Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
November 2020
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The ravages of age and the bionic woman

Six years after first getting hearing aids, I decided I needed to get them adjusted … only to discover that one was pretty close to giving up the ghost and that, of course, the intervening years have seen some advances of technology giving many more audio channels and fancy auto-adjusting programs that alter settings in different environments. As a consequence I now have a new pair of most-expensive-electronic-item(s)-that-I-own.

What I hadn’t realised is just how deaf I had become. I was certainly nowhere near dysfunctionally deaf but with my new hearing aids the difference between “plugged” and “unplugged” is significant, to the point that it is taking me time to get used to the loudness of the world and to the peculiarities of my own voice which seems to be shouting at me. We take for granted the work our brain has learned to do in filtering out background noise and interpreting the wide variety of sounds inflicted on us, and my brain is having to learn to do all of that again*.

To add to the load, my eyesight has decided to become more longsighted to add to my shortsightedness to the point where reading was starting to get a bit annoying (a friend of mine jokes that her extremes have extended in opposite directions in such a way that the only thing on which she can focus without glasses is her computer screen). In the week or two before getting my new hearing aids I also obtained multifocals for the first time, and it has been taking me a while to get used to them too.

I suspect I have been grumpier than usual because of all the extra sensory processing I am having to do.

Not to mention all the stupidity that is about.

Or maybe I’m just turning into a grumpy old woman anyway.

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* Public service announcement: If you think you are going deaf — and I suspect most people are deafer than they think or are in denial about it (heck, it took me 14 years to do something about it the first time!) — the sooner you do something about it the better, because it is harder to learn to manage your hearing again the older you get and the deafer you’ve become. Just be prepared for the price shock (it is worth it, though).

 

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