A few weeks ago, we discovered a new GP doctor. As the custom is today, one gets an interview from said MD BEFORE you are accepted as a patient. Fair enough I suppose, since that interview will work both ways. It may turn out we don’t want him!

Our interview went well, I suppose, since we got to sign on, and frankly I’m glad we did. Our new doctor is from Africa, and has an accent, and during our chat he asked me if I had a hearing problem. My wife blurted out that I sure did. Gee, thanks a lot for that sweetie! That short episode resulted in me going in to a hearing aid supplier and getting an audio test. We sent a copy of the audiogram to the doctor and one to me, along with the analysis that I was likely a candidate for hearing aids. This was based on several criteria, the main one in my mind was that I simply no longer heard 20 % of any conversation since I could not  understand even simple words! The rest of the tests concluded that some portions of the audio spectrum were lost on me, such as higher frequencies, and the very low ones.

This helps explain why I no longer heard all the dialogue in the movies I watch on TV. The picture is just fine (even with double vision) but I sure miss the dialogue. The facts are, that like a lot of my peers, I have reached an “age” where my hearing has declined due to the ravages of the years, excessive noise from jet planes I suppose, since I have never liked heavy metal bands. I also had a medical problem when I was in my early teens with one ear.

OK, enough preamble. I got fitted with a mid priced set (you need 2 aids) of what I consider to be  perfect for my hearing loss. The movies are way better, hearing an individual in a crowd is no longer a problem, and I am not going around saying Pardon me!

A word on the supplier, if I may. There are any number of stores that will do a free audiograph, and analysis of your hearing. This store was recommended by my new doctor, and they charge for the audiograph. It cost $85:00, refundable if I decided to buy from them. There was no high pressure, just the facts of the case. I spoke to my doctor, and together we came to the same conclusion, that hearing aids would work for me.

The next step was to see the supplier, and select the aid I would use. We live in a 50 plus condo with about 240 people varying in age now up to over 90. All these people are of an “age” as mentioned earlier. Some have hearing aids, many of which were the kind that sat in the ear, and for me to watch these folks continuously fiddle with them and constantly complain about them, was a big time turn off. Recently I have seen a small aid that sits outside the ear, and the folks who have them seem happy with them. A short conversation with the people at the supplier confirmed my observations, so a couple of aids for behind the ear were selected, and then programmed using  the software in the aid to customize them to my needs.

OK, a word or so about what they will not do. No hearing aid will restore your hearing to what it was years ago. They come close, but it is not the same. What will they do? Lots. In my case they pre-emphasised the higher frequencies, they set up a directional microphone (one of the two in each aid) to focus on the sound coming directly from the front of me, like in a movie, TV or conversation.

Since getting the aids, I have been in a large room at our clubhouse with 50-60 people and I was easily able to carry on a conversation, instead of just nod and smile like an idiot. The sound from the rear microphones are supressed and the front microphones do all the pick up and the hearing is easy.

I was instructed to wear the aids daily for 2 weeks from the time I get up until I go to bed. The reason for this is to handle my and my ears learning curve. My ears needed to relearn sounds, it took years to reach the state they were in. I needed to accustom myself to the new hearing and to the fact I had these things in my ears That part was easy, within a couple of hours with them installed, I forgot they were there.

Another feature of the aids I have is a remote control that can hook up to the TV and play directly into the aids. This is an extra cost option on the units I selected but it can be added later. The TV doesn’t need to keep my neighbours across the street awake any longer, just so I can hear the audio. (In the summer when the windows are open, I can hear my neighbours TV on during the day through the open windows when I am sitting out!) They need aids! The aids also come with a remote to adjust the volume, or change programs. One other thing they do is pair with Blue Tooth and the remote so your smart phone will answer through your aids. My aids can be configured in a way to satisfy a varying background noise setting using this remote, I kept my system simple and opted to stay that way for now.

