Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I'm getting a hearing aid on Saturday. Two of them, actually: one for each ear. The idea that I might really be able to hear much better than I do now is tremendously exciting. The technician who examined me was clearly braced to argue me into them, and the brochure he sent home with me dwelt mostly on overcoming one's resentment and resistance to them.

Resentment? Resistance? I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.

I don't think most people know I have a hearing problem. It's a weird one -- the reverse of the usual curve: I don't hear low frequencies well, whereas most people lose the high frequencies. So most women I can hear distinctly, but there's only a few men whose voices I hear well. I work with a lot of Indian men, who tend to speak much more softly than American men; some of them I really can't hear at all. I see their mouths moving and guess.

I wonder whether my aversion to telephones might stem largely from my bad hearing. I never know, when I pick up a telephone, if I'm going to be able to understand the person on the other end.

We'll see. They say it takes a few weeks to learn to intepret the new range and amplitude of sound passed in by the hearing aids, so it won't be instant gratification. But I can't wait for Saturday.

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