Thursday, August 14, 2014


Who knew that peeling a carrot is noisy? That crumpling a paper bag is rain on a corrugated iron roof ? That flushing the toilet is an avalanche of icicles falling into a roaring furnace?

Two days ago I started a month's trial of hearing aids, both ears. My hearing has been deteriorating for a while now but I've got used to it. Missing most of the dialogue at the cinema or theatre doesn't really affect my life and when I watch tv I turn subtitles on. Listening to music and one-to-one conversations are no problem and if I'm in a crowded room I ask people to repeat things or else pretend I've heard them. But my bluff is called if I'm asked a direct question about something I pretended to hear and this is what prompted close friends to urge me to face the issue and take action.

A few years ago I did have audio tests and was told that I'd pretty much lost sounds in the higher register. The NHS gave me hearing aids to be used daily but they stayed in a drawer because I couldn't cope with the loud metallic noises they produced. Technology has considerably improved since then and the digital babies I'm trying out now are far superior to those clunky things I rejected. But.....will I ever accept noisy carrots?

Meanwhile my sister in France sent me a beautiful birthday scarf/shawl and I can't resist showing it off. Thank you my Annie.


Adam said...

So nice to hear (!) about that! I am in much the same state of hearing loss, no action yet, I quite enjoy watching films, TV in a state of half-meditation, a dwalm is what my Scots would say.

Lovely scarf! And sensibly big. Looking good young lady!

Catalyst said...

Natalie, I have had hearing aids for a year or so and have learned that I can turn them down (not off) in places like noisy restaurants and it helps a lot.

The scarf is beautiful. Just right for a beautiful lady.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Adam, I've only taken action on this because of other people's prompting. As far as I'm concerned, a state of dwalm (great new word) is fine.

Bruce, these hearing aids are fitted by an audiologist via computer according to my specific hearing loss and are designed to self-adjust according to the environment. But I haven't worn them long enough to know whether I'll get used to them. At present they're itchy!

Tom said...

Self-adjusting huh? I think your technology has just upstaged mine. Must have a word with Specsavers some time! I ask people to repeat themselves now, if I don't hear them, but before I had hearing aids I used to guess at what they said, and asked for confirmation. Now that can be a source of great laughter, especially if tweaked and 'ridicularised' a little. And I do so love making Lucy laugh.

I am still unaware that carrots are noisy. Now a pile of cutlery tipped into the drainer, cooking pans juggled into storage, fly swatting, that's noisy!! But don't tell Lucy I told you.

Tom said...

Oh sorry, I forgot. Nice shawl/scarf; nice selfie.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Tom, it was the local Specsavers who fitted me up nearly a year ago but I couldn't cope with their hearing aids at all. So now I'm trying this more sophisticated model which at the end of the month I'll have to decide whether or not to buy. It's not one of the top of the range models (very expensive and state-of-the-art) but seems better for my particular hearing loss than what Specsaver offered on the NHS.

Thanks for compliments!

Ellena said...

You look gorgeous, Natalie. I love these scarves that have lots of scarf to them, add color and provide warmth.

As to my ears, 10 years ago I was told to come back in 2 years.
I guess it's time to go even if I enjoy watching conversations.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Thank you Ellena. Watching always find les mots justes!

Hattie said...

I love that picture of you. It makes me smile.
It's true that the newer hearing aids are a great improvement over the older ones. Part of it for me is getting accustomed to background noises and editing them out of awareness, as I did when my hearing was good. I just use an aid in one ear for the time being and only in social situations. I've seen isolation creep up on people who are too unaware, or proud, to deal with hearing loss and don't want that to happen to me.
So congratulations on your new ears!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Thanks Hattie, keep smiling!
I'm not at all ashamed to tell people I can't hear some of what they're saying and it truly doesn't bother me to miss a lot of stuff. But I suppose I'd better get used to wearing the hearing aids, just to please others! I'm grateful that my particular loss of sound isn't very serious.

Anonymous said...

I know someone with a similar problem. They tell me the real danger is their brain getting out of the habit of listening to what people are saying. They stuck with the noisy carrots.

As a musician, I've always dreaded getting ear problems. However, I recently had some serious eye problems which prompted some scary thoughts about blindness. I wouldn't like to have to choose between the two. (Thankfully it's all over and my eyes are fine now).

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dominic, I'm sticking with the carrots too. For one thing, the unaccustomed noisiness gets less as one get used to the hearing aids. I'm only wearing them when I go out now - not needed when I'm at home.

Thanks for b'thday wishes. Glad your ears & eyes are behaving as they should.