Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Everyone! Erin go bragh!
On this day, in 1944, at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida, guess who was born? Yep. Me. I arrived kicking and screaming, and pretty much kept on in that vein for the next 73 years. Well, I don’t scream as loud as used to, and I hardly ever kick anyone these days, but you get my drift. Today is my birthday, and do you know what I plan to do? Ahem. ANYTHING I DARN WELL PLEASE! All day long! 😀
My daughter gave me a lovely piece of art for Christmas, and the first thing I’m doing tomorrow is taking it in to be framed. Then I’m going to do some fun shopping, hitting the local bookstores (what’s left of ’em, anyway) and some garden centers I love to browse. After that, I’m getting a haircut, so I won’t scare the dogs anymore. In short, I’m going to have fun doing whatever strikes my fancy.
But let me tell you about my real birthday present. My husband and I have both become quite hard of hearing in our old age. (I blame it on too much rock and roll in my misspent youth.) For a very long time, I put off doing anything about it because, frankly, hearing aids are quite pricey, and I didnt’t think I could afford it. Instead, I became pretty darn good at work arounds. I can lip read surprisingly well, and I’ve made sure folks know to face me and speak loud when telling me something. So I was coping. I thought.
Then I started reading some research on what happens to the mind from hearing loss. I Don’t want to depress you with all the details, but hearing loss is linked to many emotional problems you might expect, and just about as many physical ones, which you probably don’t. I didn’t. For instance, it is definitely linked to memory loss and dementia!
After some more research, I knew I couldn’t afford to wait any longer, and I consulted an audiologist (referred to me by my family doctor). She was amazed at how well I was functioning, given the severity of my loss, and worked with me to find a solution.
Now hear’s the good news. A few weeks ago, I was fitted for hearing aids, and there are no words to describe how wonderful my life has become because of them. I’m living in the world of sound again, and it’s astounding how much I was missing. The first day I had them on, I walked out onto my back porch, and I heard my beautiful wind chimes for the first time. I cried. My yard is filled with birdsong that had gradually disappeared. Turns out, it didn’t go anywhere. My ears did. 🙂
I’ve learned all sorts of interesting things, too. Like, every door in my house squeaks. Who knew? And light switches actually click when you flip them. Wow. A hundred times a day, I hear something I haven’t been able to hear for years. And a few more things I never knew made sound. (I think it’s been at least ten years since I heard the turn signal in my car!)
We are going to Charleston in a couple of weeks for my grandson’s 4th birthday, and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being able to hear his sweet little voice clearly. Apparently, I never have.
Happy Birthday to Me. I can hear again, and it is glorious!
P.S. Those of you who recognize yourself in this story, do yourself a favor and have your hearing checked. Not only are you missing out on some of life’s most beautiful things, but you are risking damage to your brain that can cause severe memory loss and possibly lead to much worse than that. Make an appointment today, then one day, you can take a walk around listening to things you haven’t heard in a long time. You won’t believe how wonderful it is!