If We Were Having…

I know, we go to the bar on Saturday. Don’t worry, or if you’re Kate, don’t get excited, this isn’t a normal at-the-bar kind of post. See, I wrote ‘kind of’ not ‘kinda’ – that’s how you can tell I’m going to be serious. On the other hand, the activation energy for this post came from Saturday’s visit at the bar and from yesterday’s wonderful post by Pam.

I have been meaning to write a somewhat serious post about the hearing problem I am gradually putting into my rearview mirror. But, I wasn’t sure where to start, what to include or where to go with that. Beginning, middle, end – those things are all important for a successful blog post, and I had none. What I did have was a somewhat lengthy list of things I didn’t want to do:

I didn’t want to bore you.

I didn’t want to whine.

I didn’t want to offend people that have much more serious and much less temporary hearing issues.

I didn’t want sympathy.

I didn’t want to brag about an epiphany that many of you have already had.

I wanted to offer a few bits of advice, recently secured while battling the seven-headed beast that is health insurance in America. Let’s file those under ‘lessons learned’ and not ‘spoils of war’ because I didn’t win those battles.

Cheryl, me and the River Grill mascot. I’m on the left.

I didn’t want to brag about that epiphany, but I did want to share it. I was on the fence with that one, until Saturday.

For those of you that don’t know it, my Saturday sessions at the bar are fictionalized accounts of conversations that happen, here, there and at the bar. Cheryl is real, but Cheryl only moonlights at the bar to protect the innocent. Wait, I don’t want to imply that Cheryl is guilty of anything. She’s not. She’s a good sport, a good friend, and a wonderful writer/poet/photographer. She always wanted to be a bartender and she’s willing to answer questions so I don’t take her out of character.

 

The other character at the bar is an amalgam of several friends, including my best friends John, and David. The others are people from the bar. Yes, that part is true; I do visit a bar, I do drink Yuengling, I do love BBQ flavored wings with Parmesan Peppercorn dressing instead of Blue Cheese, and most of my friends don’t drink beer – except for David, although he drinks less these days than when he and I were visiting bars.

What does this all have to do with hearing loss?

On Saturday, I caught up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in over a month. We filled each other in on our mutually miserable months of May. His wife had been ill, and had been in a nursing home. You’re all aware of the things that kept me away from the bar. In bringing each other up-to-date, I mentioned my hearing problem. To my surprise, he has suffered, and to a degree, continues to suffer from the same problem. We shared symptoms and we shared a feeling of validation when we heard each other describe symptoms we have had trouble explaining to doctors and coworkers.

This was part of the epiphany I wanted to share, that unless someone is wrapped in a bloody bandage, we don’t always realize they are in pain or are dealing with a medical situation that might be impairing their ability to see, hear, move, understand and communicate the way we expect them to. I now have a little bit of empathy for these people. I hope I can hold onto that. I hope I can be slower to judge and maybe afford people a little more slack as I deal with them – just in case.

My friend pointed out something else. In large part, people who are dealing with these issues don’t bring them up unless they have to. He and I both talked about how we would carefully choose our seats in a crowded room and how we might ask people to sit on one side or the other. We had to do that, because our brains are/were incapable of filtering out the “background” noise. I mention that because it’s one of the symptoms my primary care physician didn’t seem to understand/believe. The ENT understood perfectly and explained that it was my brain’s fault.

That was the “advice” I wanted to share about dealing with healthcare. Many of you know this from your own experience, but you have to be your own advocate when dealing with healthcare/health insurance. You have to make sure you get the care you need.

Some of my dealings with my health insurer were comical. I’ll save those for a real visit to the bar, since my buddy and I talked about those. Today’s gallery has some photos from my visit to Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, FL

 

89 thoughts on “If We Were Having…

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  1. Hi Dan and to everyone else, hello from Eccentric Uncle David! Firstly, it is not only others realising but it is also the person themselves. It took us about two years to get Valerie (my wife) to admit that she was going deaf. She now has some micro hearing aids which have transformed her involvement in company – but has ruined the sound of music (not the musical!!) because of the way that the hearing aids transform the effects. Secondly, because I suffer from arthritis quite badly nowadays, unless I am in my wheelchair, I have to overact a bit otherwise people don’t make allowances for my inability to walk very far, bend down, and so on. This is especially true when meeting people only occasionally. They think that you get better – I wish. Lastly,for Dan, I am very sorry to tell you but, since increasing my daily dose of Codeine, I am now officially an alcohol free zone! Four weeks and counting!
    Long Haired David (from Ipswich, UK – not Ipswich MA)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for adding that, David. I remember being in NYC with you and suggesting that we could cross the street because the Walk-Light had just started blinking. As I recall, you grabbed my shoulder and threatened me if I tried.

