A Different Kind of Cookie Bite

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“What’s that you say? How’s that? Come again? Excuse me? Say it again?

Yeah, how about that for the top expressions you don’t want to have on your short list? But, they are mine.

Because I’m losing my hearing a bit. Yeah. It bugs me like crazy.

And, I feel old. I’d like to say that this was just another piece of the hit list that is turning fifty. But I fear that I have that more genetic loss: the “cookie bite.” (I know, so apropos of my sweet tooth, you’d think it was tailor made for me. Oh, it’s genetic, I guess it was….)

But, I’ve noticed this loss for years. In fact, the doc has called me at home after my hearing test for years to say, “You’d really benefit from a hearing aid.” I’ve dismissed it. Pssssh. Moi? Nah. Who’s got time for the fiddle factor? I don’t need to another gadget to have to fool with. And, since my ears already ring a great lot of the time and I don’t need to add hissing or squeaking to the mix. I’ve already got enough of THOSE sounds from the children.

But, I’m starting, after years and years, to finally consider it. I’m even past the point of caring much what it looks like; though I feel bad that poor Tom would have a wife that looks like a senior citizen. I have the hardest time hearing Gabey. He can be my loudest child, to be sure, but when he’s just talking, he can have a voice that sounds muffled, even if he’s talking in english versus Gabelish. I have to ask him all the time, daily, “What? Say it again.” The girls will come down and tell me that the timer on the oven is ringing or that Anthony is calling me. I can’t hear the kids from the far back seat, though, granted, my car is like an ocean liner it’s so big. Don’t even get me started about talking on the phone, it makes me nuts and is making me feel stupid. In fact, lately I feel stupid all the time. I will often guess what is being said, but frequently I’m wrong. Or I will nod and make polite listening sounds. It works pretty well, unless someone actually is talking about something that I’m supposed to respond to, say at a large table dinner at a gala or event. Then, forget it…I usually get up and cruise the room or go refill my drink (Soda, people! Ok, the OCCASIONAL vodka soda…..Gee whiz….)

It’s not that I can’t hear anything, it’s that the hearing is all wonky. Often sounds physically hurt. The TV and radio is usually just WAY too loud. Movies hurt. Unless, they are too low and then I can’t make the voices out. I can hear tiny beeps, sometimes, that others cannot. I can hear footsteps up the stairs. I sometimes have freaky ninja hearing. But I can’t hear the oven timer. I can’t hear my washer spinning though I can feel it. Erratic speaker microphones are brutal. The priests homilies are often a muffle. It’s erratic. It’s annoying, or even crazymaking, to me and to my family.

On the other hand. It might be more peaceful this way, ha! I cope. I compensate. I can’t tell if it’s pretty bad or if I’m just a perfectionist. I KNOW I’m a perfectionist. (except in housekeeping…and fashion…) But, I don’t know if I’m just a perfectionist whiner (sshhh, I know. I am.) or if this is actually a real problem that would be helped with a hearing aid. I suspect it might be. I read an article about the increase in dementia in people with untreated hearing loss. WHAT?! So, that’s a brick on my head. I’ll take the senior style look of a hearing aid over memory loss in a heartbeat!

So, I have a Cookie Bite hearing loss. It’s genetic. I might just be ready and willing to take advantage of modern technology and see if I can hear better. But……my dad has this very same loss pattern too, and he never has gotten a hearing aid. He’s made it to 80 and is still sharp and gets along fine. So, he has been my role model. My measuring stick. I wonder if I should just suck it up and deal like he has. But, I wonder….he didn’t do the hands on, 24/7 mom-raising of 8 kids.

I don’t want to jump the gun if it can’t help or if it’s just me being a drama queen. But, I don’t want to blow it, because I’d see and live with the fallout, even if I couldn’t hear it.

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17 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Cookie Bite

    • Thanks Luanne, but don’t be…sorry I mean. It’s just the gene pool thing and it it what it is. I’m just trying to sort out what to do, what is best and it’s hard to know. I’m a visual gal, so that would be devasting, and thank God for glasses! Ha! I’m wondering if a hearing aid will have the same effect. It’s a tool. I am just dithering and stewing on whether or not it’s time I picked one out of a new tool box!

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. You must be sensitive to sounds and try not to expose your ears to loud externalities. I’ve been using hearing aids since age 9. My hearing level has increased with the hearing decive systems. I know exactly what you’re going through, beleive me, not being able to hear is frustating. I’m the only person in my family member who was diagnosed with hearing loss. I normally don’t wear hearing aids everyday because I want to feel normal (maybe becaues everyone in my family has a normal hearing). Now I decided to accept who I am as a person, I’m fully committed to wear my hearing aids everyday to make another person’s communication level easier without any disturbance. Being able to hear is wonderful, but being able to communicate and relate with others is the most beautiful thing in the entire world. Have you watched the movie “The Sound of Fury?” It’s a good movie, which you can learn more about the culture with hard hearing individuals and deaf people. Whichever decision you chose, I support and respect you for being strong and brave.

