DS1 called me on Sunday. When he does that, he most often either wants to give me some information—he saw so-and-so, guess where he was, etc., etc.—or he wants some information. What’s the name of that person who whatever? Where were we when? This time, he just wanted to visit. Maybe, with all the changes in his family as of late, he is realizing that I am mortal.
DD called later on that afternoon. She’d posted some more pictures of her artwork on Facebook. I wish she could find a job that would utilize her talents and creativity. Then, again, it’s true that when one’s job involves a hobby, it turns into work. And WORK is a four-letter word.
Monday, it rained. And rained and rained. Thunder and lightning. All sorts of fireworks. I’d put up a new rain gauge and I could have sworn the total would be more than the 1.25″ it held.
I called the Hearing Center and asked how much I should be prepared to pay when I went in for my appointment the next day. I was referred to the audiologist. She asked, “Is your income less than $19,547 annually?” Heavens, yes! “You just qualified for free aids.”
Tuesday morning, I called my sister-in-law. She was having some health issues and was going into the hospital on Thursday. We had a long conversation and my hearing problem came up. She wears aids, herself, and isn’t too happy with them. For one thing, they are not the same kind and one kind of “wobbles” in her ear. She gave me some friendly advice and I wished her all blessings for her hospitalization.
It was on to The Appointment. The audiologist done an exhaustive battery of tests before so I was all primed to get going on deciding on aids. Here is one of the tests she did:
I have no idea what I’m looking at but it shows, according to her, that my hearing is “wonky”. Another test indicated that I have a 55% hearing loss in my right ear and 35% in my left.
Imagine my disappointment when I went in and she handed me some forms to fill out. One is for a free phone for the hearing impaired and the other the application for assistance to get aids. If I qualified. She said I did. I was skeptical. She wrote the name of a contact person on the form and said to call her. Turning back to her work, I got the idea I was being dismissed. I stayed put.
I asked all sorts of questions which got her started on all the different kinds of aids I can get and their features. Now, THAT was more like it. I picked her brain. She signed into my account in the computer, entered my “wonkiness” and we were off to the races. She showed me how my hearing loss could be corrected with the right aids and I felt like I’d, at least, been educated.
She told me some “war stories”, too. Like when a man brought an aid in for her to fix. She asked where he’d gotten it and he said his neighbor made it in his garage. I wondered if it had a tube fastened to a trumpet. I told her my sister was having so many problems getting used to her aids it had kind of unnerved me. No, she couldn’t come in. She lives in North Carolina. Well, she has clients from all over. The one who comes the farthest lives in England. The first time he went in, she fixed his aid. According to her, it took about two minutes but he thought it was wonderful. Whenever he’s in the area, he stops by.
My bit of shopping was done and I was back home in plenty of time to exercise, do some things around the house and eat.
I called the Hear Now program but when I asked for the woman I’d been told to contact, I got her voice mail. I figured I’d never hear back, given my history of voice mail replies lately. Imagine my surprise when she called the next morning!
There are a LOT of financial records required for an application so I’d spent over an hour the afternoon before getting them all together. I was prepared. She asked about my income. Was that net after Part B or gross? Net. I gave her the amount. Okay. Checking account? Roughly so much. Savings? As of that morning, X amount of $$. I figured I’d cut to the chase. “I have a 403b.” “How much is that?” When I told her, she almost hung up on me. Nope. Up to that point, I was in good shape. It isn’t much but it counted me out. Just as I thought all along…it would be up to me to pay for them. She mentioned programs to get aids at a reduced price and it was over.
Facebook is wonderful for communication. I spent a lot of that afternoon and the next day messaging back and forth with the audiologist. She gave me the web site for an assistance program that turned out to be a medical credit card. I had the application almost completed when I thought, “I don’t want another credit card. I don’t need another credit card.” I closed the tab.
She’d told me that, if I qualified for free aids, she’d fit me with the absolute best that sell for $4,000 each. My sister was horrified at the thought. She’d gotten hers for a fraction of that. Thing is, they do a fraction of what the top of the line will do. She has three adjustments on her aids and hasn’t used them. I’ve been advised to get not less than six (absolute minimum, four) but they can go up to 40. I plan to get all I can possibly afford because they will have to do me the rest of my life.
My other sister wondered if she would qualify for the Hear Now program so I sent her the link. I don’t know if she’s looked at the application yet.
Genese has been puny lately and she posted this on Thursday. “need this on a business card!!”
Well, I can’t leave things alone so I pulled up my Avery program and made her some business cards. This one doesn’t have her last name, address and phone number because I’m not going to give that out.
The rest of the week has been kind of a blur. My sister-in-law went into the hospital and is back home and doing well. I’ve talked to DD more than just on Sunday. My neighbor/cousin told me the Squatter has been offered a job in Arizona if he can get out there to take it. She said he was going on the bus. I asked what he was going to do with Pooky and she said he take her with him. First time I ever knew a dawg could ride on the bus. Greyhound says no unless it’s a service animal accompanying a disabled person.
One of my friends from church got the results of her allergy tests and she’s devastated. She’s allergic to many of the foods she’s been eating regularly which convinces me I need to vary my diet more.
I wasn’t going to repeat not wearing warm enough clothes for church so I dressed myself in black sweat pants and long sleeves. I was quite comfortable.
There were at least three songs I had to look up because the numbers weren’t repeated by the song leaders. It made me feel like getting up and walking out. It’s embarrassing to be flipping pages while everyone is singing and then join in with the organ halfway through.
Since I can’t hear squat in Sabbath School class, I went to see Genese during that half hour. Her reaction to the cards was what I thought it would be. She laughed and laughed. I asked for any changes but she likes them just the way they are. One of the LPNs came in and when Genese showed one to her, she pronounced it “perfect”.
After church was over, I met one of the ladies in the bathroom. She mentioned something about my hearing and I told her my appointment is the first week in April. She got close to me and practically yelled in my face, “Will they just amplify or be actual aids?” I could have yelled back at her but I didn’t. I told her I was going to get the best I could afford and they wouldn’t just amplify.
I was home and unlocking my door when the Squatter hailed me. He came over and excitedly told me all about his job opportunity and how he’s trying to raise $250 to fly himself and Pooky to Phoenix. He said it would cost $50 for her and I thought that was a bit shy and it is. He’ll be lucky to get her out there for less than $300.
He said he’s worked all his life and the time here has been really hard. My cousin was upset with him and he was sorry for that. I told him if he’d helped out around the place it would have gone a long way toward making her feel otherwise. But he didn’t know what to do! I pointed out some things and he figured he’d start on them “tomorrow”. We’ll see.
One of my forum members posted the link for Hungry for Change. I watched it. It’s very good. Then I gorged myself.
Twinkle is still percolating. She has periods of dashing through the house and I’m hoping she’s chasing an imaginary mouse. I haven’t seen an evidence otherwise so we’ll say that’s what it is.