This past weekend, my ears got a workout during a writers conference. It started with a meeting room full of attendees networking. I generally love meeting new people, and this was no exception…except for one thing. One of my hearing aids quit working midway through the day. (I later learned the reason why. Keep reading.)
That morning, I sat in on a workshop called “The First 50 Pages.” Author Jeff Gerke wore my ReSound Mini-Microphone so that I could hear him through my hearing aids. Halfway through his session, I noticed a strange sound in my right ear. It felt like a piece of cotton had been wedged in this ear. When Gerke spoke in the Mini-Mic, only my left hearing aid heard him. The other aid remained silent.
During a break, I dashed to the restroom and dug through my purse for my spare hearing aid batteries. I removed the sticky tape on the back of a fresh one, took the old battery out of my aid, and inserted the new one.
“Ding-ding-ding,” chirped the hearing aid when I closed its battery door. Then silence.
I popped out that so-called fresh battery and slid in another new one. Again, my ear heard the ding-ding-ding-silence.
Bad batteries, maybe? I didn’t have time to dash away to the nearest store and purchase a brand new pack. This writing conference would just have to be heard out of my left, hearing-aided ear only.
Halfway through the day, after lipreading this and that teacher while listening in my one “good” ear,” I’d had enough. I retreated to the quiet hallway.
A woman wearing a fire engine red sweater dress dallied in the hall as well.
“I’m Shanna,” I introduced myself. “Just taking a hearing break.”
“You too?” she said.
After a few minutes of mingling, I let her in on the reason why I needed the break. “I have hearing loss.”
Her eyes widened. “You too?”
And that’s how I met my new friend, Leah Pruitt, author, speaker, and a mom of three with hearing loss. Does that sound like another Lipreading Mom you know?
The cause of my “dead” hearing aid? Ear wax buildup within its ear mold. After I figured this out and got it cleaned, my right ear came back to life.
What do you do to give your ears a break? Share your comments below.