Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I hear you now.

I always took hearing for granted. Warrant concerts, Pink Floyd blaring in Ronda's Firebird, crickets chirping on summer nights, church bells ringing on a Sunday morning, whispers from a friend behind a cupped hand, a cat purring as he stretched out, my baby girl crying in the other room as she awoke- these were all gifts that I did not even recognize.

Until I didn't hear things. I just thought church bells quit ringing and crickets did not exist in Colorado. I thought that our doorbell was broken and my cat was too grumpy to purr.

Lo and behold, crickets do chirp and bells do ring here. When I was prego with Timesboy, I had a freakish case of hearing loss. Hereditary, kicked into high gear with the hormones that often surge in pregnancy (they tell you about stretch marks, but hearing loss???), my ears just quit working.

Amazingly enough, my hearing loss is much more correctable than nerve damage that older people often have. I am blessed beyond compare that I can walk out of my audiologist's office and hear someone's high heels clicking against a cold tile floor. I can hear bells and crickets and music and a child's cry. My ears have actually relearned some things, in that I can hear some things that you won't hear- I can hear your voice in a crowded concert, as clear as a bell's peal. I can hear a dog's tags jangling in the park across a football field, so clear that I will look around and assume it must be something within a few feet. I can hear birds warbling on a vacation morning, and I now know this is so precious that I will awaken at five just to sit and soak their songs in.

Interesting thing about correcting hearing loss. It is a far cry from correcting vision. Vision, when you correct it, you correct to 20/20 and see as well as the guy next to you who maintains perfect fighter-pilot vision. Hearing, you can spend eight thousand dollars on hearing aids (that insurance NEVER covers), and still only hear bits and pieces of what a 'normal' person hears. This piece on NPR helps clarify, for a sentence, what having hearing loss feels like.

Listen to it. Please and thank you.

Mushy stuff,  chirping crickets, and bells ringing. XOXOXO

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