After two years of debate, I finally decided to take the plunge and ordered hearing aids. What made me change my mind? Oohhh, lotsa things… Things like, my hearing has gotten more than a little bit worse in the last two years. Digital hearing aids have gotten more than a little bit better as well. The recent round of testing actually started with vertigo. As in dizzy spells.
That’s another story, for another time. And it includes a whole roller coaster of possibilities. Back to my hearing loss.
A low-frequency, reverse-slope loss is rare. Yeah, yeah, heard that before. Whoop-de-do. My ability to hear tones in low frequencies has dipped into the range that borders on “severe loss”. Oh yay. My mid-range hearing has dipped firmly into the “moderate loss” category, and the high notes aren’t exempt either, though they’re the least significant of the losses. Goody.
Which means I can hear the oh-so-pleasant sounds of crying babies and little yappy dogs.
It also limits my choice of hearing aids. I’m a damn picky customer, so I did my research and talked to people I trust implicitly before I even spoke to the doctor about getting fitted for hearing aids. When I accepted the fact that I would be wearing a visible hearing device (RIC style, or “mini” BTE in the above pic), not some barely-noticeable in-the-ear number, I made up my mind.
Screw that array of flesh-toned or greige things attempting to be inconspicuous. Oh hells to the no. I am not, repeat not, wearing that crap. If I’m going to wear a visible hearing aid, that sucker is gonna be visible!
I ordered mine in cherry red. My audiologist asked several times if I was sure. I finally told her: “If I have to wear the things, I’m going to make them stylish. That’s all there is to it.” I have every intention of ordering some hearing aid bling from Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms. Heck, I have friends who make jewelry, I may just commission stuff from them.
I’ve shared these plans with a few people, and they all look at me like I’m nuts. Why would I want to call attention to something that I really didn’t want in the first place?
Simple – I can’t hide the hearing aids, so I’ll treat them the same way I treat glasses, they’re as much fashion accessory as medical device. I had a moment of pure bliss when, while waiting for the theatre doors open before Zumanity, a lady in front of me was wearing stunningly decorated hearing aids, and her cochlear implant was accessorized with a matching flower, feather and crystal arrangement that could have passed for a vintage fascinator. I had to compliment her on the cool look.
And so, now I wait… the hearing aids are on order, and I’m braced for the challenges, the lack of “natural” sound, and all of the other fun stuff that comes with them. Once we’ve got them programmed and I’m happy with the purchase, it’ll be time to put on the bling!