Good Grief!

by Tina Blue
July 15 2003

          Well, I finally took my hearing aids in to be cleaned and adjusted.  It's been years.  But I usually cannot afford to be without them for an entire day, which is what it takes to get them worked on, so I have just struggled through with the diminishing effectiveness of my aids.

          But I was at a movie last Saturday, and my right hearing aid started to shout static, and wouldn't quit until I turned it completely off.  I fiddled with it later, after I got home, and nothing made it work. 

          So I called today to see if I could get the aids worked on and returned expeditiously.

          Sandy, the woman I talked to, is one of the audiologists at the KU speech and hearing lab where I got my aids.  We arranged over the phone for her to take the aids in today and get them back to me before the center closed tomorrow afternoon.

          But it took us more time than it should have to get this all worked out--because Sandy wouldn't speak clearly enough for me to understand her over the phone!

          Every time she would mumble something, I would say, "I'm sorry.  Could you say that more loudly?  I am very hard of hearing."

          Of course I am hard of hearing!  She's an audiologist.  I am a severely hearing-impaired person negotiating with her about getting my hearing aids cleaned.  Why should I have to keep reminding her to speak up, speak clearly, speak directly into the mouthpiece of the phone?  Hasn't she, um, spent at least some time in the company of the hearing-impaired?  I mean, isn't that what she does for a living?

          Good grief!  If even the audiologists that do our hearing tests and fit us with our hearing aids can't remember to speak up a little for us, then how can we ever hope to convince other people?

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