Rose Mary’s Words of Wisdom Upon Growing Old, Part 5

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  — Reinhold Niebuhr

Image, image, image! People are so enslaved by image that some won’t use walking aids. However, pride goeth before a fall. I use a cane when necessary and have an employee push me through airports in a wheelchair. I bought a rollator — a walker with a seat — a miracle that allows me to walk farther and to sit down when I’m tired when shopping or standing in line.
How often have you heard or said, “I’m sorry . . .” when conversing with people? No, you’re not expressing regret for something you did. The implied ending to this sentence is, “What did you say?” How loud do you turn up the volume on the TV even though it drives others crazy? Do you miss part of the dialogue when you attend the theater? Do you pretend to hear what was said at a gathering by smiling or laughing when you didn’t hear a word?
Hazel, the sister of my sister-in-law, was very hard of hearing. When it was suggested that she get a hearing aid she snapped, “I hear everything I want to hear!” That’s a rather common expression. I know a man who said that to his wife. She replied, “Well, how do you think that makes me feel?”
Why, why, why do people refuse to wear hearing aids? People have their teeth pulled and wear dentures. (Eek!) People stick glasses on their noses. For goodness sake, why should you not want to hear the wonderful sounds of words, music and the voices of your loved ones by refusing to get a hearing aid? Old Granny was both blind and deaf. She said that of the two, she’d rather be blind.
Modern, computerized hearing aids have improved vastly since my youth when our neighbor, Gertrude Scovell, wore them. Cords ran down from her ears to a battery in a pocket. She had to fiddle constantly with them to adjust the sound and deal with feedback.
Alas, when Vicki was little we thought that she wasn’t hearing well and took her to a specialist who put tubes in her ears. Water got in and caused infections that damaged her ear drums and required surgery. She had to wear a hearing aid that we tried to hide under a headband and her hair. Today she wears a state-of-the-art, barely noticeable hearing aid.
If there are indications that your hearing is declining, get tested and invest in hearing aids if advised to do so. Be careful not to end up in the hands of a salesperson rather than a professional audiologist. Don’t put it off too long because many people end up not wearing their hearing aids because they have become too set in their ways to adjust.
Several years ago, Bill said, “You need to get your hearing checked.” I know that John Payne whose father was Vicki’s specialist is honest. After he tested my hearing, he said, “Your hearing is on the edge, but still O.K. It’s up to you whether you get a hearing aid.” Since I wasn’t hearing all the dialogue at the theater, I got a hearing aid that fit inside my ear so that many people didn’t even realize that I was wearing one. Bill also has a hearing aid.
Our friend, Phyllis, asked, “What’s the name of your hearing aid person? I think I’m losing my hearing.” John tested her and said, “Your hearing is fine.” It turned out that her son-in-law told his children not to play the TV too loud. Phyllis thought that she was going deaf because she couldn’t hear it!
You are in denial if the above description of Hazel and others fits you. Folks, quit being such fuddyduds. Change your ways and use our wonderful technology before it’s too late!