slklein
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Feb 11, 2019

Re: Hearphones and Social Cues

Tuesday last (one week ago), my wife and I made an appointment to look at the Hearphone at the local Bose store. Life intervened and we didn't get there. Wednesday evening, I lost one of my hearing aids and didn't immediately notice that it was missing. Thursday we made it to the Bose store and were so impressed with the Hearphone I bought one. It has changed my life. With the hearing aid, my wife contended that she needed to yell so I could here what she said. Without the hearing aid, I understand very little pf what she says. Now, we talk like two normal people. My wife is a rabbi. Friday and Saturday, I went to services and could hear and understand her sermons and the page numbers she called out. What's more I could sit at a table for eight after services and engage socially with other congregants. These people who have known me for years were impressed and gave me only approving feedback. I have worn hearning aids for years, but two years ago, chemotherapy destroyed much of what remained of my hearing.

 

Family dinners with my wife and adult daughter have long been a problem. The hearing aids amplify, but their output is not clear and is very hard to understand if the speaker is not facing me. So I could not understand anything the two women said to each other. Now we can have normal dinner conversation.

 

My wife brought me brochures from a hearing aid manufacturer her friends recommend. Over and over, it says: Do not expect to hear every word; seek to understand the gist of the conversation. But if I hear, "Here is what I think" and nothing else, I have no idea what is being said.

 

The next day, the three of us ate at a local restaurant and conversed with ease. Over the weekend, we went to a noisy pizzeria with friends. That was more difficut, but still I was part of the conversation. Previously, I would have been exhausted from trying to decipher what was being said.

 

And music through the hearing aids sounded like it was coming from an old cheap transistor radio. I am looking forward to going to the opera next Monday. Yes, others could not tell is I were wearing my hearing aids, but my wife has been telling me I was becoming isolated, and I know I avoided some meetings because I knew I would have to fight to understand anything of what was said.

 

And in two weeks I plan to wear my Hearphones when I run the Disney Princess 10K. Last year, I amazed my cancer surgeon by coming in second for my age/gender. And I won't worry about losing one of the earbuds. Oh, and I am finding that one charge lasts all day. Any questions?