The hearing test.

Milo listening to possums

Milo listening to possums

It must be hell to have good hearing. At least in my wife’s case who is increasingly annoyed by my inability to so often not hear her words clearly. Since many years I have worn hearing aids. The blame lies squarely on the genetics from my mother’s side. It is deeply annoying for both but I have at least mastered to respond successfully in at least fifty percent of cases. That’s if the question asks for a yes or no answer. If the face of the other person looks perplexed, I cotton on quickly and sneak in a reversal. Of course, the advice is to ask for a repeat of the statement in the conversation, but at times I feel it might infringe on the other person, especially that it still carries the risk that even after the second time one still doesn’t understand. It seems that despite all the latest technology, hearing aids still don’t approximate sounds sufficient enough to avoid the distress to those having to repeat their words again and again.

Of course the domestic situation is the one that suffers most. What can be done? I took the step to get my hearing once more tested. There is now a local hearing clinic which was opened a few weeks ago by the state Minister for health to which I was duly invited. “There will be tea and sponge cakes”, I was told by the secretary behind the desk. My social life could do with some life and sponge cake and what better than meet a Minister opening a hearing clinic? I did not expect a wild swinging uninhibited Lambada type of party but at least had expectations of hearing a few words here and there.

I wasn’t disappointed. There were many people. Most of them must have been patients, sorry ‘clients’ that must have heeded to the lure of ‘tea and sponge cake’. The room was glistening with ears holding a bewildering variety of hearing devices. Voices were clear and many voices were loud. I met the Minister, who mingled with many and was surprisingly clear with her expressions, both in words and supporting gesticulating lips… I tried not to be overly enthusiastic in hoeing down my sponge cake. Dear Helvi turned down the invitation, no doubt happy to have a morning of free time. Sometimes, free time works wonders in returning closeness and reviving the joy that routine domesticity threatens to impinge upon.

I had my ears tested yesterday by an audiologist who happened to be very good at her job. It is all done through a computer programme with no need for the hearing booth anymore. As a pensioner I am entitled to a basic set. The basic hearing aid is made by Siemens and fits behind the ear and is good for the one to one, and TV watching. I choose the next level which is good for one to one, the TV and…wait for this…restaurant situations, provided I manoeuvre my back to the wall excluding sound coming from behind. This will cost me $900.- for both behind the ear hearing aids. There are seven levels now with one to one, TV, restaurant, groups of people, culminating in able to hear clinking of glasses and even able to hear with a vacuum cleaner on the go. The mind boggles. The top level hearing aids will set you back $ 4000.- for both.

I’ll will let you know after the 4th of February how my new set of aids will fare.

Let me know of any sponge cake parties.

Tags: , ,

37 Responses to “The hearing test.”

  1. Dorothy brett Says:

    Gerard, I love your writings even those I sometimes don’t fully agree with. But this one was so good, I love hearing about your everyday life. Regards Dorothy Brett

    Liked by 1 person

  2. berlioz1935 Says:

    I’m going on Monday for a hearing test. I don’t expect sponge cake. Even the $900 for a Siemens is too much for me. I spent $5000 at the dentist last year and still paying it off to myself. The hearing aids I’m supposed to wear causing me only trouble. The left one never works outside the clinic and the right one is hissing to its heart’s content just touching the skin on the side of my head.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, my old right one hisses too and only stops when I take it out which defeats the purpose. Still, hopefully the new ones will be an improvement. One is entitled to a new set every five years or getting the present ones repaired free.
      The TV head set from Aldi’s at about $60.- is a dream come tue. They are especially suitable for the hearing impaired.

      Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, teeth. There is a subject, enough to fill a separate blog, an entire book even. Why oh why doesn’t Australia have national dental scheme?
      Amazing how many walk around without teeth. I suppose a sponge cake submerged in tea would be one answer, but this would be not a suitable method for a nice steak or lamb chop.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. auntyuta Says:

    As an arthritis sufferer I believe steak or lamb chops would not be such a good thing for me. Besides most meat pieces I do not like very much anyway. I have very badly shrinking gums, so with my partial dentures (top and bottom) it would be pretty hopeless to attempt to eat steak. And really, I do not mind this at all. A rissole or such like will do for me. Apparently with arthritis to stick to very simple vegan food is best.
    I hope for Helvi’s sake that your new hearing aids are going to be a great success.๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Sorry to hear about the arthritis. Helvi has a form of it it in her hands which has warped some of her fingers.
      Fish is what we have on our menue most times. Aldi now sells 4 pieces of Australian salmon for $12.90.- which is enough for two meals. Ideal for those, like me, having less than a good bite. Milo of course can happily chew through lots of bones. I am jealous.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Ah, the wonders of our maturing bodies. It’s a race to see what gives out first. So far so good for me with the hearing. Although I admit to turning the TV up a little louder and asking questions especially from a person with an accent. With Dr. A when I am not listening I have developed a chuckle which tells him I am aware. If he wants an answer he asks again. If I am in another room I pretend I didn’t hear at all. You learn to adjust.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yvonne Says:

    I sure hope those new aids will help your hearing, and ease Helvi’s repetition problem!

