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Now nearly 86 years of age, I have spent most of my life trying to set a good example to my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
However, when I had a recent hearing test, my halo slipped a little.
About 20 years ago, I began to ask people to speak up and repeat what they said. This was wearing. Having mobility problems didn’t help when sometimes I had to turn round to clarify what was said or happening behind me.
Several people suggested that I had a hearing test, and after seeing my doctor, I was referred to a hearing clinic where I had my hearing tested.
However, the conclusion of my hearing test was that I was a “borderline case” and I did not need hearing aids.
Over the next seventeen years, people continued to have to repeat what they said to me, and I was often told I was talking loudly on the telephone and that I had the television volume too high. People were also not fond of the TV subtitles that I often found necessary.
So early in 20015, now with increased mobility problems, I asked for another hearing test.
I was determined to make sure that I got hearing aids this time, so I came up with a plan – to manipulate the test.
How would I do this? By not pressing the button when I heard the quieter hearing test sounds.
Sure enough, after the test, my audiogram indicated that my hearing had deteriorated markedly and I was now able to be supplied with hearing aids.
Just one problem.
When the hearing aids were fitted, because my audiogram had made me seem even more deaf than I am, the sound from both hearing aids was far too loud.
The audiologist agreed to adjust the right-sided hearing aid and soon, it sounded just right. However, as much as we tried, we couldn’t get the left-sided one right.
Eventually, I thought I’d better confess, and I told her what I’d done during the test. She didn’t seem impressed. After some more adjustments, she told me that she’d done all she could.
Because the left-sided hearing aid was too loud, for the next fourteen months I was a one-aid man.
Happily, I can now record that I have recently paid a further visit to the hearing clinic and have had another audiogram test.
You’ll be pleased to know that his time I responded properly, and funnily enough, the new audiogram suggested that in the fourteen months between the two tests, my hearing in both ears had miraculously improved.
Both hearing aids now sound good, although I have another appointment for fine tuning.
I don’t deserve such attention and genuinely thank the hearing clinic for their expertise, tolerance and care in helping such a S-o-S!!
Len Darlow is a pseudonym. Len is nearly 86 years old and lives in the East Midlands. He’s our oldest writer to date.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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