The case of the lost hearing aid

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Hearing aids are viewed as good and evil. Some people think that hearing aids are the best thing since sliced bread, while others can’t stand the hearing aid. Their reasons vary – bad experiences with doctors or hearing instrument specialists or just not willing to accept that they need a little help hearing. It is what it is.

After years of listening to music, using the cell phone, allergies and due to genetics, at the age of 46, I was told that the hearing in my right ear was below the accepted zone. Ironically, this only happened when I moved back to my birth state of Texas. Not saying that Texas brought on my hearing impairment, but you know, that is when it happened. It also flooded for the first time in several years in east Texas about the same time I got my hearing aid. Mm mm.

So, I got a “baby hearing aid.” It helps somewhat, but sometimes, it seems to be a little more of a nuisance in my right ear. (I will admit this to you but you can’t tell my hearing instrument specialist – I just don’t like the idea of admitting, I am getting older, and some parts of my body don’t operate like they used too.)

I was warned to make sure that I kept the hearing aid away from the dog – my dog by the way is Toby. You will hear his story one day.  Dogs apparently have a fetish for ear wax.  I know it sounds yucky, right. Well, after seeing some of the things my dog will eat and not eat, it didn’t surprise me to hear that.

With the hearing aid, for the first month, I was very careful.  I cleaned it, I put it in its case and followed all the instructions. Over time, though, I got a little lazy. I still put it out of Toby’s reach. One day though, the hearing aid went missing. I was frantic. There was no way I had lost it. I looked everywhere at least four times. Sweat was pouring down my forehead, my face was pale, my throat was dry and I had butterflies. What was I going to do? It was the weekend, and though there are times I “forget” to put my hearing aid in – I knew I was going to need it. And who wants to file a claim with insurance that you misplaced your such and such hundred-dollar hearing aid?

That is when I remembered what I was told about dogs and hearing aids. Ironically, Toby had been calm during my panic state of searching.  He was sitting on the couch, just looking at me. “Did you eat my hearing aid?”  He didn’t budge. That scared me even more. All I could think was – oh, no. He was going to die. He was going to croak. I was going to call the vet. I stopped though. I was not entirely sure that Toby had the hearing aid. If I called the vet, it would be a tremendous bill and I just knew I could not afford it, but if Toby’s life was at stake – I would find a way. All these crazy thoughts went through my head.

From my seat on the floor, where I had kind of flittered after a moment of a self-induced, drama mama panic attack, I noticed my dog had moved toward the door and was doing the puppy ‘pee-pee’ dance. I grabbed his leash, and snapped it on. We went outside, and I watched him carefully as he did ‘Number 2.”

I remembered from the movie, “Marley and Me,” when the dog swallowed a necklace, it came out hours later in the dog’s “Number 2.” No hearing aid.

Coming inside, I put Toby in his room with the baby gate. I had an appointment to make. I got in my car, and as I dropped my cell phone in the cup holder as I normally did, I saw something bounce.

I looked a little closer.

It was my hearing aid.

Not sure how or why I had put it there, but my tears of anxiety turned into tears of joy. I wiped it off, and put that baby back in my right ear.

Lesson Learned:  Always put your hearing aid in its case when you take it out. Hearing aids are made for wearing. It is not always the dog’s fault.

(Becky Holland/TCM INK)

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