Friday, November 03, 2006

Ten Hearing Aids-- Never a Dull Moment


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Invest in a battery company.

In my household, we have to keep track of ten hearing aids. The hubby and I have four, and the three kids have six hearing aids. We have an entire kitchen drawer that is devoted to packs of batteries and extra tubes. The drawers are littered with the little orange tabs that are stuck to each battery. Try as I might, I haven't been able to successfully train my kids to walk over to the garbage can (which is right across from the very kitchen drawer I spoke of) and dispose of the sticky orange tab. Instead, the drawer organizer and the cardboard packages are decorated in a random orange pattern.

One day, I took the hubby's car and on my way to a presentation, a battery went out. I changed the battery and stuck the little orange tab on the front of the steering wheel, intending to toss it when I arrived home. I promptly forgot about it until the next time I got in the car a few days later. The bright orange tab was still stuck to the middle of the steering wheel. Apparently the entire family suffers from "Orange Tab Disorder."

Despite their inability to locate garbage cans, the kids have managed to keep track of their hearing aids pretty well. Occasionally, we do have to play "Hunt for the Hearing Aid" around our house. My husband is especially good at initiating this game, for he frequently takes off one hearing aid and forgets just where he put it. This wouldn't be a problem if I kept an immaculate house, but I tend to favor piles of books and papers in random places, so we're often sifting through things around the house to try and locate a hearing aid.

With the addition of our puppy in January, we've had to be more vigilant about keeping hearing aids out of Kaycie's reach. This past summer, I was giving David a haircut outside and he placed his hearing aids on the patio steps. He went inside to take a shower and came out looking for his hearing aids. I had let Kaycie outside, not knowing that his hearing aids were out there. You guessed it-- we found Kaycie outside munching on an earmold. The hearing aids were nowhere to be seen. We located both earmolds, torn to shreds. After hauling everyone outside to join in the hunting game, we located both hearing aids. Despite a nice bite mark on one of them, they both were in working condition. This is the same kid who jumped into the lake with one hearing aid on during the previous summer. The hubby also had a lake adventure with his hearing aid: he had placed his hearing aid on a towel in the boat and accidently flung it overboard. I was able to locate the hearing aid with a scuba mask a few hours later. Today's hearing aids seem to have nine lives, as we were able to bring them all back with a Dry-Aid kit.

With ten hearing aids to keep track of, it's a miracle that we've only lost one of them. My daughter Lauren was at the library one day (this was when she was 9) and her battery went out. She didn't have a back-up battery with her, so she took off her hearing aid and put it in her sweatshirt pocket. While she was waiting for Daddy to check out the books, she decided to do some gymnastic maneuvers on the floor. When she arrived home, the hearing aid was gone. We scoured the library and the parking lot, but the hearing aid with the bright blue earmold, was never found.

When David was three, I noticed that his hearing aid was missing. We were playing outside, so we figured the hearing aid had to be out in the backyard. Joe and I started searching through the grass. We must have looked pretty comical pacing up and down the backyard trying to locate a tiny hearing aid with a tiny earmold. Soon, the neighbors joined in and we covered every inch of the yard, continuing the search into the night with flashlights. We finally gave up the search two days later and had to order another aid. Many months later, we discovered the hearing aid in the bottom of a wicker toy hamper that had never been emptied.

Five people, ten hearing aids and an earmold-loving dog-- never a dull moment in this household.


BEG said...

Oh my! I thought two (mine) were bad. I haven't had nearly that luck with dogs though, the two that my dog got to were only little bits and pieces of plastic and circuitry when I finally found them. Ouch, expensive.


Dawn Colclasure said...

LOL I've done that with the orange tabs. Something about them had me sticking them ALL OVER the hearing aid battery package instead of tossing it into the trash. My dog ALWAYS got to my hearing aid unless I remembered to put it up. I started sleeping with it under my pillow. At least ear molds are not as expensive as the hearing aid itself. Good post! :)

Meryl said...

Holy cow! And I get nervous keeping track of my one cochlear implant (in the past, it was two hearing aids). I'm always afraid something is going to happen to it. But now I have a backup (the old backup was the big case... no way). I won't complain that it requires three batteries again as opposed to one each hearing aid. So far -- knock on wood -- my dog hasn't had an opportunity to show me whether or not she likes small electronic devices.

Karen said...

Anonymous wrote via email:

Are all the hearing aids made by the same company? If not, are more than one set made by the same company?

My response: No, they're made by three different companies.

HearingLady said...

I loved reading your story this morning! As a hearing lady dating a hearing impaired gentleman, I have learned over the years to be cognisant of where he puts his hearing aids. Luckily, our dog Lucy has yet to discover the wonderful taste of hearing aids as she's never payed them any attention. I can honestly say, I've rescued one of the pair of hearing aids however, from the bathroom sink in the mornings and from my cats, who occassionally will take a bat at them to see if they move. Keep posting on your blogs! P.S. I too have orange-colored tabbies on the bathroom floor from where he's missed the garbage can... :))

bibliomarket said...

my sister and I are both deaf and have our share of hearing aid stories. one of my favorites is when we were at a zoo, and i noticed that one of my sister's hearing aids was not on her ear. she was repeatedly trying to take the hearing aids off and hide them, so i figured she might have stuck it in her pocket. i asked her where she put it and she pointed to the goat pen we had just passed.

it's true what they say.... goats WILL eat anything you offer them. :-)

i enjoy reading your blog, Karen, and have you in my blogroll. Would you add a link to my blog in your blogroll, too? thanks,

sleepwhenican said...

I do not have hearing aid stories but I do have glasses stories.

My son has worn glasses from 9 months old.

We went kite flying one day and I noticed that Ryan did not have on his glasses. I asked him where they were and he replied, somewhere over there I guess! Well it was knee high field of grass we did look and look but never found them.

He would often fall asleep in his car seat and they would fall where ever, also he would know he was going to fall asleep so he would take them off and put them in the drink holder. Well his glasses were lost for about a week, we finally found them in the gravel driveway. We think they fell out when he got out of the car. They were in tiny peices.

Oh and then there was the time our neighbor stopped by apologizing because he found Ryan's glasses with his lawnmower. Again, way to damaged to just repair!

We would get new glasses about every 6 months for the first 5 years because they would be lost or totally damaged!