Last week the vocational rehabilitation state service accepted me into their program. The letter said to call to make another appointment and the next appointment wasn’t until June 2. Then that’s an appointment to start talking about what to do. I’ve already been about 6 weeks without a hearing aid and I don’t want to wait another two months for hearing aids. I really in truly miss my hearing aids. (Wearing one doesn’t help me that much.)
I put an email in my audiologist office asking if it were possible to get a loaner hearing aid as I wait for the voc rehab plan and they said yes! Come on in next week. So yesterday was the day and my audiologist was almost giddy in showing me the new technology. I’m a bit skeptical of new technology because I don’t see how 4 years can make a big difference but I felt caught up in his excitement. Besides, beggars can’t be choosers and any hearing aid would be great to me by, even an old analog one.
He isn’t the one who sold me my hearing aids but he’s been super helpful about programming them for me whenever I needed. He is the best programmer I’ve run across and no matter the problem, he’s been able to fix it. I’ve tried 5 other audiologists in the area before finding him, ran across a lot of disappointment and bad hearing programs before he corrected it all and made my hearing aids more likable. When discussing the loaner, he wanted to give me one without a T-Coil because it’s the newest one he has and he wanted to show off the technology and I said no! I must have the T-Coil. I use the loop at the Sanderson Center often plus I use my neckloop for my phone. I want the T-Coil so he gave me an older version that’s not as old as my own hearing aid.
It’s a Siemens something Carat, a RIC (Receiver In the Canal) and you can see the vast difference between hearing aids. He kept saying I’d like the discrete part of it and I kept telling I really don’t care about discreet or I wouldn’t have bright, red hearing aids. I had to ask him what the receiver was and he said the speaker which is what the makes the behind the ear hearing aid smaller, the speaker is off the hearing aid and in the ear. I’m glad I asked because to me the receiver would be the thing that collects noise for me. So I signed my life away for the loaner and walked out of his office a lot happier than I walked in.
I researched this style a few months ago for a Hearing Aids 101 class I taught at the senior center. One of the benefits of a RIC is hearing less internal noise such as chewing. After putting it in I noticed right away I did not feel stuffed up on the RIC side like I do with the red hearing aid. That’s nice and the noise feels more natural. Of course it’s hard to tell how well a hearing aid will work in a quiet audiologist office.
Happy to be hearing out of both ears, I wore them all day and made a commitment to myself to wear my hearing aids all day from now on. While eating nuts, that’s all I could hear on my right but with the RIC, I didn’t hear that hardly at all. It works! Right now I can hear myself breathing with the red hearing aid and not the RIC. I clearly hear my clock ticking again. Taking out the RIC and leaving the red hearing aid in, I have to really concentrate to hear the clock and the sound is barely on my threshold. What a difference! If voc rehab will go for it, I think I might like a new pair of hearing aids after all.
My audiologist pointed out yesterday once again that my red hearing aids weren’t the once he would have dispensed had I gotten hearing aids from him. He says my lifestyle fits in with the RICs better and he could be right. To be fair, I think the guy I bought them from wanted to sell me something similar but at the time I wanted hearing aids to work with my FM system and I wanted the FM receivers built into my hearing aids. The FM got me by at quite a few events for a while but now there are other devices out there and ALD systems in place at some places. I can let go of the FM system, it’s probably 9 years old anyway.
My red hearing aids have served me well and I don’t regret that choice at all. They served me well but wow, technology really does move fast. I’m a lot more open to new hearing aids now.