What we hear 16/31 #SOL

George took my 95 year old father to have his hearing checked and his hearing aids updated yesterday. For some time now, it has been customary to repeat any and all things spoken to my father, and part of me suspects that this is not about his hearing at all – this is about processing. I imagine his brain saying, just say ‘pardon’ everytime anyone says anything and this will give me time to think.

I got home and my husband reported the diagnosis – he has only 30% hearing on one side, so there is no point in using a hearing aid in that one ear. It won’t help. The other ear will be outfitted with the latest model of Bluetooth technology which my father automatically assumed would allow him to connect to the landline phone that we maintain, mainly for him. (Note to self: buy a Bluetooth landline phone if they make them.)

George drove him to the hearing clinic and they waited, in the car, in masks, outside the building. He called the receptionist to announce their arrival.

“Syd White is here for his spa treatment.”

She snort chuckled, and asked George if he would be coming into the building with my father.

“No. I’ll just shove him through the entrance.”

She laughed – out loud this time – recognizing the humour in caregiving as our bodies fail and we need help with everyday tasks. Some might hear this as cruelty rather than humour, but she works with the hard of hearing and likely understands how long term care requires a sense of levity in the everyday.

My father has lived with us for the past 27 years. He was the primary cook and childminder in the beginning, and now, we are slowly assuming the many roles he fiercely clung to . He gave up his license and stopped driving this year. He just started to allow us to prepare his supper, most days. He walks at least twice a day and works out on a rowing machine and Bowflex elliptical taking great pride in his physical health. But, the shattered steel-encased femur, a consequence of the car striking him on his bike at 84 years old, is causing him some difficulty now, and his hands shake enough to send his knife flying to the floor when he carries his dinner plate and cutlery from the kitchen to the dining table.

George stays at home caring for our disabled daughter, and now, for my elderly father. I love coming home and hearing about their day, the small stories about trips to the store, other dogs in the neighbourhood, which birds are showing up now that spring is cresting, and deeply appreciate listening to the stories.

4 thoughts on “What we hear 16/31 #SOL

  1. There’s so much in this tale. It reminded me of how caring my own father was to my grandfather, who lived with us all my life. Clearly, you have some special men in your life. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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