Whole Lotta Noise

Way back in 2016 I upgraded my hearing aids from these, to these.

Over the last few months I noticed my hearing had suffered a bit of a drop-off. Either because my hearing aids are nearing the end of their life, or I’m losing a few more increments of my organic hearing ability after three-score-years-and-two of wear-n-tear.

I took myself off to my local Costco Hearing center (where I got the last pair of hearing aids) and had a hearing test. Turns out my hearing loss was a combination of the two above-mentioned possibilities.

So, now I am getting new hearing aids, and a new phone, because my trusty old iPhone5 is as much of a dinosaur as my old computer was, and won’t support all the high-falutin’ tech that my new ‘hearables’ require to function.

Luckily our cell-phone contract ran out a little while ago and we were in the process of looking around for a new best-and-cheapest option anyway. Here in Canada, it’s possible to have the cost of a new phone, (or most of it at least) incorporated into a monthly-fee service plan … which is a good thing because with all the money we’ve put out of late this wouldn’t been possible otherwise. New phones are obscenely expensive. (one of the reasons why we upgrade only when absolutely necessary)

The audiologist said something that’s stuck with me though.

She noted that even when I could hear something clearly, being in an environment that is filled with complex (human generated) sound is not exactly my cuppa tea. (I may have paraphrased that a little)

I remember when I was a child growing up in a very unsafe environment, I needed to be hyper-aware of my environment at all times, all of my senses on full alert, if I was to keep myself safe. (there wasn’t anybody else around, certainly no other adults who weren’t in compromised situations themselves … which also explains why I don’t feel overly comfortable with locked doors, or anything that restricts my movement … I mean, I get a bit twitchy if I can’t even get my rings off my fingers when I want to)

It’s no surprise that there’s a part of my psyche that considers loud background noise to be, at worst downright dangerous, and an intrusive annoyance at best.

I don’t mind loud natural noises, the ones that aren’t ridiculously loud that is. (an Aussie summer filled with deafening cicadas is not to high on my list, or exploding volcanoes, etc)

Human noise is drenched, not only in sound, but the energy behind the reasons for making those sounds. An energy that is unpredictable and yet so easily manipulated.

Definitely not my cuppa tea.

25 comments on “Whole Lotta Noise

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    I can relate to all of this. I have the usual age-related deteriorating hearing, but also severe tinnitus. Extra background noise, when you are on alert for danger and, at the same time, trying to tune out the psychic ‘noise’ of human emotion and thought that does not relate to you… it is hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      Funny story – my tinnitus first started showing up when I was doing the year of spiritual work (the stories I wrote in Prelude) and at the time I didn’t hear it anywhere else. (almost certainly due to the ambient noise everywhere else) I mentioned to my teacher that it sounded like an old-fashioned telephone bell ringing. She quite flippantly, I suspect, said I probably needed to answer the phone.
      Being a literally-minded lass, I took the comment literally and ‘answered the phone’ next time I was on a Spirit Journey.
      The tinnitus didn’t go away, but it did kick off a deeper set of spiritual experiences. 🙂

      Like

  2. I’m sorry to learn of this additional problem, and hope the new aids will bed in well

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tidalscribe says:

    I hope the new aids and phone work well and easily! An interesting post because most of us most of the time take background noise for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I lost the hearing in my right ear at age 5 (mumps). I was fitted with hearing aids in fear that I might also lose the hearing in my left ear. But keeping hearing aids in an active 5-6 yo wasn’t going to happen. Turns out the loss was stable, but I’ve spent my life trying to make sure I keep people on my left as much as possible. When I can’t, or when I am in an environment with a lot of background noise, it’s almost impossible for me to hear them, and has led to a lot of awkward social situations. But mine aren’t grounded in any fear for my safety. Wishing you the best outcome with your new ears, Widdershins!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Widdershins says:

      I presume you’ve thought about getting just one for your right ear? 🙂
      I’m just a little bit wary in crowds these days, but it was interesting to chase down the thread of where it came from.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ellen Hawley says:

    Hang on a minute. Your hearing aids need your phone to function? What happens when you’re phone’s–oh, I don’t know. In the freezer. Sulking. Not charged up. At home when it should be with you at the supermarket. You know, doing one of those things phones get up to when we’re not watching them every second. (There should be a question mark in that mess somewhere, but I’ve forgotten where. Here it is: ? Drop it in there for me, would you? Thanks.)

    Next thing I know, my stove’s going to want to consult with my phone before it makes my oatmeal. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Widdershins says:

      Hah! 😀 … not to amplify ambient sound into my ear, but I do need one to control the volume, adjust individual sound frequencies, reduce ambient/background noise, make phone calls where I can actually hear what the other person is saying clearly … and this new model even has a microphone built in … kind of a glorified Bluetooth really. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ellen Hawley says:

        Amazing. I can’t help imagining my mother trying to deal with all that, though. She didn’t have a gift for technology and basically bailed out at the point where they introduced cash machines. Insert a cash machine-like bit of tech in her ear and she’d have been lost. As it was, she struggled with her hearing aids.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Lazy people now build everything into an app instead of the device.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. acflory says:

    I don’t need a hearing device [yet], but I definitely can’t handle background noise and speech at the same time. Restaurants have been uncomfortable for a long time, but lately I’m finding the Offspring hard to understand if say the dishwasher is on, or the tv. Of course it’s also possible that said Offspring MUMBLES! Ahem, but that’s another issue entirely.

    Glad the need for a new phone coincides with your new hearing device. But…what if you forget to charge the phone?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Widdershins says:

      Offsprings (Offsprungs?) and spouses most definitely do MUMBLE!!! 🙂
      Uncharged phone – nothing momentous, 🙂 I don’t have much use for my phone at the best of times. (texting, taking pictures/videos mostly) The hearing aids will work at a pre-set volume and program (if I was in a restaurant for example) but to fine tune anything, volume, programs, frequencies, etc, or hear phone calls I need it to be connected. The hearing aids do have a built-in microphone as well so in that sense they’re just like a Bluetooth! 🙂
      Until this year (2020 – the Year of the Mask) I didn’t consciously realise just how much I relied on lip-reading and facial expressions to understand what people were saying.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How insightful that you’re aware of the impact of sound on your sense of peace. I hope the new hearing aids give you just the right amount of hearing without being overwhelming. And enjoy the new phone! Have a peaceful, quiet holiday and joyous new year. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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