The Angel Islington London 2012 Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

The Loneliness of Hearing-Aids

English: bulky and hydrophobic anesthetic mole...

English: bulky and hydrophobic anesthetic molecules accumulate inside the neuronal cell membrane causing its distortion and expansion (thickening) due to volume displacement. Membrane thickening reversibly alters function of membrane ion channels thus providing anesthetic effect. Actual chemical structure of the anesthetic agent per se was not important, but its molecular volume plays the major role: the more space within membrane is occupied by anesthetic – the greater is the anesthetic effect. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Hello Everyone

 

“You can hear one-to-one, can’t you? Be grateful.”

 

I try to be grateful but I cannot join in conversations around me because I have a hearing-loss. Sorry to whine but the so-called inbuilt loop programme doesn’t work properly. It works a bit, like a layer of foundation on the face makes an even layer, but hearing in a group of three women yesterday was useless. It did distract me. I was there for a dental appointment so any distraction is good.

 

I’m sure she gave me instructions at the end, but I was long past absorbing them. She had asked whether I wanted an anaesthetic before proceeding with a chip on a tooth. What? At the dentist with no painkiller?

 

“W can see how we go. Tell me if it hurts.”

 

Of course it hurts, I lift my hand. “Aagh argh …” it’s difficult to enunciate anything when someone’s fingers are in your mouth.

 

“Are you okay?  Oh the gum is sensitive.” She said and shifted to somewhere a little less painful.

 

Later I found out that she hadn’t used anaesthetic on the previous visit either. But I thought she was using a new painfree sort of anaesthetic. Is it my brain giving out a natural anaesthetic?

 

I wonder whether it would work if I told my brain:

 

“You can hear, of course you can hear. Don’t be silly; you don’t need these aids.”

 

I tried it, but wildly overslept on the first attempt and was late for the dental appointment. Has anyone else tried this sort of attempt at persuading the brain?

 

Have a great hearing week

 

 

 

Debbie

 

 

 

Debbie Jeffrey

 

 

 

 

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Timeout and Misunderstanding

Hello Everyone

My hearing-aids were being reset.  As there is sometig wrong with one, it has been sent away to be fixed.  Aaagh!  I must have looked so panicked, about having no hearing-aids, that she has lent me her demo model and reset both of them.  The reason is that I’m likely to be in a large group tomorrow as it is the London Screenwriters’ Festival from Thursday to Monday.

Out at 6.45 on Tuesday morning shook my system until I realised on the bus that some people do this every day.  Also it wasn’t early enough!  I  I missed the 6.50 am bus due to my body protesting that it was too early to open the eyes.

I shouldn’t complain.  The speaker had just come from Los Angeles, which is 11 hours behind us.  Then he talked for three hours before lunch.  I slipped him a ‘Timeout’ magazine, which is  a list of all events in London.  He left it on the table so at lunch-time I handed it to him.

“But what is it?” he said.

“It’s about what’s on in London.”  I said.

It is likely that most English native speakers would understand that, but he didn’t.  American and English are often at cross purposes.  ‘Timeout’ in the States is something naughty done in an ice hockey   game, but what it is, escapes me.  I wish I had asked what he was thinking, but instead I just repeated myself.  Instead of giving the poor man a better understanding, I was lazy.  Somewhat ashamed of myself now, I can only hope he understands from reading it.  However after an 11-hour flight this might be brief.

Note to self: practise what one preaches.  Say it in a different way.  Although it was not a hearing issue, it was still a communication problem.

In one ear and out the other, Grandma used to say.

Have a great communicating week!

Debbie

Debbie Jeffrey

www.hearingwellbeing.com

Balloon Tower Farnborough, Hampshire UK (Copyright to Hearing Wellbei ng 2012)

What the eye doesn’t see, this heart grieves over

Hello Everyone

Most women like looking at websites that sell houses.  It is not because we will buy one; we’re just looking.  Recently, I saw a lot of televisions and it suddenly came to me that people with ordinary hearing were having problems seeing and hearing.  The bigger the   TV, flatscreen,  Blu-ray, sting ray ;) the bigger the problem.   The industry has a constant struggle to keep up with making all of the dots (pixels?) on the screen clear.

