Hear! Hear!

No two ways about it. I wouldn’t want to lose either my sight or my my hearing. With my love of music, reading, and photography, the loss of either would be a downer. That’s not even counting the effect on my driving!

At this stage of my life (I’m seventy-two), I don’t know that I could handle learning to read braille or communicate using the American Sign Language. Or to adjust to using other ways of doing the things that keep me going.

Even though glasses correct my vision adequately–they do nothing for my color blindness, of course–my hearing is a different matter.

I can’t recall when I first started wearing hearing aids, but it no more than fifteen years ago. I started with Beltone and switched to Widex two or three years ago because my health insurance helped some with the cost.

The Beltone and Widex hearing aids both had/have bells and whistles the wearer can adjust according to taste and circumstances. I rarely messed with those features with the Beltone and have done so even less with the Widex.

I just want to be able to hear and understand what people are saying!

And therein lies the real issue. Even though I hear and understand immeasurably better now than I would without hearing aids, there are certain instances (the reverberation in the halls at the mall, for example) in which complete comprehension is nearly impossible.

The way certain people talk is another issue. Our church music director must think I’m a total grouch for my failure to laugh at her funny stories when everyone else is cackling riotously. I guess I’ll get around to explaining that to her privately–sometime. (I can normally understand her very well one-on-one and can always ask her to repeat something if absolutely necessary.)

I mentioned the mall. What makes that especially frustrating is trying to communicate with several employees I’ve grown quite fond of–at least one Hindu and a whole family of Muslims. Although their English is reasonably good (some better than others), their accents (along with my hearing problems) make it difficult to carry on a serious discussion.

I’m always thankful when my wife is with me–not just at the mall, but anywhere. Everywhere. She understands what I’m going through, and she makes sure I correctly comprehend what others say, although she may not realize I’ve misunderstood something until I respond to someone in a way that makes totally no sense.

No two ways about it. It doesn’t whether years of listening to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and other loud rock groups through headphones contributed to my current problems or simply age, but I do miss natural hearing.

I’d be hard pressed to function without hearing aids. Even though I hope the Widex will function adequately for the rest of my life, I think I’d be ready to try those three hundred dollar ones I’ve seen so many advertisements for before I spent more thousands of dollars on anything else.

I just want to be able to hear the best I can for as long as I can. Preferably till death. Is that asking too much?

Any comments?

I’ll be back again next Sunday if I have anything to say. Otherwise, we’ll try for the Sunday after that. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

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Hear! Hear!

hearAids2    hearingAids

Somewhere in the Bible’s Old Testament you’ll find the words “He who has ears, let him hear.” Or something close to that. I’m not always a perfect Bible quoter, and I’m even worse at remembering exactly where any given verse is found.

Although my father has been dead since 1993, one of the things I remember best about him is the fact that he wore hearing aids for a number of years prior to his death. Judging by my mother’s complaints about still having to repeat everything, either they didn’t do much good or he failed to have them in all of the time.

Probably fifteen years ago–maybe longer–I realized that not everyone was actually mumbling. And I was asking for people to repeat themselves more and more often. Not good. I was only middle-aged then.

I’d never priced hearing aids seriously, but I’d noticed the prices in Costco and figured I’d better start saving.

Funny how that money I kept setting aside always ending up going for something I considered far less important. But that’s another story. One I don’t plan on sharing here.

I’m not sure why I ended up going to Beltone, but I did. In fact, my wife accompanied me. She knew I’d forget most of the important details by the time I got home if she didn’t come.

We were both well impressed with the testing and the Beltone products, and we ended up taking out a loan from my credit union to buy a pair. Not the most expensive by far. Closer to the least expensive.

Such an improvement! Well worth the investment.

But as I got used to wearing them–and as the years passed–I realized that hearing aids only help. They are no substitute for good natural hearing.

I wouldn’t enjoy life nearly as much without my hearing aids, but more and more I have to accept the fact that I’ll never hear anything quite the way it probably actually sounds.

I’m back to thinking that some people are mumbling and asking folks to repeat things again. Not as bad as before, but–at sixty-eight–would investing in new hearing aids be worth it? I doubt seriously that anyone receiving them as a bequest from my will would have any use for them.

Or should I try something other than Beltone? There are cheaper, but are they equally good? I don’t know.

But I do know that if I want to keep writing, playing, and listening to music, I may have to bite the bullet and do some serious investigating.

Any opinions or advice? Please leave a comment.


I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I use “As I Come Singing” to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Check it out HERE  if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.


My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

Best regards,