What was that? Pardon me?

Hi, I just thought that I'd update you on the ear trumpet vs hearing aid thing. Dr Groom got me that referral to the Ear, Nose and Throat dept. I attended on June 29th, and had a very thorough hearing test. It was very interesting, and I would recommend it to anyone who's having the slightest problem with their hearing.

The graph which the tests produced showed that my low frequency hearing was normal, but the higher frequencies were half way between normal and profoundly deaf. Quiet a surprise, I can tell you!

Anyway, the next available appointment to have the hearing aids fitted was 10th August, but by being extremely pleasent to one and all, they found me one for three days hence!!!! What could have been a problem, but thankfully wasn't for me, was that the appointment wasn't at our local hospital (the Queen Elizabeth; 7 minutes walk from our house) but at one which was a mile and a half away, centred around an old workhouse!

Freda came with me, and we had a few problems with a broken parking meter in the hospital grounds, and a nonsensical set of notices for Audiology Patients to adhere to. But we eventually overcame these obstacles and I was called into my appointment 15 minutes late. I didn't have the courage to remonstrate with the lady who was assigned to do the business with my aids, as I didn't want to start the session with being antagonistic. I just "zipped it"!

The lady seemed very profficient as she did the various tests and adjustments, in between sipping at her mug of tea. Again, the various procedures were really interesting to watch and partake of. The actual aids were described as the "Rolls-Royce" of hearing aids, and I was told that they cost over £800 each! I was taken aback, to say the least.

On first putting them in, they seemed extremely uncomfortable, but after a bit of fiddling they were much better. By the end of the day, I hardly realised that I had them in! I took them out before I went to choir practice, as I feared that they might interfere with or distort the voices. I did wear them on Sunday, though, for both chapel and for the folk club; the improvement in the sound was incredible! Fabulous!

If you have any qualms about getting your dodgey hearing seen to, forget them and go as soon as you can. You'll be amazed at the difference that modern, discrete, hearing aids might be able to make. Mine are "Phonak", and I even got a little zippy bag to keep them in, along with a lifetime supply of batteries and a couple of cleaning rods. What more could a man ask for?

Hurrah for the British National Health Service!