Apr 28, 2015

Civic Duty and Hearing Loss

Heather Zahn Gardner photo
by Marsha Ward

Today I will report for jury duty in the county seat at Globe, Arizona. Lest you think I'm at this rather imposing edifice, I'm not. The modern courthouse has a far lower profile.

I'm terrified that if I get put on a jury, I won't be able to hear as much as I need of the testimony. Yes, I'm revealing a deep dark secret. I've lost a significant amount of my hearing in the last year or two. On my last visit to my now-retired physician, out of the blue he asked, "Didn't you hear that?" Evidently the electronic thermometer in my mouth had gone off, and I hadn't noticed it. Maybe I was daydreaming, or maybe I really didn't hear it. Whatever the case, he noted it in my medical record.

Actually, for more than twenty years, I've struggled to hear complete conversations, especially in social situations, where ambient noise may be compared to a dull roar. My children complain that I'm always asking them to repeat themselves. Maybe my ears hear slower than they talk? I don't know about that. I do know that hearing loss is impacting my relationships and other aspects of my life (television sound level, hearing all the notes I'm playing in church, etc.).

However, I can hear the clock across the room ticking. Sometimes, that is quite annoying. Especially if I'm having trouble getting to sleep.

You're going to tell me to get hearing aids. They are astronomically expensive. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of them. I think Uncle Sam wants us to remain deaf, blind, and uncomplaining.

Okay, enough of that tangent. If I'm back in two weeks (and I'd better be, because I have plans for May that involve money already paid out for adventures), I'll tell you how it went today.


  1. My dad has the same problem. His is caused by meds he has to take for his heart condition. About a week ago he got the latest in hearing aids...and hates it. He now hears everything and it's a total distraction. The good news is the TV is now down to acceptable levels for the rest of us. I feel for you and seem to be heading into the same place. Maybe we should start a charity for gifting people with hearing aids.

  2. Neither of my dads really like wearing their hearing aids. They wear them when they "have" to. My mom's patriarchal blessing promises her that she will retain her hearing and sight to the end of her life. I appreciate the value of the promise more and more every year! Aging is a fascinating process for sure. hugs~


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