My sweet and wonderful wife Mayang seems to get angry with me lately and increasingly more as the years go by. Her complaint is; “Honey Ko, you don’t listen to what I say?” That is not true, for how busy do you think my day can get that I would ignore her on purpose? The truth is my hearing is fading over the years, which makes my neighborhood roosters and dogs seem a little quieter. When my Grandson is in a very unhappy mood, sometimes I miss hearing that too, unless I’m in the room with the little tike.
Please don’t think I’m seeking symphony, as I’m really not, it is somewhat of a blessing not hearing some of the crap people have to say. I’d deem the condition as an inconvenience more than anything else. The Doctor explained that I’d not go deaf, but my hearing would weaken as I get older. I’ll be shopping for an old fashion hearing trumpet in a few more years.
They are still building the house next door, and I can nap through the construction sounds without a hint of noise. It’s the high range of the hearing spectrum that I am lacking, and it seems that that is the range the female voice falls into (I didn’t plan it that way). I now read more than I watch TV as the TV ladies mumble at me during the entire show. But Discovery, History 1 & 2 and the Nation Geographic Channels have mostly male announcers and with a proper volume adjustment I can get by. The neighbors can hear what I’m watching.
I no longer can watch TV in the living room as the volume must be so high the family will be disturbed by the noise. But understand, I’m not complaining about it (yet they are), as every year as a Merchant Seaman I was subjected to a full hearing exam and the doctors predicted it would happen, I makes me laugh about all the warnings I gave my kids about their loud music, and now I’m the one to be the one who plays the music load. But then mine is Country or old Rock & Roll and it sounds good.
While in the Navy I was tasked with manning the guns on some ships, 3inch 50’s, twin 40 MM and such as that, in those olden times hearing protection was not in vogue throughout the fleet, hell we still thought asbestos was a wonderful thing. It wasn’t that no one cared about our hearing; it was most people didn’t know any better. Or with the Military Sealift Command in the Persian Gulf hearing Helo’s land and take off on the flight deck during the replenishment evolution lasting eight plus hours. Very pleasant at 135 degrees and no shade but we did have a little hearing protection. (But the pay was good.)
Now here is an odd phenomenon and anyone who has ever sailed on a ship will understand, the ship had a constant noise and vibration whether it is a 500 Pound Steam plant, turbine or diesel that after a few days it becomes second nature to the crew. But if while sleeping the ship loses a load (The plant shuts down) every member of the crew will wake up because of the silence. When I came home on vacation to the Philippines, I could not sleep, without a radio on to provide background noise while I sleep. “Shipmates, am I right???”
My wife and friends want me to go into Manila and apply for VA Benefits which will cover service connected hearing loss. Maybe next year, but definitely when they try to make me wear a hearing aid.
Every year my darling wife hangs a neon Santa and reindeer display on the roof. She told me that she was going to buy a new Ranger to replace the old one that was not working anymore. Wisely I smiled and said; “Great idea” Albeit I’ve didn’t know we even owned a Ford Ranger, or that the one we had was no longer working. Reindeer sounds like Ranger to me, and an hour later I figured that out. But I’d already said yes.
Texting is preferable to a phone call as even my smart phone is not loud enough for me. I have the damn thing on speaker and up to my ear and still miss half the conversation. Most of my friends either know about my hearing, or think that the beer must be flowing early in my world.
But here on LiP or Face Book, I am not affected at all as the eye sight is still good, as long as no one steals my glasses.
- Now for a few benefits of my poor hearing:
- At the mall movie theater the volume doesn’t seem that loud. And I really don’t hear the multitude of cell phones chirping around me.
- The public market seems quite peaceful when I’m there.
- I mentioned the roosters and dogs in the text above.
- Walking along the National Highway, it seems that all the vehicles have brand new mufflers.
- I no longer have to hear; “Hey Joe.”
- The list goes on, proving that if life hands you a lemon, you can squirt it right back into its eye.
- I’m getting better at reading non-verbal cues, so if the person speaking doesn’t appear angry, I smile and nod, and wonder what the hell I just agreed to?
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