Saturday, June 26, 2010

RIP, eHarmony

Yup, you read that right. I closed my account on eHarmony. Because $60 is a lot to pay for one month and even though the monthly payment gets cheaper if you opt to do it for longer ($20/month for one year), it still adds up. I have insurance to pay for. And you know, food and stuff. A roof over my head. Frivolous things like that. I don't think I would recommend eHarmony to anyone, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

Anyway, I haven't had a "Hearing Aid" segment for a while, so here are a couple of thoughts:

On Vulnerability: I'm not a big swimmer. I mean, I like splashing around in the pool some, but I'm not crazy about getting wet (outside of baths and showers, that is). And I also am uncomfortable with the vulnerability that comes with not having my hearing aids in when I'm in the pool. Because without my hearing aids, I can't hear anything whatsoever at all (except for really, really high pitches. And my brother's band, apparently). I know D/deaf people do it all the time, and I'm amazed at their strength to go through life with absolutely no hearing. If that day ever comes for me (like if I lose even more hearing as I get older), I'm confident the Lord will keep me and I am thankful that I do know sign language and that the Lord has blessed our generation with such an abundance of technology - new ways of communicating are cropping up all the time! But for now, I find my hearing aids bring me more independence and even joy... there are sounds I would miss if/when I lost all of my hearing. Like music. How do people live without it? I think I also use auditory cues more than I realize. Like at work, I can hear the printer whir two cubes over. So when I print something, I listen to make sure the print job got sent and I listen for the whir to stop, too, so I know when it's done with my stuff.

On Technology: I expect to lose all of my hearing some day. I went to the audiologist a couple of years ago and he said that I had lost ten percent of my hearing since the last time he tested my hearing, which was ten years before that. I don't think about that reality very much. I often assume I'll be old and knocking on Heaven's door before hearing aids are no longer useful to me, but I can't know that for sure. So in the meantime, I try to be more careful and protect what hearing I do have. I try to keep my TV and stereo at reasonable levels and turn off my hearing aids altogether when I'm in exceptionally loud situations.

Every now and then, I think about getting a cochlear implant, and while the idea is less frightening to me than it used to be, I'm still wary. I mean, they drill a hole in my head! I had a friend who got a cochlear implant and she told me it took three years before she was comfortable with the implant and relearning how to hear. Three years. That's a heckuva adjustment period. I'm intimidated by that. I know, I know, the benefits would outweigh all of that. The same friend told me that now she can talk on the phone and carry on complete conversations without having to watch someone else's face all the time. That sounds magical to me. For the record, cochlear implants don't make people hearing. My friend doesn't consider herself hearing now. She still needs to ask for clarification and while she can talk on her cell phone, she only does it with select people that she's learned to recognize (mostly family members, if I recall correctly). So a cochlear implant isn't perfect any more than wearing glasses makes someone suddenly acquire 20/20 vision. Your eyes are still farsighted or nearsighted or whatever, the glasses are just an aid to make things easier. So it is with hearing aids and cochlear implants. They can be a great help, but they don't bring perfect hearing.

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