Thursday, June 26, 2008


Yes, I am playing with words. Tubo-sclerosis isn't a real word. It has nothing to do with TB.

In Medical Terminology (I LOVED that class!!-except for the pronunciation part-how can a severely hard-of-hearing person pronounce all these medical words? I had to really concentrate on them) atherosclerosis (ather/o=fat/plaque, -sclerosis= hardening) meant fat was thickening inside of the arteries, sometimes leading to occlusion or blockage. With "tubosclerosis," [the hardening of the tubing of the hearing aids (HAs)] the tube that connect the earmold to the BTE (behind the ear) model can get blocked if cerumen (earwax) gets lodged up in the HA tube. The sound can't reach the ear). Most of the time, it's just wear and tear. Regular cleaning of the earmold is important, though. About once a year or so, tubes get replaced.

It's just a matter of a few minutes of minor surgery to take the old tubing out and replace it with a fresh, flexible tube. It gets floppy, but it's better than having the hardened tube cause everything to whistle in your ear and affect the quality of sound coming into your ear.

I emailed my audie to schedule an appointment. She said that Hubby could drop it off and pick it up at his convenience if he wanted to. So he did that, and the appointment was canceled. I put my HAs in its special box and then put it in a plastic bag with my name on it. All he had to do was drop it off at the receptionist's desk on his way to work. One problem solved.

New Problem: I'm deaf. Sure, I'm not getting much out of the left ear at all anyway, but the HA helps the right ear pick up sounds I can't with the naked ear. I cannot maintain a conversation without my HAs. I know that everyone will get frustrated with me. (And I will be frustrated not only because I can't hear, but because I know that they are frustrated trying to talk to me. Make sense?) That sounds bad, doesn't it? There are only a few people who have a lot of patience. Anyone with hearing loss can attest to that. It's human nature. All I can say is: Learn some signs!! Or get some pen and paper. I try to lip read, but I am not an expert lip-reader. I relied on sound too much, I guess.

New Problem Solved: I have my old hearing aids. I usually always give them to the Lion's Club. They collect old and used HAs and repair them if necessary and give them to those who can't afford HAs. Just wearing it was little less frustrating conversation-wise for all. The tubing wasn't hardened at all. I guess it just wasn't exposed to the air. I kept it in its special container. :) It's my back-up.

Another Problem: Adjusting to listening with old HAs. Everyone sounds funny, farway-like. More "tinny" and hollow than usual. Brain retrain: Learning to hear-again.

Another Problem Solved: Getting my HAs back with its new tubing. Thanks, audie. Thanks, Hubby. Sounds great. Now things are back to normal.

On second thought, what's NORMAL?!?


Angel (remember, don't let the name fool you):

"Mom, you matched up my socks wrong. I have a strawberry (design) on one pair of socks."

She got new socks. They are all white, some with yellow or pink edging. One pair has the strawberry on the side. When I folded up the socks, I always look at the edges to match them up and the plain white socks with the pink edges are the same as the ones without the strawberry on it. (I have been known to match up the wrong socks before.)

I look at her apologetically. "I'm sorry, Sweetie. Maybe you should start matching your own socks."

The look on her face was precious. It was like, HUH?

I could see the wheels going around in her head: Oh no. What did I just do? I just gave myself a new "chore." I should have kept my mouth shut.


Upstairs hallway light: It gets turned on when one ascends the steps to get upstairs. It's supposed to be off when one gets up there. Key word here: SUPPOSED to be.

Many times, when the kids go to bed, they turn on that light. I can go upstairs without turning that light on. I just count steps. I get an idea of where I am. I guess I try to get "antenna" signals so I develop a sort of a sixth sense (to get around in the dark, I mean).

If both girls go upstairs, they argue. "She turned it on!" "It's her turn to turn out the light!" A parent's headache. Sometimes I don't notice the light's on. And get angry when I find out that the light's been left on.

The other night, I was tired and I wanted to go to bed early. Angel and I were going to bed at the same time. She suddenly "remembers" she has to go to the bathroom. You know the drill: Stalling tactic.

