Background: My hubby has always had issues with his hearing. He blames it on his older brothers very loud music as a kid. In school, his teachers noticed he was a different kid when his seat was closest to their desks and had his hearing tested (yep, hearing loss.) Fastforward a couple decades, I noticed there were certain kinds of phones we couldn't use because he couldn't hear them ring (as his loss was in the high frequency range.) As we had kids, if he couldn't hear them, I'd repeat to him what they said. It's happened so smoothly that I didn't even notice I did it. The main place there were issues were when we were riding somewhere and he were driving (he coudn't see them or hear them) so I'd tell him what they said. We were always the 'loud family.' Even as I grew up, we were loud. After I married, it was the same. Hubby always says, 'turn it up' when watching tv. Even my older girls are loud, lol! Again, thought nothing of it. Hubby is one of those people who can hear a helicopter coming from miles away and always hears things I couldn't (or didn't really pay attention to.)
Present: Hubby's ear clogged up with earwax last week. He asked me to make an appointment to have it cleaned. I made an appt. with the same doctor I had used at the local Ear, Nose and Throat place. I filled out the paperwork for him (and checked those boxes he'd had issues with in the past such as hearing loss) and made a map of where to go but still, he really wanted me to go with him. Since it was more fun than cleaning at home, I went. Initially, his ear was cleaned and he could hear so much better. But before seeing the doctor, they wanted him to have a hearing test. He has a yearly test at his work (hearing prevention program or something like that) but figured, why not. Then we saw the doctor who explained what the test meant. He had a 75% loss in the high frequency area which means that he could hear a man's voice (and therefore had no issues at work) but couldn't hear the high frequencies such as a female voice or kid voices. Wow. Then the doctor said that he wasn't going to push for hearing aids but that he just wanted him to know that they'd make a huge difference. He had himself just got some the month beforehand. He took one out and showed us (after we showed interest) and I asked how much it cost etc. When the doctor mentioned how much more he can hear and that he can now hear the birds sing, my hubby really showed interest. It was something neither of us had ever considered. They checked out insurance and referred us to another place. The place happened to be the place where I took my mother-in-law to get her hearing aid about 10 years ago. We called and made an appointment for a few days later.
Yesterday: We had an appointment at 10 in the morning and went to the place to check out the hearing aids. We were interested in one similar to what the doctor had (even though it was at the top of the line, he said.) As it turned out, our insurance covered 90%!! Actually, hubby had mentioned that if it hadn't had covered it, he wanted to get them anyway (it would have taken up our savings) so we were thinking that we'd get an idea of how much they'd be and how long it'd take for them to be made. As it turned out....within an hour, he had them! It was incredible watching him. I had absolutely no idea that there was so much that he had been missing! Watching his eyes as they darted around as he heard the noises in the office and the car afterwards was priceless!! He kept saying, "Wow, I can hear!" I told him that it was like a miracle as he never remembers when he could hear that well and to all of a sudden be able to hear everything that other could all along. As opposed to my bloggy friend Rachel who could hear and then all of a sudden couldn't hear. When we got home, the first thing he said was that he could hear the wind blow. And that he could hear the rain hit the roof. I can't even explain how incredible it was listening and watching him as if he were in a brand new world. In the evening, he'd say, "I can hear him" when referring to our kiddo. Of course, the tv is now WAY too loud and all of us are REALLY noisy. It'll take us a long time to learn a new way to live...quieter.
I mentioned last night that I was sad that he was leaving for work this morning (he'll be gone 2 or 3 wks) and I'd be missing all his 'firsts' in his new hearing. He really loves his new hearing aids and said they're very comfortable. I can't believe how much he had been missing (or what exactly he hadn't been able to hear.) I'm so glad I went with him to his appointment and that we asked so many questions. I've haven't seen him this excited in a really long time, if ever.
This is hubby at lunch yesterday right after we left the appointment. You can vaguely see a thin wire from each ear but otherwise, you can't see them.