I said, “LET’S TALK ABOUT HEARING AIDS”

A few years ago, I realized that the number of times I misheard what someone was saying to me outweighed the number of times I got it right. Or that the knowing nods and smiles I would display when my daughters talked to me were clearly signs of not hearing a word they were saying (especially because I was nodding and smiling while they were saying, “you don’t hear a word right now, do you?”). After a while, it got annoying. For me. And for everyone around me.

So, I visited Dr. Leah Ball at Richmond Hearing Doctors and found out that yes indeed, I had a significant hearing loss at a certain level. (Don’t ask me for too many details … all I know is, I can’t hear my husband talking to me when we’re in the same room, but I can hear someone talking about me from miles away. Amazing!)

Dr. Ball fitted my impossibly difficult ears with impossibly small hearing aids, and it was incredible – who knew RAIN was SO LOUD??? And can you please not accost me with that thundering aluminum foil?

At the time, I was nervous and embarrassed about transitioning from being a “young” person who doesn’t require those things my grandfather wore, to someone who was now officially “old.” And for all the BOTOX and injections that could hide wrinkles, there wasn’t a thing I could do to hide those little plastic things on my ears.

I hated them so much at first that I would take them out all the time. One day, I forgot I had removed them … and I lost them. Thousands of dollars lost because of vanity. I went back to Dr. Ball, ordered a new pair, and embraced a new attitude.

Here’s how.

While aging is one of the most common causes of hearing damage, chronic exposure to loud noises is a big cause also. And let me tell you, l have enjoyed some very loud noises in my life!

I vividly remember the joy I felt the first time my dad took me to shoot pistols. I must have been about 10. There were no headphones – but there was a lot of happiness and pride at being with my father and doing something so “grown up.”

I am delighted by every song I blared on the radio and every REALLY LOUD concert I’ve ever attended, from the Beach Boys asking me, “Do You Wanna Dance?” to Bruce Springsteen loudly and emphatically telling me “Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny,” …

… to my 50th birthday gift of “Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp” where my bandmates (including Spencer Davis, Dickie Betts, Jon Anderson, Randy Ryder, Fred Dawson, and the entire horn section from Late Night with David Letterman) played gloriously loudly – and it was the best time of my life!

And I’m thrilled by every July 4th fireworks display I’ve ever seen, sitting in the grass with the people I love, anticipating that loud “boom” and not wanting to spoil a minute of it covering my ears.

My hearing aids are a badge of honor that represent all of the joyous “CHRONIC exposure to loud noises” that made up my life. They remind me of experiences that I wouldn’t trade for all the world. Certainly not for vanity. But most of all, they are the promise of enjoying all of the sounds still heading my way.

12 thoughts on “I said, “LET’S TALK ABOUT HEARING AIDS”

  1. Sherry

    Love this and it rings true. My husband and I both got hearing aids about a year and a half ago, but he refuses to wear his. So frustrating and – what a waste of money? 🤪

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  2. Terry Turner

    Ok Nikki, this hits way too close to home. I too got hearing aids for impossible to fit ears. In the beginning I tried but they made my ears itch. I looked like Sherlock scratching. So I stopped wearing them and like magic I can’t hear🤪 especially I can’t hear Boo. Must be his pitch 🤣. Anyway you have inspired me to try again. Thanks!!!

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  3. Shelley Rabhan

    I look forward to your post every week. Your personality shines through in your writing, so I feel like I’m having a personal visit with you!!! Plus you always write about something interesting! Miss you and love you

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  4. Judy

    What a great commentary! Yes, they are a badge of honor. If indeed you are old enough to have hearing aids, you are already a lucky person! I had no idea those turn signals in the car were audible! I drove for miles with them clicking away without hearing aids!

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  5. YES! Well, you know I beat you to the punch getting hearing aids. I was definitely answering questions no one was asking! They’ve made a huge difference in my life and my friends and family notice the difference as well. I figured I led the trend that you and others are catching up to! And today’s new technology is amazing and people don’t even know that I’m wearing hearing aids.

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  6. Pingback: I’m just a singer on a sofa – Not Yet Dead

  7. Denise

    I LMAO reading this Nikki!!! The worst is sitting in the hairdresser’s chair, of course with my hearing aids out, and not hearing much of what she is saying! Just nodding and smiling. Or being in a crowded restaurant with those industrial exposed ceilings trying to hear and carry on an intelligent conversation. Uh that would be a big NO.
    UGH sitting next to that amplifier at that Doobie Brothers concert well…wasn’t the smartest thing I have ever done in my life.
    Keep up your repartee darling…laughter is the best medicine!

    Liked by 1 person

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