Posts Tagged ‘hearing aids’

Doctor will see you now.

July 4, 2017

The sun is out.

It is surprising how it has turned around. Years ago, if one was crook, doctors would do home-visits. Before doctor’s arrival, Mother would give the house a peremptory clean-up with the toilet-brush swirling vigorously around the bowl, then a quick flush. All was aired. The kitchen given a quick scan and dishes put away. The patient, one of us children, would lie prone in bed wearing a suitable pallor, indicating the illness was genuine, dispelling any doubt he or she could have gone to the Doctor’s Practice instead.

Most doctors now have moved into collective groups and in my own case it’s almost like going to the pictures. One enters a large building with doors sensing patient’s arrival opening up, before your trembling hand is even within reach of the glass. Germs are well contained within the patient’s own bodily confines. This collective groups of doctors are now called ‘Medical Centre,’ all housed under the same roof. One almost expects the possibility of the Centre  to address other issues as well, perhaps selling vacuum cleaners or prosthesis’.

For the over seventy-five, the driver’s license can only be renewed after an obligatory medical test. One of the questions I faced a few weeks ago was; if nurturing ‘suicidal thoughts’ were obvious. I can’t imagine a patient entering Doctor’s office with a length of rope scanning the ceiling for any suitable hooks to hang oneself from. How does one nurture suicidal thoughts ‘obviously?’

Of the few times I see a doctor, there are always rows of patients seated next to each other in the waiting-room. I am idling some time away trying to figure out their ailments. A bandage here and there makes this guessing easy. It get’s a bit tricker when nothing apparent is visible. Last time I noticed a woman with a very red face as if she had been the aim in a beetroot throwing party. She could have high blood pressure. With healthy men I wonder if they are seeking a repeat prescription for Viagra, especially if they look a bit tense or shifty. I believe Viagra ordered on-line is risky. There have been cases where the Viagra was just an aspirin with the patience of the partner finally running out and romance flagging so sadly.

My Medical Centre waiting room had a number of rooms attached in which the different doctors would see their patients by calling out their names. Of course, with average patient’s age ripening, the hearing aids feature plentiful. That’s why doctors now call out the names much louder than let’s say 10 years ago. It won’t be long and doctors will hold high, boards with names on it.

My waiting room has an aquarium with listless gold-fishes just swimming around oblivious to any ailments or physical shortcomings of the surrounding people. At the bottom of this aquarium nestles a Tudor castle and some plastic trees. What disturbed or factious genius thought up building a castle underneath water and then proceed to drown trees? No wonder the gold-fish are listless. Above this  watery oddity is a TV screen giving patients now a second options in loosing their minds. This TV is showing the local temperature interspersed with a quiz testing medical knowledge. One question asked if flu was caused by bacteria or virus? Most of the questions gave three or four possibilities or answers. One had to guess correctly by answering  a, b, c, or whatever.

The TV is not really looked at. Even the elderly are checking their iPhones now, bent over little screens, little sighs sometimes escape.  Getting old is not without sighs.

Years ago we held wild parties. I remember a woman coming out of our bedroom, totally dishevelled at 4am. She had crashed out on our bed. She woke up and ambled into the lounge-room where some of us were still going on, rambling about politics or the state of the Vietnam war. ‘Is there another cold one in the fridge,’ she asked? We never even knew who she was or what she was doing. That’s how casual it all was. It did not matter, she had played the piano earlier on. Not a care in the world.

Now, I am sitting in a waiting room at a Medical Centre also wearing hearing aids. What’s going on?


The hearing test.

January 14, 2015
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.