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.

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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!!!

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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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