The story of hearing aids.
I don't know if I've said, I probably have at some point, but I am pretty hard of hearing. I had my first hearing aid at some point in my 20s, some dreadful NHS aids that not only gave me headaches but also didn't do the job terribly well. My first private aids (bought while the divorce was going on, by my former and late, bless him) were an eye opener - or do I mean an ear opener. Anyway, they were fantastic and I've gone for private ever since.
Earlier this year I realised that I wasn't hearing so well. I thought it was wax so medicated for that till the cows came home. Just before the summer holidays the left aid gave out completely and I realised it wasn't wax, it was the aid. After several minutes of blind panic I remembered that I had old aids somewhere in the bedroom, so I searched until I found them (there's definitely something to be said for being a hoarder) and life was good again. And then the other aid went. That was a bit more problematic but I dug out a really very old behind the ear aid which worked fine and so we went on. It was lucky that the moulds still fitted and were comfortable. I kept meaning to get something done but there never seemed to be time.
Today the in-the-ear old aid went dead. Battery, of course. So I opened up the battery holder thingy and it promptly bent, leaving the battery in the aid. Aaarrrggghhh.
Snowday! No school. So I swept the snow off the car, nursed it up the incline to the main part of the road (didn't think I was going to get out at one point) and drove into town to a hearing aid centre.
I have to say the hearing aid chappie was very polite and controlled. Barely a quiver of a smile crossed his face as I presented my aid and asked for the broken bit to be replaced. He was slightly less restrained when he saw the behind the ear aid, which must date back to the 1980s! Very politely, he explained that it as such an old aid they didn't have parts to fit any more. Then he managed to patch it up so that it will work for another fortnight, until the battery needs replacing again, and showed me how to lever the remains of the holder out to replace the battery. He was too nice to comment on the other, older aid, but I suspect he felt it would be better placed in the local museum!
I asked for an appointment for a hearing test with a view to getting more up to date aids. He'd had a lot of cancellations and suggested that I could have my audiogram now . . .
. . . with the result that I have two aids on order, to be ready before the 15th, so I can test drive them in school before Christmas. Very pleased and I don't feel at all pressured, it's just a great relief. There's a 60 day 'satisfaction' clause so if they don't work I can either have a refund or a replacement. As long as I can hear my children and my colleagues, I will be happy!
And as an after thought - am I the only person to be somewhat relieved that the world cup will not be held in England in whenever it it? It's bad enough normally, but being held here will be a nightmare . . . wall to wall football. Shudder.
School tomorrow, hopefully!