Listen with Your Heart
Five years ago, I blogged about the 24/7 noise inside my ears—tinnitus—a symptom that my hearing was slowly going.
The noise is still there. Whether it has worsened or I have grown used to it, I do not know. What I do know is that, sometimes, when I answer someone's question, he/she does two acts in succession: laugh, then shout.
Neither act is very encouraging. You have to be prepared to welcome both with a smile or a shrug.
Hearing loss, people call it.
"Faulty word recognition," was what the audiologist in the US, called it. I could hear the sound but couldn't figure out the word.
"Repeat after me," she said. "Gratitude."
Moi: "Very rude."
Moi: "Stand there."
Moi: "Stay cool."
People who are hearing impaired are missing out on the words of the world. There is no cure for this degenerative malady.
But there is help—from a pair of hearing aids. Among those that I tried on in the US and here, the best ones reduced the tinnitus and environment sounds, and made me recognize spoken words. They ushered me into a whole new world!
Trouble is, these digital gizmos cost the moon and stars.
I was quoted an outrageously indecent amount for one pair that would still need change of batteries every week and regular maintenance such as electronic adjustments, forever and ever.
If anyone had that amount, I thought, she could enroll ten needy children in school for one year. A poor family of five could live on it for two years.
These thoughts brought me back to what my best cousin wrote in the comment box of my blog five years ago, “It is amazing how, even with that tini-tinni 24/7 annoyance, you have managed to listen with your heart, cuz. Always.”
My resolve therefore: Since this condition is non-life-threatening, I can live with this noise. And pretty soon, with our Father's generous grace, I can shrug off people laughing and shouting, too.
I will continue listening with my heart.