Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Sometimes you lose your hair, sometimes you find you have it suddenly appearing in the most unexpected places.
Often, small tasks like threading a needle, opening a jar, driving after dark or remembering where you left your glasses take on an accelerated degree of importance.
Many years ago, quite a few now that I think about it, I started losing my hearing. Honestly, most of the time it was kind of enjoyable. I was able to experience that "selective hearing" that men seem to think they have the market cornered on.
However, the spouse and the kids became increasingly annoyed with my inability to hear them unless they were shouting so I decided to throw them a bone and get something to help.
Hearing aids have come miles and miles since my grandpa's kind. Now you can wear them and the world truly never knows they are there. That is a plus.
But, every plus has a minus, or in the case of me and my little helpers, many minuses.
If you get hot and sweaty, they make my ears itch - therefore I often opt out of hearing in those conditions. Music that is comfortable or only mildly too loud for everyone else can make me feel like I'm being tortured by sound as some form of psychological warfare.
And in a crowd....oh my goodness....if the Tower of Babel sounded anything remotely like the crowd at my recent high school reunion, I'm surprised those people didn't fling themselves from the parapets.
I can hear a little without aids...very little. And there is no vibrance or vitality in the sound. It is dull and flat. My hearing aids bring vitality and color back into sound for me and in small gatherings and one on one they actually make things very enjoyable.
But in large crowds, there is an over abundance of sound. Everyone talking and laughing all at once and I am hearing all of it. The couple in the corner, the lady going out of the door, the man telling the funny story.....I'm hearing it. But not really. It becomes like wind noise in a speeding car....just sound....lots and lots of sound.
And, something I learned this time was after I leave that crowd, my brain is on sensory overload. I start working to process what I've heard...or worse....what I might have missed. Did someone say something to me directly that I didn't hear and now they think I ignored them? (Stuck up snob) Did I fail to properly express concern or excitement over something I was told? (Rude and uncaring heifer)
The last evening of my reunion, I forgot(?) to wear my hearing aids. I missed a lot of things the speakers said (I hate that) and I spent a great deal of time trying to make sure I spent a moment of true face to face time with a great many people.
So, if you observed me flitting about like a crazed bumblebee just know that I was absorbing quality sound and words from as many people as I could find that would spend a moment talking to me and making me laugh. And, remember...that issue isn't going to get one bit better so in 2 years, for the next get together, I may be scheduling private audiences like the Pope.