In our youth, we take our hearing for granted. High pitch, low pitch, in between pitch … all comes in loud and clear.

Hearing aids help ensure that Gail Caiazzo doesn’t miss any toasts. Photo courtesy of Gail Caiazzo

Then life happens and slowly, gradually, for some of us the clearness is replaced by a lot more fuzziness. It occurs so quietly, like a thief in the night. Very annoying.

A loved one talks to you from another room and only portions of their message is understood. Suddenly the phrase “Excuse me, what did you say?” becomes part of everyday life.

Several years ago, I decided it was time to see an audiologist. Sure enough, hearing aids were recommended. I was devastated. I was not ready to be old. I gave the responsibility of my hearing back to those who were talking to me.

I rationalized that my hearing loss was not that bad. My loved ones would just need to speak up. They needed to speak more clearly and not talk to me from another room.

This all changed for me when my grandchildren were born. I love their precious voices. They learned very soon to never talk to Grammy unless we were close to each other.

Some of my favorite times with them are when they are riding in the backseat. They always have so much to say, so much to share. I had to admit to myself how much I was missing.

I now realize what a gift those sweet children gave their grandmother.

I will forever tell them: My hearing aids are in my ears because I don’t want to miss a single word either of them utters.

Having made the leap to accept this aging fate, I’ve found it is marvelous! I had no idea the sounds I have been missing. Who knew the microwave notification was more like a bell than a buzzer?

The technology is quite amazing. Combining the little devices with your smartphone produces a whole new level of hearing.

The downside? Hearing aids are expensive!

I went from the audiologist sporting my new purchase directly to physical therapy. (Aging well is a lot of work!) Due to COVID-19, masks are required during PT.

After a wonderful hour with my therapist, I removed the mask on my way to my car. Bing! One of my newly purchased aids went flying in the middle of the parking lot.

Trying to not panic, I began to search the ground for this tiny object. Suddenly, a catering truck pulled up behind me. A very nice woman got out of the vehicle and asked if I needed any help. I explained my dilemma. She then asked me to just step aside to let the truck through.

My response? “Are you kidding? And let the truck drive over my hearing aid?” I quickly let her know I would not be moving anywhere until the lost item was back in my right ear.

For those of you too young and too lucky to not be familiar with the size of these things, just let me tell you, “tiny” does not begin to tell the entire story.

I am grateful for the scare, as it will ensure I am more careful in the future.

In the meantime, my neighbors no longer will know what television show I am watching. It’s a wonderful life.

filed under: