Saturday, 26 November 2016

"I didn't think my hearing was that bad,"

the Senior Cat told me when he came home, "No wonder you have been complaining about having to repeat things."
Middle Cat had taken him to the audiologist. She deals with his medical issues because she drives and I don't. She also has a greater medical background.
But I do know a considerable amount about deafness. Some of the children I taught had considerable hearing losses. Three were profoundly deaf as well as physically disabled. I was required, among other things, to test them at regular intervals.
I wasn't required to do the detailed sort of test that the Senior Cat underwent. We didn't have the equipment for that and the children would not have been able to participate in the same way. I would plot a graph - leaving someone else to draw the lines as that is not the sort of thing my paws are good at - and we would compare it with a previous graph. 
I knew what the Senior Cat's results would be like - not good. I have been catching his attention and then saying whatever needed to be said. He has sometimes grumbled I don't speak clearly - something I cannot be accused of!
A late friend of my mother, someone she went to teachers' college with, married very late in life. The man she married had been the Moderator of the Presbyterian church. He was a man who had spent his entire life communicating - and doing it well. He liked to listen as well as speak but, in old age, he became not just deaf but profoundly deaf. He couldn't use hearing aids. They simply didn't help. He couldn't get much from lip reading. It's an art that few people master sufficiently well to be of immense value. You get about 20% of information that way - perhaps a little more if you start at a very early age. 
His wife took this, as she had taken so many other things in her life, and dealt with it. When he died she had notebook after notebook filled with her neat writing. Every time she wanted to say something to him she wrote it down. The notebooks were filled with one side of seemingly endless conversations.  He talked back to her so of course the record was not complete. There was only what she "said" there. It was a remarkable record.  
It would be more awkward if I had to do that - in fact almost impossible. Instead the Senior Cat is going to get new hearing aids. He gave up on the others. They didn't fit properly and they were not correctly adjusted. I was aware of that but the previous place he attended insisted they were "right" and that "he just has to get used to them". Middle Cat finally growled and took him off to another place. The new audiologist agreed with me and her. They didn't fit properly and she actually said, "They must have been uncomfortable."
Hopefully the new ones will help. I really don't want to try and write endless messages legibly and I do want to talk to him!

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