Thanks to President Biden’s executive order, along with store credit we got for switching wireless carriers last year, Donna now has a pair of Costco over-the-counter hearing aids. And what a difference!
I mean, aside from Donna being able to hear again! The difference I speak of is the level of noise in our house, which has gone from Fast & Furious in Dolby Surround Sound to distant birds chirping in trees on the far side of an alpine meadow.
Before, Donna could only hear dialog on TV with the volume cranked to eleven. She took all her calls on speaker, volume likewise cranked, shouting back into the phone when it was her turn to speak. I didn’t notice it so much when Donna and I talked, but when she had conversations with Polly at the other end of the house I could hear her every word. The oven timer alarm would beep until I got up to shut it off myself.
But now! What a difference! I can read again while Donna watches a Hallmark movie. She holds her phone to her ear when she gets a call, and no longer has to shout into it. She hears electronic beeps and peeps before I do. It’s heavenly!
I got so used to the TV being loud that it became normal to me. Because of that, I assumed that once Donna got herself set up with hearing aids I’d need to get some for myself. It turns out my hearing, while not as good as it once was, is still pretty good. So maybe not. I say maybe because with the sudden quiet I’m more aware of my tinnitus, a constant screech of crickets in my ears. Before, everyday ambient loudness masked it. Now, there’s nothing between those crickets and me, and they’re harder to ignore.
The Costco folks told Donna hearing aids can help with tinnitus, so perhaps I’ll contact the VA and get scheduled for a hearing test. Biden’s executive order didn’t change the fact that Medicare doesn’t pay for hearing aids, so Donna had to pay for hers at Costco. I think, though, that the VA does provide hearing aids to vets, so I’ll look into that option. In the meantime, I’ll try to get used to my crickets … if I don’t think about them I don’t notice them so much.