Friday, July 18, 2008

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Fall 2006
My hearing aids came with a 60 day trial period. Thank goodness for that because very soon after getting them I did the stupidest thing. I wore them while blowdrying my wet hair. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The instruction booklet warned to keep the hearing aids away from 2 things: water and heat. Of course I learned this afterwards. Have you ever heard of a librarian who didn't carefully read an instruction booklet? Yikes.

Well, needless to say, soon afterwards the aids failed. I took them in to the audiologist and she sent them off for replacement. Fortunately it was during the 60 day period and they were replaced with no questions asked. Of course I had to live without them for about two weeks while they were getting fixed but I got by.

Then about a month later, one hearing aid failed and then a few days later the other stopped working. I knew I had done nothing wrong this time. I tried replacing the batteries with no improvement. What could be the problem?

I returned to the audiologist again this time in a little bit of a snit. If these things were going to be breaking down so often, what was the point of wearing them? Never mind that it was all my fault the first time.

If you wear hearing aids, then you probably know what the problem was. But for everyone else I'll reveal the culprit: ear wax. The audiologist unscrewed one earpiece from its hearing aid and placed a thin plastic wire inside the tube. She pushed out a clump of ear wax just visible to the eye. It was the same problem in the other one. "Stupid, stupid ear wax," she said. To myself, I thought, "Hooray, all is not lost. Ear wax I can deal with." In fact, the audiologist gave me a few of the plastic wires to take home so I could handle the problem on my own next time.


rogue1668 said...

Funny and it can happened to any deaf person and me. I have interesting and funny story for you. My old boss told me how he became deaf when he was 20's something during 1960’s. One morning, he woke up and he was surprised that he became deaf out of blue. He had been struggling to communicate with his parents , his siblings and friends for one year. He had to use written method to communicate with pen and paper.

Finally, he decided to see his primary doctor. He wanted to know why he became deaf. Guess what the doctor told him. The doctor discovered a huge chunk of earwax in his both ears. He asked my old boss "Have you done cleaning your ears in all your life?" My boss admitted "No".

My old boss knows what was like being tone D E A F like us.

Lisa C. said...

Welcome to a club! I don't read instruction books, too. My hearing aid quit working last week when I was sucking some little liquid from the ear mold with a sucking bulb the audiologist gave to me last year when I received a new aid. I didn't tell her about what I had done to it and she sent it to the manufactor for repair under the warranty and the part had been replaced. It's working great. (hee hee)

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks for sharing that funny story, rogue1668.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Lisa,
Maybe we should get t-shirts for our club "We don't read instruction booklets. What's your excuse?" tee hee.
Glad your hearing aid is working fine now. It's so nice when no questions are asked. *smile*

IfuwantajobdonerightDIY said...

Hi Sarah, unlike you I read manuals, but where does it mention that ear wax can be the cause for what we think are malfunctions of our hearing aids and why don't our audiologists teach us proper cleaning methods and provide the proper tools at the start. And let's face it these expensive little pieces of technology are prone to failure and breakdowns so we aren't crazy to think something is wrong when they stop working.

Sarah Wegley said...


Good points! I feel better.