Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring? When Did That Happen?

Oh, redbud, how I love you.
I hit “print” on my last blog post just after Groundhog Day. That’s right, all of six weeks ago. Unlike Punxsutawney Phil, I didn’t plan to hole up in a burrow until spring arrived. Nevertheless, that’s what I did.

Happy spring. The view outside my burrow is green with pops of pear-blossom white and redbud pink. Still, I wonder where I misplaced February. And why is March racing past like a lamb chased by a lion?

I did go AWOL from the burrow a time or two. Most recently, I accompanied my mother to an appointment she’d made with an ENT--ear, nose and throat doctor—and an audiologist. She’s interested in hearing aids.

Unlike eyeglasses, hearing aids don’t provide instant gratification. They amplify volume but don’t do much to improve clarity of sound. That means wearers have to work at “active listening,” that is, listening to fill in for missed words while ignoring background noise. As long as a person wants to hear, the task is doable.

When the ENT asked my mother why she was interested in hearing aids, she answered, “My children think I need them.”

Oh, no.  That statement, while crystal in clarity, didn’t say she wanted to hear and would do what it took to adapt to aids.

Neither the ENT nor the audiologist pushed her. They’d heard what I did. Fortunately, the offer of a thirty-day trial appealed to my risk-averse mom, plus it posed a challenge.  She likes challenges.

Overnight, she decided to try the aids. “I don’t want to be isolated,” she said.  Fair enough. Hearing loss cuts people off from conversation, particularly from the asides, off-the-cuff comments, plays on words, and comebacks that help us understand the speakers' personalities and temperaments.

My mother will make her best effort with the aids, and I’ll come out of my burrow. It was cozy in there, but, like my mom, I don’t want to be isolated.

Your turn:  Is the weather in your part of the world spring-like or still wintry? Does warm weather propel you out and about, represent allergy season for you, or make you long for your puffy jacket and mittens?