Great Day For My Dad

Let me talk about my father as if he wasn’t reading this… which he most certainly is. At 82, my dad’s totally sharp, but some of his parts are definitely out of warranty.

Botched cataract surgery left him with one working eye. The good eye has cataracts too, but he’s petrified to do anything about it. I can’t blame him.

Over the years his hearing has also begun to fail. If my parents are watching TV, anyone within a few hundred yards knows and when the telephone rings… holy crap, it’s like noontime at a cuckoo clock factory.

Of course the problem with my dad’s hearing loss is he really has no way of knowing what he can’t hear.

He wears a hearing aid in each ear, but why? They do nothing, except squeal when he removes them. It’s been frustrating for everyone involved, my dad included.

When we were visiting a few weeks ago, I asked my folks to check. Maybe there’s a better hearing aid available now, or his could be adjusted? It couldn’t hurt to ask.

They went today.

Yo, Costco. Shout out from Geoff. You rock! My dad can hear again. Let me kiss you on the lips.

My dad and mom went to Costco this afternoon. He met with an audiologist who gave him a hearing test and then adjusted the electronics in his hearing aids. It’s not just volume that gets tweaked. A good hearing aid should compensate differently at different frequencies.

“You don’t need new hearing aids,” the audiologist said. In fact, as it turns out, there’s still plenty of room to adjust them should his hearing continue to change. And did I mention – since he bought them at Costco originally, no charge.

My dad put them in and… oh my God, he can hear clearly. It’s the first time in years.

My mom was so excited she left a message on my cellphone. I could hear her voice bubbling as her voice played back.

When I finally spoke to my dad, I’m certain I could actually hear him grinning. “I can hear the microwave,” he said from the kitchen. “I never did before.”

I started to cry.

Actually, the most telling evidence came when my dad walked out of the bedroom. He complained to my mom the TV was too loud.


8 thoughts on “Great Day For My Dad”

  1. Nice story, Geoff. What good news for your dad. It’s also nice to hear that a “big box” store didn’t try to sell him something new and improved that he didn’t need. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of time to work with a patient or a client to get to the bottom of things. I’m really pleased that the audiologist took the time. Evi

  2. What a wonderful story! I’m amazed at the depth of the relationship you have with your parents–it is truly a joy to read about. Such a simple process, stopping in at the local Big Box, and it completely changes your father’s, and thus your entire family’s, quality of life.

  3. What’s really wonderful is that after 50+ years of marriage, your parents still want to talk (and listen) to each other. The Fox Family of SoCal sends love to Betty and Harold!

  4. What a great entry. It even brought tears to my eyes. Its nice to know there are people who take their jobs seriously and still care about helping others improve the quality of their life.

  5. Wonderful wonderful story. As I have parents the same age when the little things in life are improved for them or they come out of any crisis even stronger how we can rest easy for the moment.

    How lucky we both are to still have both sets of parents.

  6. That story resonates with me in so many ways. The day my dad got his hearing aids (not from Costco, though I’m sure that would’ve been the next stop if their local audiologist couldn’t help) was the day, my mom joked, that their 50-year marriage was saved. *g*

    (And re your dad’s botched cataract surgery, I can relate to that, too. My mom’s first cataract surgery accelerated her macular degeneration so now she basically only has the other eye working, which also has a cataract that she’s terrified to fix. She is finally taking her doctor’s advice and having it removed in a couple weeks, and we’ve all got our fingers crossed that lightning won’t strike twice.)

  7. My father had a very similar experience. He never wore his hearing aids because he said “they didn’t work.” He went to have them “tuned up” and he was amazed by the difference. Good to hear that your dad’s hearing has greatly improved!

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