Monday, December 10, 2012

I Wasn't Expecting That

They say laughter is the best medicine, and I must admit to being somewhat of a believer.  A good laugh can alleviate stress quicker than virtually anything else.

Sure, two years ago laughter didn't feature that often in my plans, but things have moved on, and with the new normal has come the return to enjoying a good laugh.

I'm an unashamed fan of Mrs Brown's Boys, because it is good old fashioned humour.  You can just lose yourself in it and forget about all the stresses of life for half an hour or so.

Last Saturday night we had our first Christmas function for the year and the entertainment turned out to be a hypnotist.  I've always been somewhat of a sceptic, but what was to follow was a good hour and a half of almost non-stop laughter from the entire audience.  All credit to the 3 guys who ended up being the entertainment and what a great time.

This is where I'd have to resort to the good old idiom - too much of a good thing can be bad for you.  It seems that prolonged laughter dries my throat out rather badly, so much so that it took all day Sunday for it to really settle down again.

Throughout the show I was continually sipping on my water, so I was totally caught out by the way my throat reacted.  It is the first time in absolute ages that my throat has felt that dry and I honestly don't know what else I could have done to keep it lubricated.  Maybe next time I'll have a glass of soft drink to add some sweetness to the mix to see if that helps.

Drinking anything other than water has been somewhat of a hit and miss affair over the last couple of years, but I've always been able to rely on good old water to keep things "balanced" throat wise, until now anyway.

Just when I thought I pretty much had everything under control and there was nothing left to surprise me, laughter of all things somewhat derails it all.  Let's call it a reality check - seems I can still expect the unexpected to remind me things have changed.  Certainly ensures I don't let complacency set in.

Oh, and one more thing.  While I can now enjoy chocolate a little more than before, I still have the problem of not being able to "process" it properly without the help of fully functioning saliva, but it seems that white chocolate is a bit more tolerable/manageable. Could be something to do with the lower cocoa content, who knows, but it certainly makes for a more enjoyable eating experience.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Listen to the Sound of...

The human body is a truly marvellous machine.  I know, I've said that more than once before, but over recent weeks this wonderful machine has caused me a little angst.

It's now almost a year since I got my hearing aids and over the months there have been numerous adjustments to get the best out of them.  We have however struggled to get any real benefit in loud environments, which is one of the main areas that my hearing is noticeably deficient.

The batteries in the aids tend to last about a week, so imagine my surprise when, one day after they went flat, I couldn't notice any difference in what I could hear.  I decided to test this find over the next few days and it certainly appeared that after an initial brief boost when I turned them on each morning, there was no noticeable benefit in my hearing.

This is where the doubts crept in.  Have I just adjusted to what they're doing, so I don't notice them doing their job?  Has my hearing got worse, so they can't compensate any more?

So, off to the audiologist I go and it seems it wasn't all in my mind with Nicholas sending  them off to be checked.  The period they were away confirmed they weren't adding any value.

About a week later they were back.  They had replaced the receivers.  The day I got them back the difference was truly noticeable - I could hear more detail than I'd heard for months.  The following day however there was a wonderful increase in what I could hear, but it seemed to stop there.  Hmmm.  I left them off for the weekend and come Monday morning that all too familiar silence returned.  Dammit.

Back to the audiologist and they send them off again with full description of what the symptoms were - another week au naturale.

This time when they came back, there were a couple of recommendations of things to check, which involved some setting tweaks.  Before I go on, one of the suggestions was to fit the enclosed domes, which would effectively remove my natural hearing from the equation and replace it totally with the aids.  We agreed this wasn't a good idea as my hearing issues are only in the high frequency ranges, and we should take advantage of that as much as possible.

Nicholas duly made a series of tweaks and re-ran some system tests to reset the feedback levels.  Then it was the moment of truth.  Yippee, success.  It's now been a week and they are performing just wonderfully, although I haven't been in any loud environments yet to really test them out.

So, now I am indeed listening to the sounds of life that I was used to in the good old days.

I was beginning to have my doubts about the ongoing merits of the hearing aids, but if they continue to work as well as they are now, there is no doubt they are indeed making my life easier.