Hearing Christmas

After getting hearing aids a few weeks ago, I was looking forward to the sounds of Christmas – recorded carols resounding throughout the house as I cooked and John decorated. I wanted to hear the organ and congregational singing at church in a clearer dimension. What I got was a good laugh at myself.

COVID numbers went up in Asheville, so our church requested that everyone wear masks again. It was PAINFUL! The hearing aids protested at sharing ear space with the mask. Whipping the cheap glasses on and off the same area rubbed my ear raw. I hid in the balcony for several weeks to avoid wearing a mask. The organist and recording techs up there were also bare-faced. It was a happy place until it was decreed that the choir would be in that space and required to be masked.

I decided not to go to church on Christmas Day. That would have caused consternation in the family, so I searched for another solution. Giving up either seeing or hearing was the answer. I left the hearing aids in their charger and went to church.

After the service, I sat outside the sanctuary waiting while John and David rehearsed with the choir. Pastor Gillespie, the one who preached that day, sat down and chatted for a minute. He lost me when he changed the subject. I heard him say, “How are you doing with the Kyries?”

The Kyrie (pronounced keer-ree-aye) is a part of liturgical worship – Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy. I didn’t think he knew I had been a church organist and would know the Kyrie. He must have seen the confusion on my face. He asked the question again, this time flapping his hands near his ears. Finally I realized he must be asking, “How are you doing with the hearing aids?”

44 thoughts on “Hearing Christmas

  1. I hope your covid numbers go down soon so you can get rid of the mask! Both my folks and two sibling have hearing aids so I am pretty sure I will be heading down that road as well. When I do I will need some hearing aid survival tips from you!

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  2. I stay at home, mostly. The mask makes me feel like I can’t breathe, and it hurts the ears terribly.

    I tried a couple of cheap hearing aids. People talking loud, or sudden sharp noises were amplified too much. Maybe one day, I will get a good pair. I have about 15% hearing in the left, and 80% in the right. I have made so many comical mistakes, that I just pretend I didn’t hear someone if I think I misinterpreted it> Some things, can be hilarious.

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  3. My brother has had profound hearing loss for the last 50 years. It was always the family joke when he answered a question on a totally different topic. Hearing aids have come a long way but he needs full canal types. I need them too but the more normal tiny ones. I tried about 3 years ago and found them quite annoying so I returned them. I found that wearing them in large group settings increased all the “other” noise so it didn’t help with conversations. I know they’ve gotten better. New ones have rechargeable batteries that don’t require the constant changing. Maybe one of these days I’ll revisit that.

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      1. “They said” one ear was pretty good but the other wasn’t. It’s like my eyes. One eye is a lot better than the other. The weaker ear/eye is on my left side. Hmmm…I wonder what that means.

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        1. You are lop-sided??? My audiologist said I was lucky that my ears were similar and worked together. My eyes certainly don’t. So far my mouth is OK, since I don’t talk out of two sides at once.

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  4. Now I know how my dad felt when he had to bother with the mask 😷 and his hearing aids. Then pile sunglasses and a hat on all of that! His ears must have been killing him, but he never complained!

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      1. Oh no, that’s not what I meant! I just couldn’t believe what he went through on a daily basis and found him so brave. He was in a lot of physical pain but you would never know until he broke his ribs. You can imagine my guilt, because I pushed him to keep exercising and moving around, not knowing his pain. I thought his ribs were just bruised. Ugh.

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  5. I had a good laugh at the mis-heard conversation. Forrest and I both have terrible hearing so we often misunderstand each other and have some good laughs.

    It’s sad that these mandates have made people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome and have also created division and judgment by many. I’m pretty sure Jesus welcomes all. That’s all I’m going to say about that!! 🙂

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  6. That’s funny Anne. I bought some N-95 masks as our COVID stats are through the roof and we have 21% positivity rate right now. The new masks I bought don’t have earloops but have two stretchy straps to go behind your head (one up high, one lower near your neck). So that will work well with my eyeglasses which kept getting pushed off my ear. I had comfy cloth ones and put a charcoal-activated filter in the filter pocket a couple of weeks ago and ended up with a red burn on my face from it and it even burned my eyelids.

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      1. I think it is me – sensitive skin I guess. But I’ve used Cetaphil for years on my face and they have changed the formula and added glycerin. First time I used it, my skin reacted and got very dry. I have always had oily skin up until a few years ago.

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