Last month I took my 6-year old for a hearing test and a visit with her ear nose and throat doctor; glue ear runs in the family, and over the past few months her hearing has deteriorated because of a stubborn case of glue ear.
The doctor was now deliberating whether my daughter needed new grommets (her second set, in that case) but in the end decided to wait and see.
“At least my hearing isn’t as bad as mummy’s,” my daughter told the doctor triumphantly. “She really needs grommets.”
After a lifetime of ear infections and grommets, my eardrums are so scarred that the only thing that would improve my hearing is an eardrum transplant. An ear specialist once suggested this operation to me, which involves replacing my battered eardrums with artificial ones, but the thought of going through with such a procedure horrifies me. What if the operation failed and I was left with no hearing at all? No, I’d rather keep my defective eardrums.
I do have a small, nifty hearing aid that I am supposed to use, and although it’s practically invisible, it makes my ear itch and sweat, and I end up poking my finger in the ear every five minutes when wearing it.
While my hearing loss remained relatively constant for many years, it seems to have deteriorated in recent months, as I find myself turning the volume up to max on my iPad when watching something, and unless the subtitles are on, I am lost.
But there’s always a silver lining.
In my case, not being able to hear very well means that I can’t hear the rats that crawl under the floorboards in our basement, making it much easier to pretend they don’t exist.
And I only need to close my bedroom door to shut out the noise of my children fighting.
Even if I could hear their screams – which, to be honest, I often can since we’re the loudest family on the street – it’s easy enough to pretend I can’t, thus leaving them to sort out their arguments while I continue to watch my favourite show on Netflix.