Between the ears

Between the ears

Things took a serious turn, after retirement when I could not hear when dinner was announced at home, or I couldn’t make out when the server announced the menu in your favourite restaurant

You are generally a source of amusement, discrete of course, if you are short of hearing. Much worse when you wear a hearing aid. It is also taken for granted, you could be wet behind ears too. You also tend to behave funny, like laughing out of context, when there was no joke going around in the group. You wonder if others think you are a goner between the ears. Permit me to misquote the legendary Rex Harrison singing in My fair Lady, ‘straightening up their hair is all they ever do, why don’t they straighten up the mess that’s inside?’.

It is all very wrong because any addition to other appendages on the face goes unnoticed, except of course if you are using a tooth set, which requires constant adjusting. People think you are smiling or snarling when you are actually adjusting the apparatus with your lips and cheek. But, when you wear glasses, your acceptability as a learned guy goes up a notch or two. The fashionable ones with loud colour frames announce your arrival even before you do. Unfortunately, the hearing aids do not come in such variety.

Having worked a lifetime in a noisy industry, where everyone shouts to be heard, your ears don’t have to work overtime. In fact, in the days when there were no mobile phones, while using a land-line one had to really shout to announce to his fiancée “I love you”, This was much to the chagrin of the matronly secretary. Your impaired hearing never worried you at home, since you didn’t hear your wife calling you a ‘hopelessly deaf’. In any case, you left home early and returned in the wee hours when those guys would paste cinema ads on the walls.

Things took a serious turn, after retirement when I could not hear when dinner was announced at home, or I couldn’t make out when the server announced the menu in your favourite restaurant. And then there was this vertigo indicating that something else could be wrong. People noticed I was walking with a sway and thought I had one too many.   

So, I saw an ENT specialist. After examining, he announced with a wry tone that my ears are full of wax, sounding as though I had put wax myself in my ears. Of course, he had to shout to be heard, so tells my son who accompanied me. He removed the wax in subsequent sittings, and behold I could hear even the distant horn. But the happiness lasted for a few days only when I found I could not distinguish one from the other in a group, and everything was a big noise.

And hearing aids cost a bomb unless you put just a loose wire in your ear so that others shout at you. I think I am better off with wax in the ear. Do you know how to put it back?

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