This week, on Thursday (February 6th), exactly five days before the anniversary of the accident that truly changed my life forever, I got my new hearing aids. It was a “big” day simply for the fact that it was, in so much as others are involved, The End of the ordeal – you might think that the day the law suit ended would have been The End*. However, until this measure of restoration could happen it wasn’t really over. I suppose one could argue that this particular adventure won’t really be over until I am done & gone… That seems a labyrinthine argument -- way too big for my meager mind, tho’!
|Say "Hello" to my little friends...|
NOTE: "Oto-Ease" = Ear Lube *intended to ease itching/irritation*
The lovely, little black box of grey 'wands' = Wax Traps *let's just leave it at that*
In addition to being a Big Day in the ‘Tying-Up-Loose-Ends’ department, it was even bigger in the ‘Fully-Realizing-What-Was-Lost’ department… Bear in mind that I was nowhere near ‘deaf’ – the Audiologist’s Report revealed that the inner ear injury had damaged primarily the upper register (high frequency) of my hearing – to the tune of a 40% reduction. The best analogy I have for this are the coupons, beloved of artists and crafters throughout the land, from Michael’s, AC Moore, and the like. You know, those 40% off gems with which they lure you into to the store – knowing that even on your most disciplined day(s), you can’t go in and get out with just ONE item.
Unfortunately, 40% off one of the five senses is not such a good deal. I suppose it serves as a testament to the adaptability of us mere mortals that I did not realize *rather, had NO freakin’ CLUE* how much I was actually missing. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that I was having a hard time ‘catching’ everything – conversations amidst lots of background noise, watching television and having to ask “What did he say?” (which I had to do quite often, much to the chagrin of my sweetheart), etc. Every day, I am reminded that there were SO many other things that had just faded away for me.
From the time I left that appointment Thursday morning up to the moment of this writing, I am constantly feeling the big “Wow!” – little things, things that in the overall scheme of Life may seem inconsequential, are being re-introduced to my range. Examples? I’ve got buckets!
At the end of my appointment, the Doc handed me my paper and sent me to the check-out counter. I must have looked The Fool, walking down the hallway marveling at the noises emanating from that magical piece of paper!? “Wow!” I thought to myself, “This is really LOUD paper.” When I handed the paper to the young man to settle up before leaving, I recall being amazed that his computer was SO ‘clicky’!? Upon exiting the office, I actually heard the traffic beyond the office complex – cars whizzing down the road… that rubbery (almost sticky) sound of tires on asphalt. I had not heard that when I came in to the office (?) Leaving the parking lot, I was startled by the firm, mechanical ‘snap’ made by engaging my turn signals – which now sounded more ‘blinky’… With every stop, entrance, and exit that happened on Thursday (and there were many), I noticed a new depth of sound. *the jangling of my keys, the gritty sibilance of my shoes on the sidewalks, the faint sigh of doors closing, the succulence of wine tumbling into my glass, the clink and clatter of dishes, even the sweet snufflings of Wito, it just goes on and on…*
My favorite re-acquaintance of the day, however, was when I heard the susurrations of the pines with only the slightest breeze. The whispering of trees is one of my favorite sounds in the world – so calming, so peaceful, like a promise breathed into the neck of your lover, or the heartbreaking sweetness of “I love you” uttered by a child half asleep. I wept. I stood in the sunshine, and tears ran down my cheeks as I was serenaded by the soft whispers of the ancients.
|Down the Road I Go|
There have been a few disarming moments, as well... I sound different now – which was to be expected, having these wee ‘helpers’ inside my head all my waking hours. I was not prepared for my husband to sound so different to me, though – the voice that I spend more time with than any other. It was not a ‘bad’ thing, just different. Perhaps the tiniest bit sad, in a way: that the voice of one so beloved had been diminished for nearly three years without my knowing it, until it came back to its fullness.
|...I love you, too!|
The coming weeks and months will be studded with appointments as we fine tune the return of this newly-fascinating sense. There will be more differences, more discoveries as I return to the world renewed of hearing – really hearing. I am excited for all that lies ahead, even though at present it is a bit overwhelming.
Now that I can hear more clearly, let’s have a chat! What sound is most precious to you? What activity that involves listening is your favorite?
Onward & Upward,
*not trying to confuse you, dear reader – as noted earlier this week, I have some catching up to do – sorry to leave you hanging, with just the beginning and the end – the middle of this saga is yet to come ;)
Words of wisdom for today:
"We have two ears and one tongue
so that we would listen more and talk less."
so that we would listen more and talk less."
Photo Notes:Hello taken with my trusty Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 - edited in Irfan View
The Road - Samsung Galaxy S4 - edited in PhotoShop Pro X2
*All photos can be seen in a larger size by clicking on them*
P.S. - I’ll share with you a little treat I gave myself to revel in my heightened auditory powers. I started a new audio book on Thursday; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, read by Stephen Fry! A long-time lover of good storytelling, this match was made in Heaven! Utter joy – a performer who clearly loves what he does, Fry’s delivery is impeccable. It having been years since I read this book, I can think of no one better to refresh my memory of the tale.