      Sorry to learn of the side-effects of the hearing aids, that is annoying. If I had to choose between company and music…I’m not sure. I don’t normally rush to the doctor for anything, but this was sudden and a profound difference, so I did. The health insurance issues meant that it took three weeks to get to a specialist (who figured it out in about 45 minutes). The significance of that is that the medication he prescribed only seems to help if started within 30 days of the onset.

      Alcohol free? That’s sad, but I know you had been approaching that line for some time. As much as I write about the bar, it is generally a weekly thing, and it’s a couple of beers. I think I’d still be going, even if I was having a glass of seltzer.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Your posting today, Dan. was really thought-provoking. It made me think about all of the different ways that our abilities can be impaired that will be invisible to the casual (and not so casual) observer. Like most guys, I am in denial that I am getting older and that certain body parts don’t work the way that they used to. I am reluctant to visit doctors, because they are likely to force me to undergo endless testing to prove (or not prove) the state of my physical decline. I too hate to deal with the whole medical insurance process, which seems to be a racket at times, with all kinds of unwritten rules. And yet, despite all of that frustration, there are treatments and devices that can help us deal with these infirmities, once we are able to admit that we need help. As for the photos, I especially like the one looking down the length of the pier.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mike. Given that my primary care’s reaction to my hearing issues and the subsequent MRI was to want to get me started on BP and Cholesterol meds (even though neither reading is in a range that would indicate that need) tells me that there’s way more going on in healthcare than caring about my health. He had nothing to say about the hearing issues, other than to eventually refer me to an ENT. The ENT dismissed the MRI “findings” the primary care was using to want to start me on statins, and diagnosed the hearing problem in about 45 minutes. Old school, hearing test and asking me a series of questions.

      You’re right, there are many good things available to us, but we have to do a lot of research before we go in that office. I think that’s the part that bothers me. I should be able to trust that my doctor has my best interest in mind.

      Thanks for the comment on the photos. I don’t often get to go near a pier like that. As for you, you need to stay healthy enough to make those walks through the park. And keep those eyes sharp, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a good thing you designated which one was you in the picture – otherwise it could have led to some odd comments to this post. Hi, Cheryl, what’s you doin’ with this guy?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Not being able to hear others well is serious business and my heart goes out to you. My life is a series of inconveniences that are easy for others to see. Your issues are harder to see and understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But, I imagine you suffer from the other side of the equation, that of people’s tendency to avoid those who are obviously suffering. My hearing is improving and will likely return to normal. I hope the change in my attitude toward others is permanent.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My husband always says we all carry a bag of invisible rocks through life. They just get heavier at certain times. Would it surprise you to hear he went for a routine checkup and the doctor wanted to prescribe cholesterol meds even those his weren’t in a dangerous range? At a certain age, it seems like there is always a part of the body that requires assistance or attention. I’m sitting here right now with ice bags on my left knee which I twisted shoveling mulch. My back which is usually the issue is great. Now, I just can’t walk. :-) GP Cox stole my line about the photo, but I forgive him. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha – I really need to keep that hat on.

      It wouldn’t surprise me about the suggested prescription. No doubt a healthy kickback mechanism is in place. Fortunately, I just read an article about when BP and Cholesterol meds are/should be recommended, and the values are way above where either of mine were. The “recommended” LDL level has been pushed down by big pharma to the point they want to put children on these drugs.

      Sorry about your knee. That’s the think I have to worry about the most when working around the house. When you knees hurt, there’s not much mulch getting shoveled. I hope the ice helps and you’re up and bending soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We used to joke that my husband had selective hearing, but it took a visit to the doctor for his yearly check-up to confirm what we thought. Maybe it was the way he was looking at her as she spoke with him, but the doctor asked my husband if he was having trouble hearing her. Yes, he was. Now we need to make an appointment with a hearing specialist. This was a great post, Dan. I so agree with Judy (above). We all carry some invisible bag of rocks in life…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. I should have mentioned to Judy that that is a great expression. I don’t really understand why hearing tests aren’t more routine. When the ENT asked when my last hearing test was, I told him “when I was in 5th grade” and I think that’s true. Ironically, I’m glad to have established a more modern baseline.

