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by Lorraine Yaralian

Upon trying to escape a snow-filled and icy winter deep in the mountains of southwest Colorado I decided to spend some time with my parents who live in California.  I have visited them before on numerous occasions, but never for more than a few days at a time.  The prospect of major cabin fever and frozen everything in the area that I live in prompted me to take them up on the invitation to "stay a while".

They are great people.  They are in their mid-70's but if you did not know you would probably guess them to be 70 at best.  They do everything the way they are supposed to.  They eat healthy, exercise, travel, read, drive, use the internet and have cell phones, go to the local theater, movies and play bridge with their friends.

They rarely talk of death, don't read the obituaries and are prompt for all of their many medical appointments.  They can dance, laugh and have fairly good eyesight.......but ...they CAN'T HEAR.

I really didn't notice it at first, but as the days went on I realized I was in the middle of a shouting ping-pong match only instead of paddles this audio contest contained hearing aids.  My dad's best side for picking up sound is his right mom's is her left.  After trying many arrangements at the dinner table I felt like I had just finished a grueling game of musical chairs for the hearing-impaired.  Things really get dicey when we sit down to watch the news.........I am not only the translator for the person reporting the news but the middle-man when my parents start discussing the news.  I now have a seating chart for the three of us because the repeated head turning was leaving me disoriented and dizzy.  I once thought that if I rotated my head one more time I would morph into Regan in the Exorcist and find my neck had done a 360 degree twist.

My parent's speech volume always seems to be set on HIGH and I am convinced that most of the neighborhood knows when dinner is ready and when the trash needs to be taken out. Repeated sentences happen over and over until I finally step in, get in their face and speak loudly but slowly.

Next Christmas they are getting a television with optional closed captioning available and maybe sign lessons from a pupil of Helen Keller.  

For years while I was growing up  my mother would complain about my father's snoring and then my father would complain about my mother's snoring........ the upside to their  hearing loss is they both now get a good night's sleep............and I, sleeping in the room next door , am the one wishing for temporary deafness.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • OMG ... this hearing problem is just like my parents - fit and healthy but will NOT acknowledge they have hearing problems.

      I spend two weeks away with them every year and after day three I clam up because of repeating everything and then shouting everything ....oh and the snoring it’s like sharing an apartment with two slumbering old lions ..

      I’m shattered when I get back home and usually have a migraine for three days ...

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Holly Beck wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • How funny - I really enjoyed reading this. Your parents sound so great! I want to be like that when I am 70-something! {except be able to hear happy}

      Thanks for sharing!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Event wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • UK girl and Hollylu...thanks for your comments too. Just think....these are the kind of things WE can look forward to...I better warn my kids that it maybe “payback” time soon!!Have a great day. Lorraine

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 13, 2009
    • Yes my parents are losing their hearings and they refuse to wear hearing aids.  They literally yell at each other.  The funny part is when they are on the phone, talking to the other persons on the other side, they think they could not hear as well, so they yell to the phone receiver.  It is embarrassing especially when they talk on the cell phone in public.  I just love them for I know I will be there one day.

      Great to know you got to spend time with your parents.  That’s wonderful.

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