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Poor hearing is no laughing matter

KATHRYN YARBRO
Guest columnist

What? What? What are you saying?
Speak louder or come into this room and talk to me.
Does this sound like something you said today and are saying it more often?
Senior citizens are not the only ones who have poor hearing, but I’ll bet that as we age it bothers more of us.
Not hearing well is no joke, but often it gets a lot of laughs. We were among a group last week and one of the first things said was that someone had turned his hearing aid down so if something was said that he didn’t want to hear, he was better off not hearing.
That got some laughs and then a woman said she left hers at home on the bookcase, so if burglars came they would be heard.
It was just a fun gathering and face to face most of us heard what was being said.
Harmless jesting is OK with friends, but when it’s something you need to hear and have to keep asking for a repeat, it’s not so funny.
So off to the hearing aid office I go — again. I tried one before, couldn’t get the static out of it. Got tired of sounding like I was talking into a barrel. I returned them.
I told the agent that I had worn them as advised but I could not handle the constant noise. She was very professional and suggested that I try another style.
That’s a lot of money for something that’s not doing its job. My money was returned.
This time my hearing was tested again. I know that it is not good. So, I will be getting new aids soon with the assurance that I will be able to turn the television down to normal range and hear talking from the next room.
Hearing was no problem during the time spent helping two old friends celebrate birthdays the past weekend.
My birthday visit last Friday was a good one with a longtime friend who has been confined to a wheelchair for several years. Any visit is as good as a party for both of us.
Saturday’s weather made a backyard party just right as we gathered to celebrate with another friend. The honoree’s children hosted the event serving plates of barbecue and birthday cake.
Whether it’s a birthday, or not, a chance to spend time with friends makes a good afternoon. And if I missed something you wanted me to hear, call me, I can hear the telephone — if I’m indoors.

Kathryn Yarbro is former managing editor of the Lincoln Times-News.

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