Clarity!  People with ordinary hearing are having the same problem as hearing-assisted people.  Why?  Because all of the TV’s, especially the bigger ones, were placed against the window.  It makes sense; people still want their pictures on the wall, so the only other free space is the window.

They don’t understand why suddenly they can’t see or hear as well.  It must be the TV.  Send it back.  Get a bigger one with more dots per square cm.  I know the dot idea has gone out of fashion but it doesn’t matter what TV Design Engineers create.  The problem will always be the same.

Basically, an object against a window will immediately put the front of it into shadow.

The bigger the object, the more shadow you get.  Housewives don’t like it, as it blocks the light.  Anyone watching it will turn the picture clarity up full and the sound up full.  Since they don’t think they have to do that with a new TV, they get irritated and send it back or complain to the manufacturer.  The latter refers back to the Design Engineer, saying it must be the fault of the design.

At this point, you’d think that the Design Engineers would start asking questions about how the product was being used.  They have the technical details.  The TV’s operate perfectly under their design criteria.  The Design Engineer creates questions for the public.  This is like Chinese whispers.  By the time the question is printed on card for the customer, the Marketing Department has made it more exciting and shiny, with colours.  When the Design Engineer sees it, there are sounds of breaking cups and something unyielding being kicked with smothered curses.

The only way the Engineers find out how the product is working, is by conducting their own unscientific surveys, usually amongst friends.  This shows the importance of dinner parties.  Someone is bound to complain to him, probably a wife complaining of lack of light.  Then her husband will pitch in about actors mumbling.  It is nothing of the sort.  If you’ve read this blog often, then you know my thoughts on lip-reading and casting faces into shadow.  You must see to read, books, faces, expressions.

If the is hung on a wall, think about your neck.  It should be level with the TV both on a monitor and a TV.

Ears act in conjunction with the other senses.  When seeing clearly becomes a problem, what do you think it is like for those of us who lip-read?

Feel free to comment.  These words are merely an opinion.  You can disagree if you like!

Have a great investigating week,

Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Nothing Less Than Your Elbow …

Hello from the English south coast where it never rains (in the 2 months I’ve been here) yet today, there is a huge thundercloud sitting overhead. How exciting.  It is something to look forward to, when we are cosily at home.

Comfort is what you want with hearing-aids.  Have you seen the ones for £0.99?  The price and how to order are at the top of the webpage to make sure you focus on that.  It’s not about how they will work.  It is a question of how much damage you could do to your ears,whilst fiddling with something not made to suit them.  None of us wants more deafness than we have, thanks.

The frustration of explaining that plastic balls will never help hearing ,to  someone looking for a cheap fix ,is distressing.  Couple that with the fundamental issue of trying to hear and men refuse or kick things.  Women burst into tears or any degree of both.

I met a lovely man, so gentle, a collector of sound wires over 50 years.  I didn’t understand much of what he said, but that was because he was talking about connectors and my hearing’s not brilliant.  It was a missed opportunity to learn more about his specialist subject.  Older people have such a lot to give, but the young aren’t taking advantage of it.

Later I heard that he had pitched into hospital with an unrelated complaint and had thrown his dinner on the floor.  it was so unlike the sort of thing he would do, until I found that he had woken up to find himself on an alien planet, where people’s mouths moved, but he could not hear them and wanted him to do things he didn’t understand.  He didn’t know where he was. They hadn’t even put his hearing-aids in!

When the very kind and caring staff of the residential home found out it could be the hearing-aids she was mortified.  She put the phone down to go and tell the hospital straight away and later rang me to tell me that was the problem.   A perfectly lovely person had been labelled ‘difficult’.   All it needs is a little training for the staff on the ward and at the Home.

Being unable to hear can make you look you crazy as you are still missing half or more of the conversation. Patients and staff alike get fed up and give up.

If the properly fitted and moulded hearing-aid had been gently inserted, he’d have had a better chance of hearing.

A plastic ball gives you none of those and frankly, is dangerous plastic ball.  It could damage you in two ways.

a)       First you’ll jam it into your ear.  That means lots of time in hospital and pain. It’s a waste of £0.99 which doesn’t sound a lot until you realise 50,000 people could respond to the advert;

b)      You’ll jam it so hard into your ear, that you’ll hurt it and have to go the Doctor to get it out.  Any other way, including self-help will damage your ear and your hearing.

