March 8, 2007

Ringing in the Ears

For years I was sure I was losing my hearing. I can't hear conversations when I am in a restaurant because the background noise from other diners' messes with my comprehension. My girls often complain that I don't listen or even when I do "tune" in, I don't hear what they are saying. But I am pretty sure I hear ok. I hear sadness on the phone when I talk with my sister, I hear concern from other family members, I hear the cats mutter to each other as they plan a revolt against me, I hear the crows say thank you to me when I put out their corn. I hear the important things. I just don't hear my daughters' when they mumble about their day or give me driving directions. I finally caved into the peer/parent pressure and went to have my hearing checked. It turns out that my hearing is fine. At least it is for a 55 year old woman. And that's a good thing.

But I have ringing in the ears from all the Excedrin I take during the day to deal with muscle aches. And the ringing is in the same register or key as normal conversation level voices so one noise blanks out the other. I really need to learn to lip read to compensate for this.

On the other hand, I am not so sure that not hearing voices is such a bad thing. I won't ever be burned at the stake like Joan of Arc, I won't ever be committed to a nut house for hearing voices (I may be committed for other things perhaps) and I won't have to be bored by the political debates because I can tune them out.

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