One of the things that fell by the wayside due to my progressive hearing loss, is music. These days everybody has “their music”, their personalized playlist.
Music is one of God’s richest lessings, with power to lift a downcast spirit, fill a joyless heart. I believe it is a form of beauty that has some healing power we can’t explain.
My hearing loss is moderately profound (the official medical designation, for quantification purposes). While we were still raising our boys, we were not able to afford to replace the one pair of hearing aids I got 20 years ago and so as my hearing progressively got worse, I engaged less and less with people. It is a very isolating condition. Well, about a year and a half ago, I finally got hearing aids again. My husband said it was like watching the old me show up again, immediately, at the first fitting. He said I sat up taller, my countenance was instantly less tense.
After living without the pleasure of music for years, it has taken this long for me to realize, “hey, I can listen anytime I want now”, and start having it be the ubiquitous thing for me that it is for most of you! Some of the reason is that the new hearing aid set was plagued with issues that required constant attention, repairs, etc. It was so bad, I finally wrote a letter detailing it all, and requesting they extend my warranty. I submitted it to my Aud Dr, who used it to go to bat with the manufacturer on my behalf. They went the extra mile, and replaced them with a brand new set, concluding my set had been defective, and they restarted the clock on the warranty. So really it’s only been about 7 months of the notion sinking in that music is a joy I can partake of anytime, so I have started to do so every day.
A spirit can get pretty parched, and as I have been seeking the Lord about how to best continue “serving in the waiting”, the lord has been using good spiritually rich music that glorifies Him, to nourish and hydrate me inside.
And i just want to thank Him for that.
By the way, mine is a Lynx Quattro made by ReSound. I highly recommend the brand, my experience notwithstanding. They are the same company that made my first pair but the name changed.
If you have a loved one with hearing loss, I encourage you to make an effort to engage them. Let them know they matter, and even ask them how hearing loss effects their life. Sit facing them, near enough they can read your lips, which does help tremendously and most with hearing loss rely on this whether they realize it or not. The mask mandates have been particularly cruel for hearing people. If like me, your lived one has been isolated by their hearing loss a long time, it may be a challenge to engage, because they may be very “rusty’ at social interaction. Speak a little slower than usual, enunciate, and if they seem to drift off from the flow, don’t hesitate to ask if they understood what you said. As much as you may hate having to constantly repeat things, I promise you we hate it worse having to ask you to, especially 5 times, which had gotten to be the average for me.
When you do repeat it, here are some points that will help so much if you will train yourself to keep them in mind. Never repeat the sentence word for word. This is because hearing loss is not just about decibels. If my ear cannot make out the contours of the consonant blend “sh” in a word, my brain will insert another sound to make sense of what it is hearing. Therefore if you say this sentence: “you should show me the pictures from your trip”, I not only may not hear what you did say, I will likely “hear” something you didn’t say, which will be a mash-up of ¹what sounds my ear did correctly receive, plus ²whatever my brain inserts into the gaps that I struggled to catch. What I might have ended up thinking I heard was “You sure show me the fxtures on your hip”, a sentance that clearly makes no sense. Thus my mind would scramble, with the Jeapardy theme playing urgently in the background, counting down each drawn out agonizing second, as I try to guess what you said, before reluctantly asking you to repeat yourself. I might even venture a guess, to show you I really am trying to hear you, knowing my near-deafness tries your patience.
It is annoying to you, and we are painfully aware of that, but like i said to my husband sooooo many times, I can’t listen any harder than I akready am, only you can speak louder.
Repeating your comment using different words, gives us new, additiinal clues to help us solve the puzzle.
We end up made to feel as if others think we are dull or stupid, and even a few minutes of small talk becomes pretty exhausting mentally and emotionally when every interaction with another human being is fraught with this.
If you want patience with your hearing impaired loved one, try going through an entire day with earplugs in, and noise-canceling headphones on , Go to work, or church, or the drive-thru, do a whole day. See how exhausting it is, how much you are looked upon as an inconvenience.
Another exercise in empathy: If you want to be more understanding of an elderly loved one, put in the earplugs put on the noise-canceling headphones, put on some glasses prescribed for someone else, and smear a little vaseline on them, now get out some old sheets and rip long strips of fabric, grab some safety pins and wrap your knees, wrists, fingers pretty tight so they are hard to bend. Try going through your normal day like that.
The saying “old age ain’t for sissies” is a thing for a reason!
I have been binge-listening on good preaching while working on gifts for my daughter-in-law’s Birthday, and for Christmas, i.e. a sanity break. Take time for joy. This job of watching is crucial, but God doesn’t want us to be so informed that we forget to smile and laugh.
That’s why I shared the Fall leaves of skyline Drive and my zany moment from this week.
I see some things starting to turn around in America and in the church. This in NO WAY means the prophetic clock reverses. We are still hurtling toward the Tribulation, and the rapture. But I would like to think the decade I have invested here has played some small part in this awakening.
If anyone out there would like some of my cards to hand out, provide your name and mailing address and I’ll send some.
Also, if you will commit to being an intercessor for this ministry I would love to hear from you. I really want to stay the course and for this blog to be all God wants it to be; nothing more, nothing less.