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?


Jennette Marie Powell said...

Good for your mom, for seeing how hearing aids can benefit *her* and for being up for a challenge! It's just starting to feel like spring around here--daffodil shoots are starting to appear but that's all so far. Still, much better than more winter! Glad to see you back. :)

Karen McFarland said...

Good to see you Pat. I have missed you. And your posts my dear friend. Having a aging parent is a challenge. My mother will be eighty next month. So glad your mom is willing to at least try the hearing aids. I hope it improves her quality of life. As for the weather. Sunny and beautiful. Hope yours is too! :)

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Hi Pat and welcome to Spring. I seem to be getting my e-mail notifications from Blogger about 3 days late, so that's why I didn't stop by earlier.

Spring has been and gone in my neck of the woods. Spring happened in January and now we're into the 80's. Such is life in parched California.

I love your photo! Redbud is probably one of my very favorite flowering trees.

Have a lovely week!

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Coleen Patrick said...

Still a little chilly here in central VA, but the snow is gone and some flowers are making their debut. Yay. :) Hope your mom is doing well, Pat!

Lark Howard said...

Glad you're "back", Pat. I'm loving the warmer weather, especially on my 6:00 am walks with the dogs. It's cool enough to feel invigorating and warm enough not to require bundling up. Perfect Houston weather as long as it doesn't rain.

Enjoy your spring...summer is unstoppable.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

I think the biggest challenge to hearing impaired people is trying to explain that amplification alone is not the answer - the key word is "discrimination". If someone says "P" or "T" to me it makes no difference how loud it is said or how loud I hear it - I still might not understand it.

But you know all this already!

Welcome back!

- Patrick

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Jennette,
I'm glad to be back, if intermittently. By now you've got full-grown daffodils. They're such spirit boosters. Enjoy spring. You deserve it.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Karen,
My weather's mostly sunny, too. Unlike you in So Cal, Houston's had ample rainfall. The Texas Hill Country and other parts of the state are still in drought conditions, though, and rain here is considered good weather.

I'm sending warm thoughts your mother's way.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patricia/Jansen,
Aren't redbuds the best. The color is vibrant and luscious.

Every time I see a report about the drought in California, I think of you and the orchards around you. I hope you get a gusher soon. (Strike that. I hope you get a gentle, soaking rain that lasts for 24 hours.)

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Coleen,
I look forward to reading about spring in your neck of the woods.

My mom's doing fine. Thank you!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Lark,
Summer is coming? I'm in denial.

I love seeing pics of your dogs on Facebook. They've gotten so big!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patrick,
Welcome back to you, too!

I tried to prepare my mother for what's to come with hearing aids, and her doctor and audiologist were upfront with her. That said, I know she won't be 100 percent satisfied because, as you said, amplification alone isn't the answer. She'll have to work at understanding what she hears.

Patrick, if your hearing worsens, I hope you won't wait as long as I did to look into cochlear implants. They've changed my life for the better.