A few weeks ago, my husband and I signed up our youngest daughter for preschool. Because my parents are very involved with my children, I made sure to tell them when orientation was. We wanted my Dad to come with us because he was going to be taking my daughter to and from school on some of the days she went.
Preschool orientation was much more crowded than I thought it was going to be. After making our way through a crowded parking lot and hallway, we joined everyone in a very large room. This room was filled with kids, parents, grandparents, and teachers. Even though I do not have a hearing loss, I was having trouble understanding what the director spoke about as she stood in front of the crowd. But, I had no trouble hearing the conversation the two little girls were having near me about puppies.
The director said something about a fundraiser. I leaned over to my husband and asked, “What did she say?” “I have no clue” was his response. She then said something about a field trip for the kids. I leaned over to my Dad, who wears hearing aids, and asked him “What did she say?” He leaned in closer and answered “The first field trip is going to be to a farm. But that’s not scheduled until after the Halloween party.” I looked at him puzzled and asked “What Halloween party?”
After the director spoke some more, she dismissed the families into the individual classrooms that the children would be in. My Dad had to nudge me when it was our turn to get up and go. In my daughter’s classroom, I could hear everything that the teacher was telling me and the other parents. I got all the info I missed that the director spoke about and off we went back to our car. When we got to the parking lot, I asked my Dad “How on earth did you hear anything in there!” He laughed and said when he put his hearing aids in the speech in noise program, all the background noise and chatter around him faded to the point where he could focus in on what the director was talking about. With a smirk, he nudged me and asked “Did you hear those girls talking about their puppies to each other?” I just chuckled.
Before our patients start treating their hearing loss with hearing aids, they usually have a “Hearing Helper.” These “Helpers” are the people that join them at places like doctor appointments to hear what is being said because our patients can not fully hear and understand what is being said. Well, that night at preschool orientation, my dad could hear better than me with his hearing aids in and had to be MY hearing helper.
Kristin Seiler – Practice Representative