Also you really will go crazy with the waste of money,  time and hassle.   Our recommendation is to steer clear.  They are dangerous  to your health.  As Granny said:

“Nothng bigger than your elbow should go in your ear.”

Except a properly fitted hearing-aid fitted by an expert.  Nothing less will do for you.

Have a safe week

 

Debbie

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that Conversation

http://www.hearingwellbeing.com

 

 

Hearing – Can We Talk About It?

Hello

As I went to open a sash window, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a young guy, about 20 years old, tanding on the ridge of a roof.   From where I was standing, I could not see how wide the ridge was, but two rooves along, there was a seagull standing on it.

He walked along and wobbled.  My mothering heart leapt into crisis mode.    That ridge did have a long bar on top but still no clue as to how deep it was, a slope of tiles and then a small wall.  It did not bear thinking about and I acted on a first thought.  I yanked open the window and shouted across the square:

“Can we talk about it?”

This may be the daftest thing imaginable to say because I was at least forty metres from him and slightly lower.  There was no way that I could hurtle down the stairs, run across the square and then be faced with an entry system.  Mine has a number.  So I called the police.  They were very prompt, but apparently they tried to get someone to answer the doorbell!  Excuse me?  That’s far too slow.  I only learnt this when they came up to me to ask for details.

After the shout, the young man turned and went to a chimney braest perpendicular to me.   He seemed to sit down.   I had to leave the police to find a way up to that roof.  I hope they did; they seemed competent.

The point of telling the story is that I think the young man heard me.  This is a similar happening to the previous post where sound appears to travel across three-sided objects.  In this case it is a three-sided period building with a garden of trees in the middle.  What is it about the construction that meant he could hear me?  It is not important whether he could hear the actual words, although he did appear to listen, because he stopped and went to lean or sit against the chimney breast.  I want to understand how the sound travels.  Maybe knowledge of it will inspire other thinkers and inventors in other fields.

Do we need an Architect to explain it or a Sound Technician or both?Image

2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pen...

2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pensée-bio 2011-04-24 rosa rose rosa-canina rosier-des-chiens bords-d’oise étangs-de-cergy oise cergy val-d’oise france (Photo credit: Pensée Bio)

English: Port of Liverpool Building and statue...

English: Port of Liverpool Building and statue of King Edward VII at the Pier Head in Liverpool, England. This is a Grade II* listed building which is part of Liverpool’s UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old Customs House at Exeter docks. Built in 16...

Old Customs House at Exeter docks. Built in 1681 & the oldest surviving purpose built customs house in Britain. It is a Grade one listed building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have landed on the south coast of England where there is a plethora of things to do and lovely people of all kinds.

It is fascinating to live in a three-sided square and look at how the sound travels around it. Maybe other people living here don’t notice but I am sensitised to sound as I think about it all the time.

I can hear wheel nuts being unscrewed at the garage which is at least thirty metres away as the crow flies. For someone with a hearing issue, even wearing hearing-aids, this is not only weird; I would have previously said it was impossible! I was standing at the kitchen window, looking through a gap between houses and saw it happen. I had thought it was next door drilling, or as described to a utility supplier:

Yes, next door seems to be building a new house.”

It sounds like drilling. What is odd is that the landlord living below does not notice the drilling, yet the lady in the ground-floor flat complains his family is noisy.

What if the whole of our Grade II listed house, (walls one metre thick), is sensitised to sound by the gap between the houses? Sound blasts from the garage through the gap and hits the back wall of the building.

There is also one of those mobile phone eyesore masts, planted in the garage forecourt. That may have nothing to do with the sound blasts from the wheel-nut drilling, or it may be amplifying it.

Do you know anyone who could explain this?

Thanks and have a great week!

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’

http://www.hearingwellbeing.com

 

Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Hearing A Talk Outside

Tour guides

Tour guides (Photo credit: Marcin Wichary)

Hello

Telling someone about a hearing issue works if you make it funny.  Going for a walk with total strangers can be scary, or not, depending on what you think.  I decided it was going to be great fun and leaped in.