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  7. Thank you for sharing about the changes in your hearing Dan. So many people are going through this kind of loss. It’s a hard one to accept.
    We don’t know what others are going through … May we be a little more compassionate and understanding 💛

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is so true, Dan. We can sometimes think it’s easy to assume how we’d be in a certain situation, dealing with an illness or something. But then you get sick yourself and suddenly you realize that it can be very hard to maintain a pleasant disposition. Pain or even just worry about said pain can be extremely stressful, and it’s not always so easy to slap a smile on your face and pretend that everything is fine. It’s a valuable lesson, learning that perhaps that irritable person isn’t just a jerk — maybe they’re dealing with something bad that you’re completely unaware of. It’s always better to assume the latter and be kind to people anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy. It’s true. One of the things I experienced was that I was so tired at the end of the day, I was falling behind on everything. These issues take a toll on people that is hard to understand and completely invisible. Being kind is always a good choice.

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  9. I’m sorry your brain doesn’t care about your hearing as much as the rest of us do. :(
    My husband needs frequent ear-cleaning to hear well, but that doesn’t fix the hearing loss altogether. I’m more than happy to sit where he tells me to.
    As a person with two invisible illnesses, I wish I had a bandage to display at times. Most people in my life do not take anxiety disorder seriously, and I’ve sorta grown accustomed to that, and seldom verbalize it. The RA, on the other hand, is something I feel I must introduce to stranger people all too often and even remind my own people on occasion. It’s inconsistent, so to those who don’t understand, it seems an excuse I use for my own convenience, when in reality, they’re called FLARES, lol, and I don’t control them. I really would like to be able to rip open a package of paper any time I like!
    It’s mild enough I don’t complain too often, and seldom bad enough to warrant pity, but understanding is always appreciated.
    I know all about the pill pushing, too. My mother wasn’t on RA meds until she was 50-something, and they were being pushed on me in my 20s! No thank you! I stick to hot compresses, Tylenol, and occasionally Ibuprofen, which I’ve noticed have not had any commercially-advertised class action lawsuits against them in my entire life. Now and again, I’ll take the serious NSAID, but only for three days, tops. If you can imagine, I’m sensitive to them, so while they work, I may need steroids to counteract the problems they create. So just three days. *sigh*
    I thank you for a post that offered me the opportunity to complain, or commiserate.
    Everyone’s got their stuff, and comparisons are useless.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s NOT complaining, it’s making people aware. And, anxiety disorder is something people should be aware of. It’s real, and when I see/hear people mention it, I try really hard not to dismiss it.

      There are many such issues that cause people to avoid doing lots of things that so-called normal people take for granted. My wife doesn’t drive at night due to a vision problem. I’ve ridden with her, and I understand why she doesn’t. I’ve had lots of people ask “why can’t she just…” fill in the responses you’ve probably heard since your 20s. I am allergic to ibuprofen, even low-dose Advil, so sometimes, pain is an issue that lingers longer than it should. I am sorry that you have to endure that on a regular basis. I’m also sorry if someone expects that you can just take a pill and do anything you want.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t LIKE to drive at night, but I sometimes still have to. I can imagine a day when I won’t have to anymore.
        I’m weirdly glad you’re allergic to IB, merely so you know where I’m comin from with that “I’d rather have a little more pain” thing.
        Why can’t she just?
        Why can’t they just be a little more compassionate?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There was a time when my wife didn’t like to drive at night but still could. Then, as car headlights seemed to get brighter and brighter, and everything seems to be flashing and blinking, it just became too much of a distraction due to her vision problem.

          People always want to hear the “so and so conquered his/her problem” stories. Sometimes, the story is: “so and so learned to adapt to the reality that is their situation – maybe you should too.” And, sometimes, adapting means living with pain, or not doing something you want to do.