So, what does all this cost? Mine were $2100:00 each or 4200:00. From that the Alberta Aids to Living rebate to you $900:00, so now the cost is $3300:00. The $85,00 I had paid was refunded. If you are not convinced and satisfied with your purchase you can return them with a deduction of 100.00 per aid within in 30 days of purchase. They want you to be satisfied. In addition there is an added deduction available to lower income people, small but it all helps. The store helps you with all of this.

Batteries cost about a buck apiece, and you use two at a time, and last me just about a week. So for about the price of a coffee I can hear again! They are simple to change too. They give you a beep warning about 20 minutes before they are discharged to much for usage.

Me, I am tickled pink with my new aids, I have a neighbour, Keith who has had his from the same maker for a couple of years now, and we were comparing notes a couple of days ago, and he is just as happy as I am.

I bought my setup from Soundwave Hearing Care, in Calgary. They are located at 701, 14 street NW, phone number is 403 270 7425. Deanne Smigel set up the equipment for me, and answered all my questions. FYI, I am happy with my aids, and I am writing this to encourage people that need the help to go out and get it. I’m glad I did! I did not get any endorsement remuneration from this blog.


I am pretty lucky in that my email buds keep me well supplied with some pretty neat material such s this web page a got of some strange activity by a blue heron. Take a look: Heron


There are a lot of sites around that have some very neat video taken underwater. I like them a lot, and this is one of the best I have ever seen. Check it out: Undersea


Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

Theodore Roosevelt


A recent article in the Nashua Telegraph reported that a woman, Anne Maynard, has sued a local Hospital, saying that after her husband had surgery there, he lost all interest in sex.
A hospital spokesman replied: "Mr.  Maynard was admitted for cataract surgery.  All we did was correct his eyesight."

Grandma’s Invitation

Dear Family, I’m not dead yet.  Thanksgiving is still important to me.  If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favourite holiday.

Dinner is at 2:00.

Not 2:15.

Not 2:05.

Two.  2:00 Arrive late and you get what’s left over.

Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house.  This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.

Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot.  You don’t arrive at someone’s house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove.
Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives – date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.

Now, the house rules are slightly different This year because I have decided that 47% of you don’t know how to take care of nice things.
Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I’ll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.

House Rules:

1.  The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M.  The television stays off during the meal.

2.  The "no cans for kids" rule still exists.  We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two.
Parents can fill a child’s cup when it is empty.  All of the cups have names on them and I’ll be paying close attention to refills.

3.  Chloe, last year we were at Trudy’s house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up.  This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage.  Save yourself some time, honey.  You’ve never been a good cook and you shouldn’t bring something that wiggles more than you.  Buy something from the bakery.

4.  Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy.  That is a fact of life.  Your children can eat healthy at your home.  At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.

5.  I cook with bacon and bacon grease.  That’s nothing new.  Your being a vegetarian doesn’t change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs.  Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it.  That’s why it tastes so good.  Not eating bacon is just not natural.  And as far as being healthy…  look at me.  I’ve outlived almost everyone I know.

6.  Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.

7.  I do not like cell phones.  Leave them in the car.

8.  I do not like video cameras.  There will be 32 people here.  I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.

9.  Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids.  I have nice things and I don’t put them away just because company is coming over.  Mary, watch your kids and I’ll watch my things.

10.  Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives.  I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too.  I can live with that.  Can you?

11.  Words mean things.  I say what I mean.  Let me repeat: You don’t need to bring anything means you don’t need to bring anything.  And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said.  Really, this doesn’t have to be difficult.

12.  Domino’s and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch.  That was true when you were kids and it’s true now that you have kids.

13.  Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas.  Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.

In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer.  Drink until it is gone.  I prefer wine anyway.  But one from each family needs to be the designated driver.

I really mean all of the above.

Love You, Grandma.

Have a Great Day, and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

About techmech

Older type, enjoys computer, cruising, photography, fishing, travel, good food and movies

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