Monday February 07th 2011, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

I knew what I really wanted to give my folks for Christmas, but I just didn’t know how to pull it off. I so did not want them to get thrown in a drawer. I did say what my wish was; Dad’s reaction was, “What if I don’t wear them?”

“Fine,” I retorted, “then I’ll stop wearing mine!”

“No! You need them!”


And now while they’re here…

I drove them to my audiologist’s office today for them to fit Dad for my old Oticons, perfectly good hearing aids–for someone with better hearing than I have now.

Joan the technician summoned Dad back to make the earmolds and Mom went back with him; I, knowing the size of the room they were likely going to, stayed put with my knitting.

After they were out of earshot, though, I got up.  I went over to the receptionist and told her I wanted to pay for those molds.

She protested, “But they’re not even back yet!” They have to do an impression of your ear canals, send it out, get it back, check the fit, attach it to the behind-the-ears, and only then are you done. She would have told me all that, but I just smiled and said, “I know.” I gestured towards where they’d gone and–she got it. She told me she didn’t know yet how much to charge me for John-the-audiologist’s time for adjusting my old aids to match Dad’s audiogram, though.

Fine, not a problem, we’ll deal with that part later, just, quick before they come out.

She grinned. On it!

Joan told us, coming out to talk to me too when she was done, that the one thing is that the length of the tubing is a question. Yes, John likes to check the fit of everything and Mom and Dad won’t still be here, but tubing or fit, Dad can take it to an audiologist local to him for that last little bit. Or we might just totally luck out and have it come out right.

As I handed her my old aids, she smiled, “Oh, I like these. These are good ones.”

Not as good as my Sonic Innovations, but then, Dad doesn’t have a musician’s ear so he wouldn’t care about sounds being pitch-perfect. (Note that I have no idea what Oticon’s latest might be, this is simply what I had.)

And the thing is: I told Dad these were my back-ups in case my new ones ever had to go in for repair.  And then I told him how much the Oticons had cost.

“Well then I can’t take them.”

“In two and a half years I’ve never had to repair them. ” Then I told him how much my new ones  had cost.

Because by golly, I knew those hearing aids needed to come with the gentle pressure of John and Joan asking if they’d worked out well for him; I knew that if Dad knew I’d given up something valuable to me for him to have these, he would wear them out of sheer gratitude; he’s a good guy.

I told my mom she was going to need patience too with how things were going to change for him–having the world suddenly much louder is going to take him some getting used to, no question about that.

But I remember how, back when my older children were babies and I would start my mornings with a long racewalk before my husband left for work, there was the day after I got my first-ever set where I stepped out my front door in the quiet of the early day.

Only this time it wasn’t quiet.  I stopped dead right there on the doorstep, stunned.  What on earth were all those sounds.  Where on earth *were* they.

Birds. There were birds singing, greeting the new March morning. I hadn’t heard birds like that since age 12. I. Had. Forgotten.

Back home again, sitting down to lunch, Dad suddenly realized, aghast, “We never paid for those molds!”

I looked up. “Yes we did.”

“No we didn’t!”

“Yes. We did.”


13 Comments so far
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My aunt finally convinced Dad to get hearing aids, telling him “you wear glasses for your eyes, so what’s the problem?” He learned to reach up and turn down the volume in both ears as my children approached him, to ratchet down all that high-pitched input to a bearable level.

Comment by Lynn 02.08.11 @ 4:22 am

A precious gift indeed! Glad it worked out.

Comment by Joansie 02.08.11 @ 6:03 am

I can’t get my mom to get tested by someone that is GOOD. She went to one screening once and that is it. She can’t hear me or Judith that well but is fine with Neil. Well, dear heavens, Neil speaks lake a bass drum. Judith and I DON’T. She says that Judith and I need to speak up. That doesn’t help. She still can’t hear me that well and I just annoy the neighbors at the assisted living. Except for the ones that can’t hear either.

Comment by afton 02.08.11 @ 7:06 am

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one over on your dad. Fortunately, you’re an early riser when you need to be.

Comment by LauraN 02.08.11 @ 8:00 am

Merry Christmas! Good for you. Happy hearing for both of you.

Comment by Channon 02.08.11 @ 8:02 am

Did anyone ever tell you that “you are a rotten kid”?

Comment by sherry in Idaho 02.08.11 @ 8:02 am

A “GOTCHA” moment, always good when we help someone we love, My hubby has a hearing loss, from working in a factory, can’t seem to get him to go for a check. Then again in might be “selective hearing”Have a good week.

Comment by kris 02.08.11 @ 9:23 am

what is it about guys that they are so sure that they hear just fine, it must be us that are mumbling?

I’m so glad you were able to do something so wonderful for your dad!

Comment by Bev 02.08.11 @ 9:47 am

Wow! What a story! Oh, it’s so good when you can do something for your parents, and you don’t get the “Oh, you shouldn’t have!”

I suspect that my hearing is deteriorating somewhat (what you say), but At the moment I’m one of the stubborn ones.

Comment by Don Meyer 02.08.11 @ 12:18 pm

What a perfect gift :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 02.08.11 @ 4:59 pm

I love your idea, your gesture, your kindness…

I would hug you if I could!

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 02.09.11 @ 1:06 pm

Just to keep you informed. The latest Oticon’s are the AGILs. And they are about $2800 a piece from my audiologist (I’ve seen them higher online).

I still use my oticon Epoq XW with RITE. But if I’m lucky, work is going to foot the bill for two of the newer models. Wouldn’t that be cool? even if the colors for the AGILs suck rocks.

Comment by Tiny Tyrant 02.10.11 @ 6:08 pm

Hearing is a wonderful gift to give. <3 I love reading your posts!

Comment by Amy 02.13.11 @ 8:13 am

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