    Like

  6. roughseasinthemed Says:

    So far hearing problems havent shown themselves on our you are aging rapidly list (unlike teeth), apart from selective deafness (him) and tinnitus (me). It’s obviously just another thing to look forward to … Aids sound pricey though. I couldn’t do with them hissing. Tinnitus and hissing would sound like a veritable orchestra in the same ear. Not good.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      No, haven’t had the tinnitus as yet but as a Jeremiah convert, we live in hope. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      On our own, deafness provides a quiet and rather peaceful environment from the cackle and chatter that the good of hearing must put up with. For every cloud has a silver lining.
      I had a friend who told me he uses ear-plugs to keep out sound. So, there you have it. Sound; a double edged sword.
      We try and make the best of things.

      Like

  7. la_lasciata Says:

    In this particular age-related limitation I’m more fortunate than you, Gerard: whilst I don’t hear as well with my left ear as with the right, my hearing is nowhere near needing assistance (yet). Tinnitus is what I inherited, from my mother; and a rip-roaring version it is. But you get used to it – you either have to or go mad …
    SHUT UP !!!!!!!

    Like

  8. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Many, many moons ago, when I was just a young slip of a lass and greener than the grass itself, I became convinced that husband numero uno was becoming profoundly deaf. The rapid decline in his aural faculty coincided with the passing of our first year of marriage. Such was my concern, that I begged him to visit a specialist. Extensive auditory tests where carried out, and thorough in-depth examination of his ears. We were summoned back to the Harley Street doctor for the results. The doctor sat behind a highly polished mahogany desk, littered with papers and medical files. The specialist looked gravely at us down his spectacles – ‘I’m afraid that there is a problem, and it is potentially very serious’ I gripped my husband’s hand fearing the worst – ‘Mr G, your hearing is perfect, 100% in fact. After extensive tests it appears that you have a listening problem, that you don’t listen to your wife. This is something that you may need to address’ and with that he gave an enormous gaffaw and sent us on our way.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      There is an entire book there Lottie. The problem must have been serious for him to have become ‘husband number uno.’ Perhaps it was a problem of self- absorbtion. I too still get accused of not being a good listener as my brain seems to go off at a tangent as soon as ennui creeps in.
      Professors and other experts say that, in general, men think of sex once every two minutes. If that is true it is no wonder that, in general, men are not good at listening.
      Oops, two minutes have almost past i better think of breasts and nipples now.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. bkpyett Says:

    I’m delighted with my free hearing aids, though they are coming up for replacement. My man gave me a larger piece in one ear to stop the noise, which works perfectly now. I was interested in your restaurant back to the wall advice, shall have to remember that. I find I can’t hear a thing when restaurants echo with reverberating noise. I finally have an iPhone, and on speaker I can hear. Previously I avoided the phone totally! Great post Gerard!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, restaurants are a problem and I get accused of not lifting my face up from the plate of smoked duck. Part is that I don’t hear much of the conversation around me. I do hope my new hearing aids can fix that. It is difficult for H and at times she gets exasperated. ” you are often the only one I can talk to”, she says. It gets a bit sad at times.
      Glad to hear you too are enjoying free hearing aids.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Gerard, what next? Here in the states the dang aids cost thousands of dollars. People who have medicare don’t get any insurance help and Medicare does not pay for dental care either. See out politicians do not give a wit if the poor and the feeble can hear or have teeth. I tell you, it’s a wicked world over here. Perhaps Aussie land is by far a better place to live.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Hello Petspeopleandlife,
      I never could make sense out of the opposition in the US over a universal health care system. It seems many connect social welfare and equal wealth sharing as a form of communism. Australia has some good things and that includes a national health scheme with hearing aids part of it. Not teeth though, unless you book through a public dental hospital and can wait for months, even then they don’t give dentures, just pull teeth out with the result that many poor are very gummy and end up eating mashed food. (or sponge cakes dunked in tea)

      Liked by 2 people

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        Apparently Australia and the USA think poor folks should have to “gum” their food and go about toothless to their grave. So pitiful. I can’t tolerate politicians at all..They are worthless and getting worse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The ultimate are tooth implants. I skirted with that option but paled when finding out the costs.
        I had a very sinewy rump steak last night at the local pub. Took most of it home wrapped in a couple of paper napkins. I should have returned it but this pub is struggling to make a buck and the owner does so his best, trying to make a go of it.
        I chewed on but should have followed Helvi’s advice who went for the Wagyu beef burger and shoestring chips.
        Milo was so grateful.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Andrew Says:

    The problem with the hearing aid is it reduces the scope for avoiding difficult questions such as ‘have you mowed the lawn yet?’ Selective hearing us useful. Deafness runs in our family but so far i am exempt. My father told me about his aunt Min. Musician I believe but deaf as a post.

    Like

  12. Curt Mekemson Says:

    My ears empathize, Gerard. I am still avoiding hearing aids, but they are coming. โ€“Curt

    Like

  13. Silver in the Barn Says:

    As you may know, my daughter was deafened at 29 and it has been devastating. I hope your new hearing aids will help, Gerard, as my daughter’s cochlear implant surgery did. It’s not perfect, but it’s still a miracle.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist Says:

    The hearing problem and relationships. At first you think your partner has selective deafness. He claims you have. Eventually the hearing test is carried out so one or the other or both can say I told you so. Eventually though it becomes like a comedy routine and when you don’t laugh about it, communication truly suffers. Glad you got your sponge cake and gave your wife a break and got a new hearing aid as well. Sounds like a most productive morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    My husband and I are having quite a few exchanges along the line ofโ€ฆ ‘A peat lorry?” ‘No, a BEET lorry.’ I will get myself tested soon, honest.

    Like

  16. Patti Kuche Says:

    It never helps that so many people mumble . . . . grrr. Good luck with the tests!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: