Today is a very special date in my annual calendar.
Yup! It's DG’s Wear My Hearing Aids Day!
This rare and sometimes forgotten occasion last took place over a year ago and came to an abrupt halt before 9am after a police car went by and sent me hurtling for cover, my flight reflex telling me World War Three had begun.
So naturally today, I'm intrigued to know if my hearing aids will make it to lunch!
Now, I must let new readers know that I have absolutely no ‘issue’ with hearing aids, they don't dent my sense of identity in any way, nor do I feel self conscious, they just don't help me an awful lot, that is all. I’m rather jealous of friends like Fab Friend who get on with theirs so well – it’s not just me being stubborn, I promise.
At my last hearing test, I had the chance to try out three of the latest models – and remained optimistic that at least one would make a difference. As the most important thing to me is speech clarity, we popped over to the children's clinic where I did a Word Test sat on a teeny tiny blue chair, trying to resist playing with the Lego. I did one Word Test without hearing aids, and then one with each of the new models.
In the end I chose the pair that helped me hear just three more syllables then when I was aidless. And for one week I knuckled down and wore them. And for that one week, in spite of high-tech digital tuning, I found myself not hearing what I wanted to hear and being unbalanced by the extreme volume increase of things I could already hear in the first place.
So today, on my way to work, I sat on the bus and heard the whirr of the air con, the chug of the engine, but not one single voice! And people were talking, I could see them. So in fact, my hearing aids actually succeeded in drowning out the sound of voices – something I usually have even without clarity! It felt as though I was in some bizarre 2D world with only the sounds of machines for company, and no sound of life!
On arrival at the office, what can I hear? The whirr of the air conditioning, the clicking of my keyboard, and softly, underneath all that, some voices. But with no clarity.
I hear no phones ring, no fire alarm test and no office gossip. It's like my non-hearing-aid world, only with louder air conditioning.
So technically, I am wearing expensive digital hearing aids so I can hear the air conditioning more clearly.
On attending a morning meeting, someone with the lurgy sat down beside me, and sneezed.
‘Jesus!’ I exclaim, halting the meeting.
I am wearing expensive digital hearing aids to hear people sneeze better and embarrass myself in public.
Which brings me to think maybe I should cancel my annual Wear My Hearing Aids Day and get back to hearing 'normally'. It can't be any worse than this, surely?