  2. *hugs* I’ve had a slight hearing problem since I was a kid from all the travelling by air that our family did (that I, as a young child, found amusing, not realising it would become a problem years later). It has become worse as I age, especially now that I’m in my 40s already. But what can we do, except make the best of it? C’est la vie…

  3. I can imagine how hard it would be to accept a hearing aid, but I think missing out on details of conversations, etc. would be difficult too. Maybe it will actually add some ease to your life as you communicate with and love the people around you. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Lisa

    • Thanks Lisa! That’s what i’m starting to think. Or wonder: am I doing my kids a disservice by just “getting by”??? So…pride might need to fall. Again. Eh?

  4. Great detail, very candid. You never know till you try it, try demo’ing a set of hearing aids before you decide. As for the vanity part of it, hearing aids now a days can be very tiny and virtually impossible to notice. For every 10 decibels of loss your risk of memory loss goes up an extra 20% according to a John Hopkins University study.

  5. Tough choice…like most of life.
    I have always said I could be the perfect mother with a little more hearing loss…then all the whining and fussing and complaining could go completely unnoticed! But, it is hard when you can’t communicate when you need to.

    I am getting there myself.

    :o(

    • Thanks Amy, indeed, it’s a temptation to hear less and less, no? But, I think I’m gonna take some aids for a test drive, so to speak. I want to be fully present to my youngest ones…they need it and so do I!

  6. Hi-I just found your blog while searching cookie bite hearing loss…my 8 year old son has a cookie bite hearing loss. He wears hearing aids, doesn’t always want to, but there are many times that they definitely help. He is the only one in our family that has hearing loss and it is mild-moderate and bilateral, so not severe, but has definitely impacted the classroom learning environment for him. It’s been a learning process for us as well. Technology today is quite good, but there are hard days. May God be with you on your journey.

    • Thx for chiming in Jennifer! My loss is in the midrange too, from mild in parts to moderate….they say that I may have had this for most or all of my life but nowadays it much much more of a problem…not sure why. At any rate, they say I need two aids, like your son. And, I’m waiting to give them a test drive! We’ve ordered a pair to try and I’m hoping to take them for a spin soon (the holidays seemed to slow down the ship/response time I guess).

      I’m glad to hear from others ethics tyoe if loss, it’s weird and wacky and confusing a bit….your comment makes me hopeful for progress! Thx!

  7. Pingback: Bionic Ears. | Another Espresso, Please

  8. I have a cookie bite loss also, bilateral mild/moderate. Getting the hearing aids was a little traumatic at first, because I couldn’t always identify sounds or what directions the sounds were coming from. I couldn’t hear the baby in the bedroom across the hall! But what a difference in conversations and social situations! I held back because I misunderstood people before I had the aids. Now I can hear phone conversations, my kids speech, and my teachers. ( I went back to school at the ripe old age of 38..) Get the hearing aids, try them out and give them a chance. I bet they will have a very positive impact on your life. Good luck.

  9. I feel your pain. At the age of 46 I discovered I had cookie bite hearing loss too. I am trying hard to ignore it. I don’t want to wear a hearing aid and on top of all that I’m a musician! My heart has really sunk.

  10. Hi, chiming in late here but better late than never I suppose :). I am 43 and have cookie bite hearing loss, mild to moderate. I was diagnosed at 39. I was very upset at the loss of my hearing, which I think was due to iv antibiotics given to me after the birth of my second daughter. I also did not want to feel old. I was only 39, and was being told I needed hearing aids. I did go ahead and get them, I have the kind that are in the ear canal because I did not want them showing. Do I think they are worth it? Yes, definitely. How well do they work? Well, I can hear my children talking a lot better when they are in, and the birds, crickets, and frogs are much louder as well. I teach for a living and they help tremendously when people ask me questions. They are not perferct though, it makes everything louder, but not clearer. I laughed when I read about the oven timer, I can’t hear mine either and have to have my family notify me when something is done. There are some days when I can’t wait to get home and take them out. And I can’t talk on the phone with them in. But overall I am glad I have them. Good luck!

  11. I am 20 and have cookie bite hearing loss, also mild to moderate, though I’m going in for a hearing test in another month or so. I was diagnosed at 18, when I joined the service. At first I thought it was a joke or allergies or just in my head when I failed three hearing tests. Then I took a more extensive hearing test and was then diagnosed. When I talked to the doctor about it and did some of my own research I found that a lot of things suddenly made sense, and never once did I consider that I might have had a hearing problem. Most days are good but some days are pretty bad, On the bad days I just cant seem to make out anything almost anyone says to me, I just hate that I can hear a person but I cant decipher what they say. When my audiology appointment comes around I’m going to ask my doctor about hearing aids. I don’t want them, but I need them. I’d only use them for my bad days though. I’m also going to look into lip reading classes, which I’m really looking forward to finding.

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