Friday, July 21, 2006


My Shattered Nerves: my FIL, bless his huge heart, used to say that. Shattered things are on my mind today. Here's the story.

We went to a park today, just to sit and read for a few hours. It was a pleasant thing to do ... until it was time to leave, that is.

You see, I had taken my iPod to stick in my ear while I read. To stick my iPod in my ear, I had to unstick my hearing aids. No, I'm not deaf, but I sure benefit from assistance, the way that most of us benefit from sight assistance. I wear them most of the time, you know? I don't love to wear them but wear them I do. They make my ears moisty and itchy, you see, but it's best if I wear them. I can hear most things at ordinary levels that way. I don't have to blast the tv and assault Cuppa's normal ears, and I don't have to keep asking people to repeat themselves. That's tiresome and aggravating for all. Yeah, it's best if I wear them.

But I can't wear them while I listen to my iPod, and if Cuppa needs to say something and I remove them for a moment, I can pick up those few words. So, I took them out and put them, the hearing aids, in my pocket. And I'll bet that you bright, sleuthish bloggers already have some sort of inkling of what's to come. Yes, I can hear you saying, "Oh no." Yes, I can hear you, even without my hearing aids in.

I moved about some while we were at the park for those several hours: got up some, went to the washroom, went to the car, lay on the blanket, returned to the chair ... and so on.

Time to go. Got the car packed and reached into my pocket for my hearing aids. Pulled out and inserted the left one and fumbled around for the right. It was not there. There had also been some coins and a tube of Blistex in my pocket. They were still there, but not the hearing aid. No, it was not in that pocket. It was not in any pocket, no matter how many times I dug, patted and prodded. Neither was it to be found in any article that we had packed, not in the roll-up chairs or the cooler or the blanket or the book bag or the food bag.

The ground-search commenced in earnest. We retraced steps. We got down on our hands and knees. We went back and forth and forth and back. Others, noticing our plight, helped, particularly one nice lady who hunted ever so concernedly and diligently. Thank you nice lady.

Eventually, and I do mean eventually, Cuppa found it after almost stepping on it. She might as well have stepped on it as a matter of fact. For somebody had. Me, no doubt. Shattered! More than a thousand dollars of hearing aid lying in shattered pieces.

The relatively worthless coins and the Blistex remained securely in my pocket while the hearing aid not only fell out but managed to also get trod upon. In the whole park, not a crowded park either, a foot found this tiny little hearing aid and crushed it to bits.

When we got home, our closest neighbours joyfully shared some good news with us. They had won a trip to Ireland. Yes indeed, they had won the draw from last weekend's Celtefest. They didn't go to the concert, and we did, but they won the trip.

I am happy for them. No, really. But sometimes things seem to conspire against me. Sometimes, I feel luckless.

I was going to end it there, on a note of self pity, but then I thought about it a bit more. Actually, it didn't require much thinking, for it was just there begging for me to see it.

Here it is: this neighbour is not well. He is almost confined to the house during the summer's heat and humidity. He finds it hard to breathe, you see. Not only is he asthmatic but he's diabetic and has a heart condition. He's only sixty-five, and he doesn't feel well much of the time. If he can manage to make it to Ireland, he may have to rent a scooter because you do walk a lot on trips and walking is problematic for this guy. No, I'd not want to trade places with him, not for a free trip to Ireland and not even for a working hearing aid or for the money it will cost to get it replaced.

So, I'll take my little life and be glad of it. I really will. But couldn't it have been the Blistex? Couldn't it?


Dale said...

Sorry about your misfortune, AC. My twin sisters have worn contact lenses for years. Sometimes they lose or damage one, but they have insurance that covers replacement cost. Is there any such product for hearing aids, I wonder?

Greg said...

Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but since hearing aids are techno gadgets, could they possibly be insured, like cell phones? With things that are both expensive and small, it seems a worthwhile idea for the future. I had no idea that these devices were that expensive.

I admire you for using them. My FIL is extremely hard of hearing. He is not a poor man, but acts as if he's never heard (oh, bad joke) of hearing aids. It makes conversing with him very unpleasant, I cannot imagine how he drives safely with such poor hearing.

I think that as we age and need more things to help us along, we become more vulnerable to mishaps. I know that when I travel these days I make sure that medicine that I must have is in the carry-on and not in the luggage that could be (and two weeks ago, was) lost.

Finally, your story reminded me of an incident my dad experienced. He went in for a nap one afternoon and laid his dentures on the nightstand, as always. Upon awakening, they were not where he remembered putting them. A search of the logical, and then the illogical, places ensued. Soon my mom and sister were enlisted and the house was turned upside down. No dentures. Finally, someone noticed two things. First, the beloved family Labrador had not been seen in some time. Second, there was a crunching sound coming from beneath the dining room table. Lifting the table cloth, both the dog and the remains of the dentures were discovered. Seems the old girl had found the teeth to be quite the delicacy.

My dad loved that dog, luckily for her. But he didn't speak to her for two weeks.

mreddie said...

So sorry for your loss, sometimes I just don't understand why bad things happen to good people. Good for you that you seem to be taking it in stride though. ec

Gina said...

Ooooh, ouch! I can't imagine what that must have felt like, to see that expensive thing in so many pieces.

I know exactly the feeling of, huh, why are all these good things happening to everyone but me? Hang in there, AC, things are sure to be looking up soon.

Debra said...

Oh nooooo! I'm so sorry this happened... Someday I will probably need a hearing aid for my right ear, but since they are so darn tiny, I can already imagine losing it since I lose small things like crazy (it's a modern-day miracle that I've not lost my wedding ring in 27 years. No, really.) :) Anyway, don't feel bad--you are only human!! Blessings, Debra

madcapmum said...

Eeee, I'm so sorry to hear that. I've broken a lot of glasses in my day, and it hurts the head and the pocketbook.

Elizabeth said...

Oh my some days it is best to stay in bed~! SO SORRY to hear this but at least nothing is wrong with your is just something mechanical that is replaceable, even though it will about take a life's savings to do so! Hope you can focus on the fact that at least nothing is wrong physically...and hope you can find some kind of a case to carry them in for the future...might help them to stay in the pocket!!

Bonita said...

When I cared for the elderly, I noticed that many of them lost their hearing aids - they'd sometimes even go through the washer and dryer. And, false teeth would be taken out sometimes, and accidently left on the dinner tray, winding up in the kitchen....let's see now, WHO do these belong to....or, they'd forget to put them in, while stirring their morning coffee in the dining room. Guess who had to run to fetch them!

Ah me, such incredible laughs we had then, whilst stumbling over all our imperfections.

Hearing Aids: One sweet man told me, "learn to lip-read, those gadgets cost a fortune!" That's good enough for me.

megz_mum said...

I am glad your neighbour won the trip - hopefully he will get a lot of joy out of it. As you said, would you want to trade places?

Maya's Granny said...

In the 40s, my father had hearing aids. In those days, the speaker was the size of a pack of cigarettes and worn in the front shirt pocket (and I have no idea what women did), the batteries were in the rear pants pockets (notice the plurals -- two big batteries, two pockets) and wires came up under the shirt and to the ear pieces. The phones had a fixed speaker and an ear piece that you held to your ear, except my father held his to his chest. And they didn't work all that well, either because they couldn't filter out the incidental noise.

PBS said...

Isn't that just the way things go? I think it's time for your luck to change!

methatiam said...

I have come to fairly well depend upon my iPac. It keeps track of my appointments, meetings, reminders, it stores music, movies and much of my library is on there as well. It goes with me wherever I go, so when I fractured the screen on it and had to send it away for a week and pay out 250.00 (which took me some time to collect), I was devastated.
I know it’s not the same, but I bring it up because I found a metal case for it that keeps it safe, even when I get klutzy. Carrying a metal box in your pocket might be a bit painful, but think about those tubes cigars come in. Would one of those be big enough to hold both devices? Maybe a couple of film canisters?
Just a thought.

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Check your homeowner's insurance might get lucky.

I feel bad for you Anvil, I hope it all works out ok.

I use an old cigarette case for my small stuff sometimes, the plastic ones are cheap...

Simply Coll said...

Oh No A/C.. I had to say it. How unfortunate about the hearing aid. Sigh

And your poor neighbour.. I hope he gets the chance to enjoy his holiday. Yes.. there are always those amoung us who are less fortunate.

Your post reminded me of a favourit quote,
"The sun was shining in my eyes, and I could barely see
To do the necessary task that was allotted me.
Resentment of the vivid glow, I started to complain--
When all at once upon the air I heard the blindman's cane."
~ Earl Musselman ~

sare said...

Haha, my shattered nerves! I remember that!
You know, reading prople's blogs wouldn't be quite as exciting if it was the always the blistex!

Cathy said...

Hope your nerves are recovering. I'll soon be ear-hosting one of those devices and with my tendency to 'shed' - ohhh, I'm in trouble. My kid-sister's dog ate my mother's hearing aid this winter while she napped.

(Love the music:0)

Heather said...

Oh, that sucks. Sounds like your luck's similar to ours lately. In the same week we found out we have to spend $3500 on braces for Nikki (no, insurance doesn't cover it) and $4000 on preschool for Maddie. Haven't found a money tree yet.

Rainypete said...

Maybe you should craft some large blistex tubes to keep them in to fool fate from trying to break them when they are out of your ears.