I decide to leave my bedroom door open to see if she'd turn off the light.

I feel her bounding up the stairs. Boom, boom, thud. Top of stairs. She gets into her doorway.

I holler, "Turn off the light!"

She stops in her tracks, turns off the light, and peers into my darkened doorway. As she proceeds to shut my door, I spy her hand reaching for the light switch.

Oh, no, you don't, I think to myself. "Leave the door open." Her hand drops as the other one pushes back the door. "'Night, Mommy."

Nice try. "'Night, Sweetie."

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At Thu Jun 26, 10:43:00 PM , Blogger G said...

Maybe a little night light will get her in the habit of turning the big one off. Glad you have your HA's in order, it must be a difficult adjustment when you don't have your Number 1 on hand.

At Thu Jun 26, 10:50:00 PM , Blogger Kila said...

Had to laugh about the socks and the last story about the light. Good job, Mom :)

At Thu Jun 26, 11:17:00 PM , Blogger Becky said...

Glad to hear you were able to get that fixed, and that you have a backup HA.

I gave up long ago on matching up socks. So many socks. All white. Now I just sort by size and toss them in a basket in the top of hubby's closet, and in bins in each of the boys rooms. Works pretty slick for them.

At Fri Jun 27, 04:48:00 AM , Blogger Nessa said...

Very funny stories. I like the way you are so in "tune."

I can't hear when there's a lot of competing noises, so I've gotten into the habit of reading lips and facial expressions. I think I get a better take on what people are actually saying this way, too.

At Fri Jun 27, 09:08:00 AM , Blogger Shari said...

G-Her night light broke. I like to have the kids keep their doors shut. (Safer in fire/smoke spread. Whatever.) I don't always have my door open at night, either. (The light thing happens downstairs, too. Trying to keep enforcing the "energy-saving" habits.

Kila-What helps is that we were kids once, too. ;)

Becky-Sounds like a good idea. Call it a sock strike. Everyone matches their own socks.

Nessa-Competing noises-the background noises always bother me. They win. I can't hear converstation with loud music or other people talking. Sigh. I am best one-on-one in a quiet setting. Even then, it depends on the voice.

I try to be "tuned" to the kids. Angel is a sneak, though. I have to be on top of things with her.

At Fri Jun 27, 02:43:00 PM , Blogger Breazy said...

Glad you got your HAs fixed. My kids do the same exact thing about socks. But my 12 year old wears all of these funky socks and there are two pair of them one gray, white and aqua striped and the other pair is solid aqua. When I wash these two pairs of socks you think that folding the striped with the striped and the solid with the solid right? that is what I do but my daughter doesn't like them that way, she wears one striped with one solid then fusses at me because I match them correctly when they are clean so I told her the same thing, she hasn't folded them herself yet.

Hope your summer is going great Shari!

At Sat Jun 28, 08:09:00 AM , Blogger Amrita said...

I have atherosclerosis so I use a hearing aid.I have an extra one in case the one I use busts. You are aids have to be cleaned and parts replaced.

At Sat Jun 28, 09:02:00 AM , Blogger Shari said...

Breazy-Ditto. I hope you are having a good summer, too.

After that incident, the next time I had white wash, I gave her a small handful of her socks. She did sort them, but didn't know how to fold them. THere were only about three pairs. She wears sandals.

Amrita-Atherosclerosis has to do with plaque build up in the arteries or hardening of the arteries. I made up the word "tubosclerosis" to refer to earwax build up or hardening of the tubing for the hearing aids. Sorry about the confusion. I like having the back up hearing aid in case the other one needs to be repaired. Sometimes audies do let you use a loaner, though. I guess we are "high maintenance" because we have to do some extra running around to keep the hearing aids in good condition.

At Sun Jun 29, 03:42:00 PM , Blogger Kellan said...

Glad you got your HA worked out!

We have light issues around my house too - all day long!

Hope you have had a good weekend - Kellan

At Thu Jul 03, 12:14:00 PM , Blogger Abbie said...

My POS HA has tuberculosis too :) I don't hear well with it so I just don't bother changing my rock hard tubes :)


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