          I don’t have anything that approaches chronic or regularly occurring pain, but when I get a muscle ache, there isn’t much I can do. I have a topical anti-inflammatory that brings some relief, but it’s not like popping two Advil. I can understand your not being able to take NSAIDs for very long, and I know that means you live with some pain. People can’t see that. Your young enough that they don’t expect it, and, as Judy said, you carry that quietly. I hope I can remember to be a little more compassionate.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I now remember that you have a prescription cream.
            Yes, adaptation takes many forms. If driving in the dark is dangerous for your wife, then obviously not driving in it is the best solution.
            I was 15 when I was diagnosed, so I don’t actually remember not feeling this way. It’s my normal.
            I had to come over here to read Judy’s comment, and I LOVE what her husband said. Yes, bag of rocks is apt for most anyone :)

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post Dan. All true and valid points. If you have a healthcare provider you are confident in that’s great. But one should never feel badly about seeking more information or better answers to their questions. I’m having my “healthy” shot of whiskey when I get off. Just in case the study is right you know. 🙄😂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I guess I could brag on my intuition since I began my recent love of whiskey within the last two years, but I think it is at least equally due to the excellent selections out there these days. I can only drink wine on certain occasions as most tend to give me headaches. So this was encouraging to me! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Cheryl. The question I most often want to ask is “why are you really suggesting that?”

      Let me know if that shot works for you. I like Bourbon almost as much as beer, but I don’t drink it nearly as often.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. A thought provoking post Dan! I lost my hearing in my left ear when I was 11-12 yrs old from an ear infection. The Dr. wasn’t sure if my hearing would improve or not. I got moved to the front of the class so I could hear the teacher, and made adjustments. Although I never did adjust to being in the front of the class. I’m happier in the middle or nearer the back.
    My hearing did improve about 8 months later. I lost a wrist watch out playing one day prior to my hearing loss, and a year later found it! I picked it up and without thinking held it to my left ear to listen to it to find out if it still worked. To my amazement I could hear it ticking! My hearing returned so gradually I never realized it was working again.
    I don’t know why they don’t have hearing tests every other year like they do eye visits? I don’t think I’ve had one since that whole thing with my ear happened.

    St. Augustine looks beautiful! It was on my short list for vacations this year, but my Mom said she wasn’t sure it had recovered from the hurricanes last year, so I took it off our list, and made other plans. Are parts of Historic District closed off? Beaches closed?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Deborah, and before I forget, thanks for the Tweet – I always appreciate those. I don’t know why we don’t test hearing more regularly. Having a baseline would seem to be important to gauge if any hearing loss requires action. The tests are simple, and, although I haven’t gotten the bills, I can’t imagine they are prohibitively expensive.

      It’s funny how we do things out of habit. Although I couldn’t understand a phone conversation in my right ear, I kept answering the phone that way. Just last week, I realized that I can understand the conversations now. They still result in a growing “hum” in my ear as the conversation goes on, but I recognize the improvement.

      I didn’t see any lingering problems in St. Augustine, but I’d ask Cheryl on her blog (she just posted photos today from a weekend trip there). as she’s more familiar with that area.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. They seem to have recovered well, mostly some restaurant and hotel venues. There doesn’t seem to be any lasting effects so come on down! The worst hit areas from Matthew between St Augustine and Ormond along A1A were washed out roads and lost beach front areas. Florida recovers quickly.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. We all tend to think that our “issues” are the worst until we meet someone or several people who trump us significantly. I try not to whine about my scoliosis and how it affects me physically because, frankly, I’m upright and moving. I’ve also learned to look at others’ disabilities in a different light since mom is severely hearing impaired and both she and dad were unlucky enough to have macular degeneration. I find myself looking at greeting cards and wondering how the visually impaired can see the teeny tiny print and when I’m in a room filled with loud music, I think how it would only be “noise” to my mother. It makes a difference to understand the plight of others with those type of disabilities. We become far more sensitive and understanding…and less whiney.

    I’m glad your hearing is improving, Dan, and also that you were able to have dinner with Mr. and Mrs. P. That place and the surroundings look fabulous! .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mary. It only takes a little bit of pain for us to realize that others are suffering all the time. Pam’s post really drove that point home for me, and encouraged me to yank this out of the draft folder and find a way to say this stuff. I’m trying hard not to whine, or complain, but when I was asking people to accommodate my hearing, it wasn’t an effort to get sympathy, it was to help me understand them. A loud room was untenable for me. It’s less the case now, but just last week, I had to ask the person I was having dinner with the switch sides because the place we were eating was so loud.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally get the whole hearing issue. I have a friend would can’t hear out of one ear and my ex eventually had to get a hearing aid from his days of working in loud factories. I’ve been around this for many years, so I really truly “get it.” It’s too bad that your regular doctor didn’t understand your plight. He of all people…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You didn’t mention attending Packers games, which I bet get pretty loud, or reving that Harley :)

          I wish my doctor had taken the symptoms more seriously, because as soon as I started telling the ENT about them, he ordered the test. After he had the results, he was able to suggest symptoms that I had, but that I hadn’t mentioned. It all made sense to him (stupid brain).

