Erin's Journals

Monday, November 8, 2021

Just a thought… Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people. [Helen Keller]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

So, last week Rob and I were watching Law & Order: Organized Crime – you know, the one where Elliot is bald and bearded and undercover. Oh, and he’s totally ripped (Chris Meloni’s body at 60 is a thing to behold) and mad. Like maybe the Hulk body has brought an equally short temper. But I digress.

During the show, an ad aired and before I could hit the fast forward on our remote, I saw a guy who caught my eye. Silver-haired and handsome, he was checking himself in the mirror, booking a ride and making reservations on his smart phone. A very short time into the ad, it dawned on me: it was for hearing aids.

Yes, Bose, the high-quality-high-price sound people, are making hearing aids now. They’re not here in Canada yet; I know this because we looked them up to check the prices strictly out of curiosity. They’re about one quarter what Rob pays for his, but do about one quarter of the things his do. This Bose thing is adjustable on your iPhone but doesn’t link up to it; that’s the trick Rob loves best about his hearing aids. Oh, that, and the fact they also hook up to an amplifier on the TV.

So why am I talking about these devices that we are not going to buy? Because it was a SEXY HEARING AID COMMERCIAL! This guy was hot – at least in my books – I mean, not Elliot hot, but my Rob hot. And I shouted that out as I watched it, loud enough for my husband to hear even with his devices playing the TV feed in them: “They’ve made hearing aids sexy!”

Finally! The stigma attached to helping your hearing has been one that’s been around forever, and of course with the largest demographic moving into its fine wine stage, hearing loss is a huge part of life. Rob damaged his while deejaying and producing radio (way too loud in his headphones) and has now been wearing hearing aids since he was in his 40s.

They’ve gotten increasingly smaller as the years have passed, with more capabilities. I can’t stress highly enough how you want to do this through an audiologist and not just order something off the TV, no matter how sexy Bose is or makes it look.

But anything that takes a little bit of the stigma away from aging, from needing help from hearing aids, is a HUGE positive for us all. We all know somebody who needs help hearing and just won’t do anything about it, for whatever reason; it’s a very real problem for those of us who live with them and for the folks in the apartment next door who have to listen to someone else’s TV shows at the decibel level of a jetliner.

There is no shame, no age attachment to losing your hearing – no more than if you were ashamed to wear glasses. Now those Bose ones seemed big to me; they don’t have to be. If you want to keep them a little hidden, it’s totally possible: Rob’s are virtually invisible to me. Unless, of course, he’s not wearing them which, because he’s married to me, you could probably understand.

But hearing matters. For relationships. For life. There’s no stigma and thank you to a top-notch sound company for making an ad to help people see that. I may not care for their version of the product, but I sure do like their message. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with a journal, not on Thursday this week – which, of course, is Remembrance Day – but on Friday. Talk to you then.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, November 8, 2021