Loopy

sunny corridor

After my visit to the dentist on Wednesday, I am pleased to report that dental drills are much quieter than they were when I was last on the sharp end of one 15 years ago. Funny, that. Fortunately, no further x-rays were necessary, so the Oticons remained unscathed, apart from a light showering with water infused with powdered tooth, when the drill coolant suddenly started spraying out at a peculiar angle.

First thing the following morning, me and my hearing aids presented punctually, and in full working order, for a routine service at clinic O.

“What can I do for you today?” enquired the very nice hearing aid lady.

“Just a routine service…and can you leave the retention tails on the tubes, they won’t stay in my ears otherwise…and can you activate the ‘Mute’ setting, it’s been activated twice but it doesn’t seem to work…and can I give you these Chroma S aids back, I keep forgetting to take them out of my handbag every time I come in…don’t want anyone to think I’ve stolen them…oh, and here’s the remote for them as well, it’s brand new, might be useful for an old person…”

I paused to draw a breath and glanced surreptitiously in my handbag for a second, before adding, “oh, and can I get some batteries as well? Mustn’t forget the batteries, I’m nearly out…”

Hearing aid lady cheerfully set about complying with my machine-gun fire list of requests, and I congratulated myself on having written them all down before I came in, so that I wouldn’t forget as usual. After replacing the tubes, she enlisted the help of saintly hearing aid chap to activate the Mute setting in the software and, as a heartwarming cross appeared in the onscreen dialog box, I felt a glow at the thought of turning off screaming toddlers and people with grating voices on the train with one touch of a button. Ah, yes, things were looking up. The sun was shining, my toothache was gone, my tubes still had their tails on and, unbeknownst to me, there were yet more riches to come.

“You’ve got room on there for one more programme”, said hearing aid chap enthusiastically, “do you want me to activate the loop for you? It can be really useful…”

I wondered if I had died and gone to heaven.

“That would be great,” I said, “I’d been wondering if the loop setting might be useful when we move to our shiny new building in November.” I pictured myself lounging at the back of the spanking new state of the art lecture theatre with my eyes closed, just like everyone else for a change. People could whisper distractingly in my ear, tap on their bleeping mobile devices and pointlessly rustle paper right beside me all they liked…I would be able to hear the speaker and not them. Bliss.

A few mouseclicks later, and my souped-up Oticons were ready to change my life. I bade the very helpful staff a good day, and set off along the sun-filled corridor with a newly acquired spring in my step and my fingers on the Mute button, just for the hell of it.

Little did I know, I was going to be seeing the sun-filled corridor again before the day was out…

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2 Responses to “Loopy”


  1. 1 Rose Rodent (@RoseRodent) January 26, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    What is this “routine service” of which you speak? Practice in my NHS area is to send you away with strict instructions not to come back in the following 3 years unless you have an obvious problem. Problems will be assessed over the phone (genius!) and if woe betide anyone who shows us without sufficient stuff wrong with her hearing aid to justify the precious time of the repair clinic – bleeding ears? What do you mean “new earmoulds”?

    And despite the “over the phone” repair service, they get really upset with you if you show up on the wrong day….

    • 2 moiradancer February 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

      The routine service is a kind of audiological euphimism for changing the tubes, snipping the retention hooks off with a pair of scissors without asking, and telling you your cerumen impacted ear canals are minging.

      The over the phone assessment for deaf people is truly one of life’s marvels, I honestly thought they were kidding when it was first mentioned…


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