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  13. I’m noticing my hearing loss, and I’m REALLY noticing my husband’s hearing loss. He’s in denial, even though we sound like a comedy routine, with our, “What?” “What what?” “What did you say?” “WHAT?” It’s weird, when you can hear all sorts of soft sounds, but can’t make out words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was one of the really annoying symptoms. The ENT explained that because the hearing was so different between the two ears, that my brain no longer knew what to ignore as background noise. We both are experiencing normal age-related hearing loss. I dread the day we have to face up to that.

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  14. I’m sorry to read that your hearing issues are still an issue. This must be so frustrating … but you made an excellent point about being kinder to people because it’s often not obvious that they have some kind of impairment.
    I was reminded of that over the past year dealing with a broken collarbone – and then the surgery. It’s not like I was walking around with a cast advertising my lack of functionality in one limb.

    One thing is for certain – aging is hard in so many ways.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Joanne. You’re right, this getting older thing has its downside. My hearing was a sudden thing that is probably going to clear over a couple more months. Still, the good news is that it will get better.

      I can imagine that after the initial accident, no one guessed you were still recovering. I have a friend who hid in his 30s but has back issues. He has to explain all the time that he can’t/shouldn’t lift stuff. We just need to be a little kinder, I guess.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Dan, good your hearing problem is on the mend. Yep, age-related hearing loss is a real thing for many. Also balance problems & falling. Yikes! Be aware of physical limitations & be careful. Now that I’m in the older senior citizens group, I watch out for others that might need help. A recent fall, helping the gardner, was a wake-up call. Lucky, only bone contusions & no breaks! Still, recovery is slower than if I was younger. By the way, my son recommends Tequila for a low glycemic drink! Happy Monday! 🌺🌷🌸 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh, Tequila. We’re going to put those drug companies out of business :)

      Falling is the biggest problem. We’re already working to avoid that. Stepping down activity is hard, but I get it. Thanks !

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  16. Just an FYI, I am close friends with an artist who is walking through round two of chemo and I bitch at her about my aching back and weight problems and you know what? That is an important part of the normalcy of her life… us bitching as friends. Even though her issues are HUGE. So your hearing loss IS a big deal… maybe not life threatening but a big deal. Go ahead, try to bore us!

    Absolutely right on about the medical people, and I have also found that ER nurses and specialist are better at dealing with our crap — unless they are back docs. I don’t know what it is about back doctors but it is part of the AMA credo that if you can’t see it (in my case you can see it) or you can’t fix it (like surgery) then they are at a loss. They won’t consider acupuncture, for instance, so that comes out of my pocket and WORKS and gets me off Percosets which they have as a goal but hey, not if it involves the crazy Chinese docs… They scold me about needing pain killers to get more than two hours sleep at night (sleeping pills won’t work when the pain starts) but won’t recommend what DOES work. I had a treatment yesterday and slept like a baby with no drugs.

    This issue of not knowing what we are all walking through… One last thing. For me, I’ve had a bad back since my teens. The reason I rarely talk about it is because the pain is lessened if I turn my attention away from it. Hearing loss is different — it is about how you interact with the world — but some people may not talk about it because it doesn’t help their issue. My bro has bad hearing and reminds me a lot of where to sit.

    LOVE seeing you and Cheryl and one of her pets… Huggs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kate. These things are hard for me to share, partly because I know that others have much worse things going on, and I try to stick inside a range of topics here. I wouldn’t share this on Facebook because the responses go off the rails pretty fast over there.

      Doctors are getting harder and harder to deal with. They’re either part of big groups or tied to hospitals and they act more like car dealers at times. Throw in the insurance folks and you really have to gear up for battle.