The tour guide was nervous,  so telling him that one of his party might wander off due to not hearing him, made everyone laugh.  It’s also a great excuse if you are the sort of person who is likely to stop and look at something and then wonder where everyone is!

They wanted to know about hearing, but a ten-second response was not going to work.   Then someone asked:

“How are you managing?”

“I’m fine, there is no issue.  I just am.”

That confused her or maybe she was alarmed as I jumped in the air.  It was a fascinating walk and talk about the history of a place and I was happy and I think that when you’re happy, all problems disappear.  So that’s it; make yourself happy.   It takes a moment to decide to give yourself a break and have a new experience.  Those people were all kind, smiley, interesting people and we all had a great time.

To your happy time!

Debbie

Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

PS.  The book is coming out soon!  It’s for everyone.

Uplift Your Hearts - London 2012 (CCL Hearing Wellbeing Copyright 2012)

Temporary Loss of Hearing Leads to Insight

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year...

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Hearing loss (adult onset) by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello there

My friend lost her hearing on one side for a week.

Her first reaction was frustration.  Yes, we’ve been there.

She said that she was ashamed of being irritable and even jealous that everyone else could hear but she could not.

Her second thought was of me and how frustrating my life must be.

“Actually, no, I’ve learnt to ride over that.”

That is what this blog is all about: ways to slide gracefully over it.  Denial of it just builds frustration.

Be happy.  Happy hearing and have a great week.

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’ – the one you’ve been meaning to join but didn’t dare.

:)

Is tinnitus just too much detail? CCL Hearing Wellbeing 2012

Upstairs Downstairs Hearing

Hi there

A CD is playing downstairs.  I don’t know it’s on and there’s no way I can hear it whilst upstairs.  So how can I come downstairs humming it?

It happens every time – different CD’s.  I call it subliminal hearing.  It is instinctive, below the level of conscious thought.  Maybe we used it to protect ourselves at one time and it has fallen into disuse.  What do you think?

Have a great hearing week

 

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’

www.hearingwellbeing.com

 

Airships to Spaceships - Innovation At Farnborough Airshow (CCL Hearing Wellbeing

Hello everyone

Sorry to have been away a while.  I almost had a job in France but whereas the English will go to desperate lengths to employ someone who has arrived penniless from somewhere else and must be given every consideration, the French prefer to employ their own citizens.  It’s frustrating!

Of course the other, equally likely reason is that I could not understand some of the words the Indian woman said in English.  Her French was much easier to understand; it was a more open accent.

The workplace being near the sea, I told her my hobbies were skiing in winter and shopping in summer.  I meant to say sailing which is ‘voile*’ but my brain got stuck on ‘vent*’ which means ‘wind’ and I stretched it to ‘ ventes*’, which is shopping.

“Oh well,” as one of my children used to say.

Following some fiddling with phone sockets and swopping to a phone with buttons big enough to see from India, (which is why I hadn’t been using it), I waited a whole week for a call.  Then I rang the UK agent.  We set up the response to come in the following morning, in spite of the email promise the Friday before from India, which had been delayed.

I guess they knew about my ears.  I guess they knew about my amplified phone.  What they didn’t know, is that it’s an old one, designed more for people without hearing-aids.  The telecoil is in the base of the handset – uh – a bit far from the ear.  (For the uninitiated, the telecoil communicates with your hearing-aid when you switch it to loop system and makes the sound clearer).

No call all morning.  At 12.15 p.m., I picked up the phone to make a call.  Odd, no dialling tone.  I asked son to scrabble under desk to investigate why and he came out looking rueful.

“You can’t make calls without this plugged in, Mum.”

The phone wire had come out of the wall.  I rang the UK agent as I didn’t think I could possibly explain.  A copout?  Not really.  Their emails were delightful salutations but when they had to say something unscheduled, they came unstuck.  Besides who would believe me?  I have decided it was fate and moved on.

If you want to hear words clearly, you need a phone with amplification and tone.  No tone, no hearing people talking.  If you get one with too much amplification, your ears will hurt and you still won’t hear.   I used to let my customers try them out before buying, so ask your Audiologist before you go.

Best of luck

 

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that conversation’

www.hearingwellbeing.com