My hearing has been on a downhill slide for quite some time. The first hearing test I remember having shouldn’t really count. It was in January 1969 after being drafted into the Army. During the induction physical a sergeant put me in a booth and told me to press the button every couple of seconds. I must have passed.
I was given another hearing test about fifteen years later when I began working for Abbott Laboratories. A technician put me in a booth with instructions to press the button when I heard a tone through the headphones. I was listening hard, waiting for the test to begin, when the door to the booth opened and the technician asked, “Is something wrong?”
“No,” I said. “I’m waiting for the test to begin.”
“It’s over,” she answered.
“Let’s try it again,” I said. Then, remembering what the sergeant told me years before, I started pressing the button every couple of seconds. I passed.
The third test was five or six years later. My wife had been complaining that I didn’t listen to her. This time I knew the drill when I went in the booth. I thought I had passed, but the audiologist informed me that I did, indeed, have a hearing deficit. The loss was in the higher frequencies, which included the frequency of the female voice. No wonder my wife thought I wasn't listening to her!
I had a fourth hearing test about ten years ago just to make sure I still had a hearing deficit. Unsurprisingly, I did.
There have been many times over the years when, listening to a conversation, I would nod in agreement and grunt, “uh huh,” without having a clue what was said. There were also plenty of occasions where I was laughed at because what I thought I had heard wasn’t even close.
When my wife spoke, it sounded like she was mumbling. I made a visit to the audiologist last week for yet another hearing test after years of enduring much grief from her. This time the audiologist ganged up with my wife and convinced me that I did need hearing aids. I picked them up today but am now a little upset. My wife waited until after I spent $6,400 on hearing aids and then she stopped mumbling!