      I didn’t realize how important hearing is until this happened. It started out so bad, that I was having cognitive issues. People would ask me a question. I heard them and I knew the answer but it was like my brain was delaying the response. The ENT said that was common, explained why and assured me it would go away even if my hearing didn’t improve. But, it was scary.

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  17. And, if you’re laid up in the hospital, you need someone who’s well and ambulatory to advocate for you. You have enough to do getting well, and you aren’t exactly focused on what the doctors are telling you half the time. I learned that the hard way.

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  18. Great post Dan…glad to hear about your hearing! When I have had open dialogue with people about certain health issues, it is amazing how people I have known for years suffer with some of the same things, just quietly! I love Judy@NewEnglandGardenandthread’s remark: “My husband always says we all carry a bag of invisible rocks through life. They just get heavier at certain times.” So true. I have done acupuncture for years for a variety of issues and have had great results without unnecessary medicine. I try and limit that to when really needed. I like a balance between eastern and western medicine and have been blessed with an acupuncturist would studied both. My western Dr supports a holistic approach, so supports herbs, supplements and diet changes to control things like cholesterol before pushing pills. Our health care system is a mess and would probably get fixed quicker if congress had to go through what the population has to go through with health insurance and that’s a statement not bias to either party, but for both. Love the pics and as you would guess favorite one is the POV looking down the pier!! Take Care!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That comment that Judy passed on is really good, Kirt. It is how the world works. I was so surprised when my friend told me that he has had the same problem. If we hadn’t been catching up and if we hadn’t drifted into doctors and stuff, I wouldn’t have mentioned it, because it is getting better.

      I have always said that Congress should have to live by the laws they pass. If I were king, I’d make each one of them live for two weeks a year with no access to any of their vast resources. I’d stick them in the worst neighborhood in their district and give them a minimum wage job and tell them to figure it out.

      I’m glad you like the pier photo. I don’t get many opportunities to walk on a pier. I’m glad that came out well. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. I know what you mean about not wanting to “whine” about medical problems that on the surface don’t scream “pity me” but it is not whining to share – you never know who might have the same concerns.

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  20. Dan, I am sorry I didn’t notice much about your hearing troubles.
    I do believe people are private with different illnesses and problems thinking not to burden others with them.
    It makes me happy to help add comfort and reassurances, as well as do favors, for others. Not having as much as I used to, giving makes me feel better. :)
    I have often told people of the lines in the Desiderata poem, how everyone no matter how important or simple they are has a story to share and we learn from everyone we meet.
    I hope the medical company pays attention to your ears and hearing. I feel sometimes my eye troubles bother people. Honestly, people like to help or listen. I try to remember this. :) Take it easy and hope the Florida time made up for a little of the health issues. I hope family and friends have eased some of the other pains away by turning time well spent into memories. A friendly hug and wishes, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. Giving has always made me feel good, especially when it’s something I can easily do that is hard for someone else. Initially, I just kept my family informed about my hearing problem, because it was so sudden and some of the symptoms were hard to describe, Even my doctor didn’t seem to believe some of the symptoms. One I saw a specialist and came to understand what was happening, it was easier to share. People in this community have been very kind and supportive, and I appreciate that. The support I received from family and some close friends was very helpful and the hugs, real and virtual were/are very much welcome. Just knowing that people have you in their thoughts and prayers, even for a little bit of their day makes you feel better.

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  21. I have had a stressful morning. Work-related stress, involving a client who is delaying the company cheque on purpose, although he has already moved into the office block. We designed the electrical works for the building and he moved into it in Dec 2016. I had a meeting with him this morning and it left me stressed out.
    Then, over lunch hour back in our office, I opened this post. When I got to the photo of you and Cheryl, I just burst out with laughter. Where you say “I’m on the left”. It is so funny since there is only one Dan in the photo! 😂
    I have laughed so hard that now I feel a little better.
    Thanks Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m smiling now, too, Peter. I’m glad you enjoyed that photo. I feel bad for your stress. I am a firm believer of paying contractors quickly. Having worked as a home-improvement contractor, and having been stiffed on several invoices, I understand.

      You might appreciate this. I left the ‘e’ off of ‘home’ in home-improvement. Spell check suggested ‘ohm-improvement’ and I thought: “no, that’s what Peter does.”

