Can You Hear Me Now?

Do you remember the old TV commercials from Verizon Wireless where they had this guy roaming around town with a mobile cellphone next to his ear and asking, “Can you hear me now?”

I had my own “can you hear me now” experience when I went to see the audiologist yesterday afternoon because, after 13 months, my hearing aids started misbehaving. Either that or my ears suddenly got a lot worse or something was wrong with my brain.

The first thing the audiologist did was to give me a hearing test. The good news is that my hearing hasn’t gotten any worse since last year. The bad news is that the hearing loss in my right ear is still moderate to severe. In my left ear, it’s still severe to profound!

But it also means that it was the hearing aids, not my ears or brain, that were failing. The audiologist played around with the hearing aids for a while, replaced some parts, made some program changes, and loaded an updated app onto my iPhone. She paired my hearing aids with the app, told me to put them in my ear and then started the “can you hear me now?” game.

She started talking to me and asked me how it sounded. I told her I could barely hear her, that she was speaking too softly. She made some adjustments and started talking again, but this time her voice was reverberating inside my head.

After some more adjustments, I could hear her better, but I told her her voice seemed really high. I didn’t have the heart to tell her she sounded like Minnie Mouse. More adjustments. By this time I was really tired and said, “Yeah, that sounds better.” I lied.

She said to keep wearing the hearing aids for a couple of weeks and if I wasn’t happy, to come back and they’d see what else they could do.

Last night after dinner, my wife wanted to watch “Grey’s Anatomy” on TV. There’s a lot of talking on “Grey’s Anatomy” and most of it is done by females. I noticed that I could understand the dialogue from male characters, but the voices of the female characters sounded like they were being spoken by Alvin’s chipmunks. I could barely understand what they were saying.

I don’t think I can wait another two weeks. I think I’ll call on Monday and see if I can get another appointment this coming week. These hearing aids were working great for 13 months. They need to fix ‘‘em or replace ‘em.

17 thoughts on “Can You Hear Me Now?

  1. Marilyn Armstrong May 13, 2023 / 4:56 pm

    When you move from severe to profound, it means for all practical purposes, that’s a dead ear. I know this because Garry has been hearing impaired, seriously hearing impairs, severely hearing impaired and ultimately profoundly hearing impaired. The last few jumps all occurred after age 75.

    This is what the cochlear implant fixes. Also, unlike hearing aids, Medicare covers it and you might want to think about it. Garry has decided to get a second implant since his “good” ear has gone from severe to profound and beating that dead horse isn’t helping him hear. It’s hard for him because he feels so “out of the loop” conversationally. It makes him want to avoid socializing because he can’t hear at home where background noise is sort of under control, but at a crowded event, it’s just noise. A second implant should fix a lot of that and there are, once you have an implant, a number of additions (for which Medicare does NOT pay) that can enable you to hear a specific person or the TV, or both.

    Garry has been living with this his entire life, so if you want to talk about it, he’s a good one to talk to, especially because it has gotten worse and he is “up” for an upgrade to the first implant and with a second one, he will finally have binaural hearing again. Just warning you that hearing aids probably are not going to do the job. What usually happens is you buy those last aids, realize you still can’t hear — and then realize you’ve reached the end of the electronic road.

    At the “profound” level, you need to consider the “next step.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 13, 2023 / 7:10 pm

      I know the left hearing aid has a minimal effect upon my hearing out of that ear. The audiologist recommended it because it supposedly assists the hearing out of my “good” (right) ear. The hearing aids (or the right one) help me to hear conversations around me and I wasn’t always asking, “what did you say?” It also had a streaming functionality so that I could stream the audio from my TV or phone into the hearing aid. And up until a few days ago I was happy with them. But then something changed. I’m not expecting miracles. I just want it to be like it was the day before yesterday!


      • Marilyn Armstrong May 13, 2023 / 8:07 pm

        I hope you can make it happen, but there ARE other options and you might want to ask the question: is cochlear implant a possibility? Because hearing goes downhill REALLY fast at your age. It doesn’t get to a certain point and stop. It keeps going down. Garry was a year older than you when he had his first implant and he’s getting another one five years later. He was holding out because the tiny bit of hearing in his left ear was his final hold on actual hearing. But the other day at the audiologist she finally said it: “You know, a new aid is not going to give you any better hearing than you have now. That ear was ready for implant 5 years ago. Implant is the only thing that can help.”

        It was the first time she outright said that nothing was going to make it better except another implant. What she DID say is that they are now able to leave the “hearing bits” in the ear. It doesn’t really hear words, but it can give a better sense of room and surroundings.

        And so it went. I think Garry is feeling better now that a decision was made. I suspect this will happen quickly, so there’s a lot of stuff we need to get done. Blogging is going to take a hit. There are only so many things I can manage at one time. I’m no spring chicken either.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Taswegian1957 May 13, 2023 / 4:58 pm

    Yes you definitely should call ASAP. It’s not going to get better in two weeks. You have identified the problem is with higher pitched voices. You should probably tell her that you were not really happy when you left too. I agree with Sadje that replacing them would be better than trying to fix them. They ought to be still under warranty shouldn’t they? They shouldn’t fail after a year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong May 13, 2023 / 6:46 pm

      It depends also on his hearing. When they say “Profound hearing loss,” hearing aids won’t help that. You can play around with them, but I’ve got too much experience with this. Sure get them replaced, but with hearing that bad, no standard aid is going to get back any sense of “real” hearing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fandango May 13, 2023 / 6:59 pm

        That profound hearing loss was in the left ear, the one where I had a growth removed at the end of 2019. The hearing aid in that ear does almost nothing, so it’s primarily the one in my right ear that I hear through. And that’s what changed all of a sudden over the past few days.


        • Marilyn Armstrong May 13, 2023 / 8:10 pm

          Check out what is possible. Ask. This is no longer a rare surgery. Garry often wishes it had been available while he was working. It would have made his life so much easier.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 13, 2023 / 7:11 pm

      Yes, they are still under warranty. I will call on Monday.


  3. southernhon1 May 13, 2023 / 5:02 pm

    I appreciate you sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol anne May 13, 2023 / 8:32 pm

    God! That doesn’t sound good! I hope they can fix them or replace them soon for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bushboy May 13, 2023 / 9:44 pm

    I thought it was the aids. It would drive me nuts to hear Alvin or Minnie all the time. Have you told you wife to try and deepen her pitch when she talks.
    I can do a Micky Mouse impersonation that can drive people nuts I am “told” 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 13, 2023 / 11:13 pm

      When I told my wife that the male voices on Grey’s Anatomy sounded fine but the female voices sounded like the chipmunks, she accused me of being sexist.

      Liked by 1 person

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