* I can’t hear you!

Yes, I wear hearing aids. A teaching assistant and I both lost our hearing after more than a year of daily testing a kiddo’s hearing aids without proper equipment. The student would end up with a cochlear transplant and we ended up saying, “Huh?” By the time the district finally hired a hearing specialist, it was too late.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I was tutoring a young fellow on a Monday and was distracted by my itchy ear. I ran my finger along the hearing aid to make sure it wasn’t falling off. No problem there. The itchiness continued and I developed cold symptoms. I felt miserable: low grade fever, ear ache, runny nose, sore throat, worsening congestion. While taking a shower on Wednesday, I rubbed my sore ear and felt something move! Yikes! I quickly aimed a spray of water into my ear and although it hurt, no critter crawled out. Whew!

Because my dearest teaching widower was tired of me yelling, “What??” I decided to try my hearing aids again on Friday. I noticed that the dome was missing from one hearing aid but figured it had fallen off somewhere. Duh. You know where it was, right?

As I forced that hearing aid into my ear (DUH!), I yelped in pain as the previously ‘lost’ dome pressed against my eardrum. After a few hours of panic at the ENT, the errant click dome was retrieved and I was taught how to attach it properly.

I had to laugh as I overheard a nurse asking, “How did she get a COMB in her ear?” Huh? What’s that?

* What did you say?

Do you find yourself continuously asking students, “What did you say?”  If you are asking that in response to a smart-mouthed remark, well, all you are doing is drawing attention to inappropriate behavior.  For some kids, especially those with articulation problems, asking that can make them feel self-conscious.  Ditto for shy kids who were uncertain about saying something the first time.  BUT, if you simply cannot hear those high frequency sounds, join the club.  My Hearing Loss Club.

An assistant and I both suffered permanent hearing loss from checking a student’s hearing aid without the muffler effect of a stethoset.  Our ears rang for a year-and-a half until the district hired a hearing specialist.  My own hearing aids were marvelously effective.  Now I could hear a certain rascal say, “Don’t worry!  She can’t hear us!”

Sadly, I suffer from eustachian tube dysfunction, joining approximately 5% of Americans (and 4% worldwide) with an interminable popped ear effect.  I always take antihistamines.  I can’t fly without steroids.  I often have fluid stuck behind my eardrum.  I’ve had numerous tubes and lancings and ruptures.  My ear now rings without cessation.  The good news is that a new treatment is available, inserting a balloon to stretch that sucker open.  My procedure has been scheduled!  I’ll need yet another tube because of fluid but I’m excited about the possibilities!

What did you say?

ear