A good friend who wears hearing aids comes by once a month to have me cut his hair. He takes the same seat at the kitchen table every time to talk first. We do some catching up on family news and when it’s haircut time he takes his hearing aids out and lays them down on the table. We move him to the middle of the kitchen and cut his hair.
Ken was in and out, setting up Beatles music because that came up in conversation too. As talked, he started picking through the African violets on the table, pulling out the dead leaves. He had a whole pile there on the table offering live leaves to our friend to grow and telling us how well they used to grow in his office. My cat wandered in and out. It’s almost as much social time as it is haircut time.
When I was done, our friend sat down at the table to put his hearing aids in and no hearing aids, oh crap! I immediately drop down to the floor to see if they had fallen off the table, instead I found a very hard piece of purple play dough left by my grandson a month ago. (Dang, how did I miss that?) There were a few extra violet leaves that drifted to the floor too. We check by the cat food, moved the chair and no hearing aids. Ken said, “I put them on the napkin so they wouldn’t get lost” but there were obviously not there anymore. I noticed the proximity of the napkin to the violets and think of the few leaves that fell on the floor. “Where did you put the African violet leaves,” I asked.
“No! No I wouldn’t do that! I put them on the napkin to keep them safe.” Ken knows how much hearing aids cost so he’s panicking. He started going through the trash and then over to the compost bucket. Shifting through the leaves and cast off vegetable parts he found one hearing aid, then two. Hearing aids are light weight and could easily be scooped up with the African violet leaves, feeling no different.
Now, did they work? We waited as our friend put in his hearing aids. One hearing aid turned on however the other one didn’t. There was a few more seconds of panic but it didn’t take long to figure out it was missing the battery. Why would it be missing its battery Ken wanted to know. Because that’s how we shut off our hearing aids, open the battery door. “That’s silly.” Maybe but that’s how it’s done. What size was the battery? Smaller than my hearing aid batteries so we let him go home without knowing if it would work. I gave him a homemade dehumidifier to take home just in case. (A small sour cream container with lots of those dry packets that come in clothes and other kinds of packaging.) This morning I texted him asking him it worked and yes it does, yay!
That’s proof how fast hearing aids can disappear. I hear about kids getting a hold of hearing aids, dogs eating them but never heard another compost bucket story. I learned a long time ago to always return my hearing aids to their protective box and put the box in the same place, which is in my purse.
I learned the lesson the hard way about 13 or so years ago when cell phones weren’t always compatible with hearing aids. I was in the car, my sister called, I put my hearing aid in my lap as I drove. I forgot all about it when I checked my mail box and long strip of drive up mail boxes. I didn’t notice I put away only one hearing aid that night either. The next day I could only find one hearing aid and later that afternoon finally remembered everything…too late. It had been run over probably half a dozen time at the mailboxes. Ouch! From now on, I’ll have a small container set out for our friend to put his hearing aids in when he comes for haircuts.