      Sorry, it’s early here – have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I can understand your frustration with your hearing issues. And it is not just the physical adjustment to all of it that is impeding. Learning to accept a loss you have never had to do without before is a humongous undertaking. For over half your life you have been able to hear at will. Now you have to contend with not hearing everything even when it feels so important. Enduring this loss is difficult.

    Dan, I know you will get the hang of it because you have a good outlook on life in general.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Glynis. The recovery is slow, but it seems to be ongoing. You’re right, I think I can adjust to whatever remains. I am grateful to be surrounded by supportive people. It helps more than I could have ever imagined.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. In my youth, I used to lovingly roll my eyes — as though you can do such a thing lovingly — when both my grandmothers, then my dad misunderstood or smiled blankly because of their hearing losses. Then, about eight years ago, I had to start wearing hearing aids. And I know some eyeball rolling goes on when I don’t hear correctly. Nothing builds empathy faster than falling victim to something you’d once found either annoying or amusing.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Great post, Dan, and a very important one IMO. As we get older oh yeah we deny deny blah etc. Hubby has been loosing his hearing over the last few years from working in extremely loud environments when he was employed and there are days I feel as though I am pushing the repeat button. He does not hear what I say so I must repeat it then more slowly because his brain is not understanding. I’ve discovered he “listens” through the written word so when something really important comes up I text him or email him. And I’m heard. I know. Strange. And no he will not go to the doctor about this which really irks me! OH believe you me! Irritating to say the least. And then about doctors … “shakes head”. I’ve had discussions with mine and others that antidepressants (for example) are for depression NOT pain. I hate it when doctors use medication for “other” reasons which really pisses me off. I finally wised up years ago and got myself off the horrible stuff categorized as medication a doctor put me on (a doctor who today is doing prison time for overmedicating and killing patients) and today take a minimal of meds for pain. It is horrible what is happening in medicine and NO a lot of doctors do not have the patients’ health as a priority. It’s the green issue, not planet green but as in money green. And greed. *disgusted look* Oh boy I best stop here because I could go on and on and on. What I have been through …. OH LORD! I wish YOU all the best for adjusting to your newfound condition. It’s not easy, dear friend. And I’m with you. I’d rather hear music and nix the conversation. Good luck with your hearing! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanks Amy. If this hadn’t come on so suddenly, I might have ignored it, but in less than 24 hours, my hearing took a dramatic drop. It has returned by about 60% and his heading in the right direction.

      After the first visit, I took the Mrs. with me. Actually, it was her idea. She remembers things. She writes things down and she asks questions that for some stupid reason, I don’t feel comfortable asking. It it all about the money these days, in so many places and certainly with the insurance company.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. They ruled out a virus. The likely candidate is nerve damage from loud noise. I had walked into our building very early on a day they were drilling concrete near the lobby. It was extremely loud, but I was only exposed for a few seconds. Apparently, that’s all it takes.

          Liked by 1 person

  25. People tell me I let others walk over me and I should stand up to them when they’re being rude. But some of us have bad days just because, some of us have bad days because that’s our life. We all have things going on beneath the surface. All of us. Without exception.
    But hey, I’m not here to say I’m better or worse than anyone else. It’s all about opening our eyes, isn’t it? :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is, Linda, especially when children are involved. You hear a lot of comments being made in public about parents and children, and I always wonder what the person is actually dealing with. I think we need to be open to more possibilities as we weave our way through this world.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. My heart always sinks when Americans start talking about healthcare. Thanks for sparing me the gory details (for now). And you know I 100% hear you on the ‘I don’t want to complain because others have it so much worse’ dilemma but your blog is a chance to share and let others known they’re not the only one feeling that way. So share whatever you feel comfortable to share (without the ‘but other people…’ bit).

    Hope the hearing sorts itself out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! The hearing seems to be on the mend. Healthcare, I don’t think there’s much hope for that. It looks like I can look forward to another year of fewer benefits, higher costs and more intrusive people trying to tell me how to take care of myself so I won’t end up costing them a bunch. Now that health issues seem to be improving, I’m back t wrestling with technology. I’ll try to spare you those details as well :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very pleased to hear the hearing is improving.

        Yes, please spare me technology wrestling stories because I am already exhausted from my own. (Sometimes I fantasise that the Doctor will arrive in his blue box and I will request that our family be allowed to go and live in the 1970s where the only technology I have to control is one television.) :)

        Liked by 1 person

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