Twenty odd years ago I made a visit to the audiologist because my family was tired of the TV volume rattling the rafters. The doctor didn’t mince any words, he simply said, "Hearing aids are the only solution for your problem". So…he fitted me with a pair of amplifiers the size of conch shells, that made both ears sag like teats on a sow. After thirty days of high volume, low frequency racket I threw in the towel and took them back for a refund. Fast forward about eighteen years and once again my hearing loss has driven me back to the audiologist. I’m tired of sitting in session meetings and knowing that 60% of what’s said is getting by me and I have not a clue as to what it was. My pride is making me say…sure, sounds fine to me, when in fact I don’t know what I‘ve agreed to. This time around the doctor assured me that current technology can solve my problem…..for the mere price of $6000.00. I’m thinking…ain’t gonna happen. I’m still paying for three heart attacks, two strokes and a nail in my leg and there’s not $6 grand to help me hear it thunder.
It’s worth mentioning that for the past 50 years I have been an organ donor…….but so far I haven’t given up anything. I carry a card and my driver’s license says I’m willing but most of what I have left is pretty worn out. It’s a simple fact that nobody wants my ears ‘cause they have been shot for ages. I’m not really sure there is a way to donate your ears like a kidney or lung……but hearing aids are a different deal. Thank God I have good friends. Such a friend, a true gentleman named Ronnie Cox, told his wife as he lay dying, "If Daddy can’t use my hearing aids, find someone that can." Two weeks ago, his widow offered them to me. Now this is like matching up a new set of horns with a worn out old goat. Tain’t likely to fit. But if you factor in some serious praying by my pastor and his contacts, the odds get better. To shorten this story let me simply say, the doctor said: If I built you a custom set and rated them at ten, this set your friend has offered is a high 7, maybe an 8. There are still some levels you won’t hear but much of what you will now hear you won’t even recognize.
Simply stated, my life changed last Wednesday. When she showed me how to insert them and explained their function, and then turned them on via a computer program…….it was like the lights came on. In a moment I was brought to tears and my emotions are still pretty raw. When I left her office the traffic noise on Arlington Blvd. frightened me, my signal lights made a funny clicking noise and my old truck sounded like a bucket of bolts. Since that time I constantly find myself trying to identify the sounds I’m hearing for the first time in years. I’m sure I can sit four or five rows back from the front at church tomorrow.
There is a point to this: Sign up today to be an organ donor……it can change someone’s life..or keep it going. If you know someone who wears hearing aids encourage them to donate them and become a hear-o. My friend Ronnie cared enough and you can rest assured I will pass them on.