Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Hear You

About five years ago I asked my husband to have his hearing checked. We joked about it a little. But he did it. For me. He came home with the conclusion that he had "selective" hearing. Maybe the kind of hearing loss that would rear its ugly head when I needed him to do something for me. Or honey-do hearing loss. Fast forward to a few months ago. I used his car to run an errand. I started it up and practically got blasted out of the vehicle by the volume of the radio. I again suggested a check by a doctor. This time different results.

He now wears two hearing aids. He has asked us to be patient with his acclimation period. It will take a while. He hasn't heard well for years. With all of his military time and work as a cop, damage has been done to his hearing. Permanent damage. Ear protection wasn't really something that was thought of when he was in the military. And the same thing until recently with firearms training in police work. And I am going to just say this once. I'm pretty sure he played his music too loud in high school. I'm just saying.

So for many years I had frustrating times of repeating myself and raising my voice. At times I will admit I was annoyed. For this I am sorry. I mistook his not responding as inattentiveness. Not as a disability. Now I know the difference. I can't say that I have perfect hearing, but I know I hear well. I take this for granted. Or I should say, I took this for granted and don't anymore. To hear is a gift. We need to take care of our ears. And lots of other things, too.

The other day, Scott asked Gracie and me to be patient with his adjustment to his hearing aids. They are functioning at 90 percent right now. To put them at 100 percent would be too much of a shock to his system. He asked that we look at him when speaking. This helps with lip reading. It really hit me after that conversation that this is a forever thing for him. Of course I will do whatever he needs to hear and be part of conversation. I told him so. I listened and heard. And for the first time in a long time Scott was hearing, too. It was simply a beautiful day. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

©2011 Ann M. De Broux

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