Square Peg In A Round Hole

The lunchtime office chit chat was hotting up.

“Did I show you the photo of my big lump of skin?”, asked my colleague whilst reaching for her phone. Those in the immediate vicinity gathered round excitedly, but I wasn’t that keen.

“Eeeeeuw”, I said, peering over the top of my computer, ” Big lump of skin? What happened?”

“Not big lump of skin“, said my colleague with exaggerated mouth movements, “I said big romper suit!

Cripes, I thought. What was actually said was even more unlikely than the Cookiebite version for a change. I returned to sifting my email and was just wondering how I’d managed to get on the mailing list for the NHS Obesity Conference 2013, when the twice weekly fire alarm test sounded. It seemed very far away.

I stared at the wailing red dome on the ceiling for a bit as if that would explain everything, then asked everyone if the alarm sounded different to usual. It didn’t, apparently, so I reached to my ears for an explanation instead. I got one right away. The newly fitted domes attached to the newly fitted tubes attached to the brand new pair of Oticon Spirit Zests acquired at Clinic O the previous day (don’t ask) had freed themselves from my lugholes yet again, and were broadcasting to fresh air.

Swearing under my breath, I inserted a pinkie into each ear in the time-honoured fashion, and pushed the domes firmly back inside, wondering what audiological genius decided to put painful plastic corners on something that goes into your ear canal. 30 seconds later, they popped straight back out again. So I pushed them in even harder and held them in place for a bit to let them get used to the idea. It didn’t work.

“That’s it. I’m giving you one last chance!” I spluttered, forcing the recalcitrant domes into position a final time, before giving up and increasing the volume instead.

My minor observation, whilst being retubed at Clinic O the previous day, that the domes were a slightly different shape from the last ones, seemed to be of some significance after all…

Oticon corda tube

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10 Responses to “Square Peg In A Round Hole”


  1. 1 Tina C. January 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I know you said “don’t ask” but……..

    • 2 moiradancer January 28, 2013 at 7:06 am

      Fear not Tina, the aids weren’t eaten by mice overnight or anything, there’s actually a very prosaic explanation. When I went in for a service, I asked if I could get left/ right markers put on the inside of the battery doors cos they hadn’t had any in stock when I got the original Oticons back in June, and I suspected (rightly) I’d mixed the aids up after taking the tubes off shortly thereafter. The hearing aid lady got the markers, but couldn’t fit them because there was a faulty bit of plastic where they were meant to go. I was about to suggest putting an NHS-approved dab of marker pen on the inside of one of the battery doors as a quick fix but, in what seemed rather a sledgehammer to crack a nut scenario, I was given a brand new set of the same aids and the settings were copied across. This made me feel a bit nervous, since I was getting along famously with the originals. I felt a bit better about it after the original aids had been accidentally dropped on the table a couple of times whilst trying to get the markers in, though…

      • 3 Tina C. January 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        Yes, well I would never have imagined the NHS would have provided new aids for that! I hope you’ve fixed the dome problem and are getting on fine with the new ones! I wonder what they will do with your old ones…

      • 4 moiradancer January 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm

        They’ve probably already been forensically examined and shipped off to the NHS Hearing Aid Bejazzling Investigation Unit. With all the excitement of getting new tubes, I got uncharacteristically careless and forgot to remove the self-adhesive diamanté jewel which was marking the left aid before I went in…

  2. 5 cyborginafield January 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Hi, ouch indeed. I got a new HA to try and help my tinnitus and im not liking having a whole mould stuck in my lug again. I might ask about these wee stick in the ear things…they werent invented when I had aids!

    Oh the film I am in is having its world premier at the GFT on the sat 16th Feb at 3.15 – We Are Northern Lights. I really hope you can make it. It should be a bit of an emotional day and my first cinema trip since becoming a borg eek.

    S x

    • 6 moiradancer January 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Hope you get a bit of relief from your tinnitus Soozie, it’ll be interesting to see if there is an alternative to a mould. Amazing to think of the huge technological leaps that have been made since your old ha days, but if they could just figure out a 21st century way to keep the damn things in our ears comfortably, that would be even more amazing!

      Even, even, more amazing is your film premier, that’s fantastic news, you must be so excited about seeing it on the big screen. I’d love to go along, I’ll get ma tickets booked, thanks for tipping me off. I’ll come and say hello…you will recognise me by the Kookybite cookie on my lapel, and the flapping tubes poking out of my ears at a funny angle 🙂

      Have fun contemplating your Oscars outfit!

      For anyone looking in, you can view Soozie’s award winning short film about hearing with her CI here
      http://wearenorthernlights.com/submissions/listen/

  3. 7 Rose Rodent (@RoseRodent) March 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I have finally been issued with a replacement set of tubes, yay! I have the double trouble of having paediatric ears (rare) and wearing a superpower aid with thin tubes (rarer). My daughter has been discharged from paediatric audiology with clear lugholes so I can no longer beg their stock, and after nearly 2 years of attempting to get them to understand the size and configuration I am after (size 0 Phonak, not for micro aids though) I have been furnished with tubing which actually bends. And new microphone covers too, it’s like being blessed with new ears. And I can finally appreciate the horror of this particular mis-hearing of a popular song from Les Mis:

    I dreamed a dream in time gone by
    When soap was white and like wok living
    I dreamed that love would never die
    I dreamed that log would be forgiving
    Blah…blah…

    But the tigers come at night (seriously, I thought I misheard this line, it is ACTUALLY about tigers, point to me!)
    With a tortoise in a blender
    As they share your hippo’s heart
    And take your cream to shave

    • 8 moiradancer March 22, 2013 at 11:41 am

      Hi Rose, good news on your daughter’s clear lugholes, and on the size 0 supply chain being restored. There is the downside that cookiebite song lyrics of the quality above could be at risk with your improved hearing, but it’s a small price to pay. The animal inspired second verse is rather good though, and a great improvement on the original 😉

  4. 9 Tasha April 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Hi, I am going to keep this brief, but it could really be a long story! Have been following my now 2 yr old for a possible cookie bite loss (mid frequency loss) and I got to wondering if I had the same.

    My hearing’s been diminishing for some time so I’ve thought it was just getting older (I’m 40) and I know I will need HA sooner rather than later… but I just came across the iphone app last night, then decided to google cookie bite… and see you have it in this post! I’m trying it now. Shocked to discover that the cookie bite settings are what sound best to me! I’m currently playing around with it with the exact setting you show in your picture. Maybe I ought to get a hearing test, after all… well I am sure I will be back for more discussion and explanation.

    Have you played with it any more since posting this?

    • 10 moiradancer April 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Tasha, nice to hear from you. Think I’d been saying “must get my hearing tested” for about 10 years before I finally actually got around to it, which seems to be about the norm! The only way to find out what’s actually going on hearingwise is to get a proper professional test, especially if you’re looking for possible links with your toddler’s hearing. For me, I ended up with more questions than answers since nobody else in my family appears to have a cookie bite loss, but it was good to know that I wasn’t just going loopy, as I thought before the test!

      The Bioaid app is really interesting, but I’ve been so busy at work recently that I never got a chance to try it out further in my noisy studio which was the plan. Once the noise-making students return from their break I’ll give it another go, though and report back.

      Curiously, the Bioaid cookie bite setting sounded the least preferable to me, but the makers do say that people are initially inclined to prefer a setting which matches their unaided hearing because they think it sounds more ‘natural’ and the previously unheard frequencies sound strange. I’d be interested to hear how you get on…


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