before…).

    Enjoy your new and re-invigorated sounds – and the peace that comes from turning it all off.

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    • Widdershins says:

      I don’t think we’re that far away from ‘vat’ grown replacements … might even happen in our lifetime … I doubt you and I’ll be able to afford them though!

      The leafblower … yeah we’ve considered all sorts of violent and non-violent options in the past … the part that really proves how ridiculous they are is seeing guys (usually) doing it in the rain!!!

      I haven’t quite mastered (mistressed) the part where my ears start to itch after about an hour.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wear them in good health and hearing – and take them off when you don’t want to listen – but be careful it doesn’t cause relationship problems!

        Neighbor has been seen, in the dark, in deep winter, with deep snow and an ice crust on top, blowing the frozen little gumballs from the sweetgum trees over the top of the snow and out to the street.

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  3. catdownunder says:

    hearing aids get smaller and smaller – trouble is that the very elderly cannot cope with the ultra small size
    mind you the other thing is that walking sticks now seem to come in an endless array of designs – I suppose that’s something

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your wonder at improved sound reminds me of when I had my ear syringed in my early twenties. Magic

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  5. Erin says:

    Yay for reconnecting with a part of the world — and being able to disconnect when needed!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Olga Godim says:

    It’s great you can hear again. Congrats. I don’t need a hearing aid yet (I think I don’t) but three different kinds of glasses – oh, yeah.

    Like

  7. jannatwrites says:

    Congrats on the new ears! I imagine hearing all of those sounds after a period of time of not hearing them would become overwhelming. At least you can shut down at times.

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  8. BunKaryudo says:

    I’m sure you’ll adjust to them very soon. It’s great that they work so well. I’m intrigued by the thought of the galaxy having a Scottish accent. I read you say Dame Maggie Smith in your thread. That would be quite good. I like her accent. It’s certainly better than the first person that popped into my head: Robins Williams in Mrs Doubtfire.

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  9. Dawn Bonanno says:

    Very happy for you. My son has a mild hearing loss and wears hearing aids so I’m always trying to be aware of things from his perspective. 🙂 have fun with them!

    Like

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