Aurals

Spring           Full Seed Moon

The audiologist works in a 17th floor suite in the Medical Arts Building.  Downtown Minneapolis spreads out toward the west and the smaller buildings look faraway.  Todd has very white teeth, a bright blue and white striped shirt, black  pants and shoes.  There is no one else in this oddly empty space.

After clucking a bit about my deaf ear and gathering some pertinent information, Todd took back to a small room within a room.  It has acoustical tile on the walls and ceiling, a small window through which I can see Todd and a chair for me.  Todd puts a red earphone on my right ear and a taupe earphone on my right ear with a careful, practiced movement.

“Click this if you hear a sound,” he says, handing me a small plastic device with a button.  Then he closes the thick door.  Oops.  A bit of claustrophobia.  I close my eyes.

Warbling sounds, the aural equivalent of sine curves ping out of the headset.  Then, spaces of time when I wonder if he’s not sending me anything or if I’ve lost whole chunks of hearing. Ah.  A sound.  Another.   Now a sonar like ping.  Then a washing noise with the warbling sounds fainter under it.  In giving myself over to the test I’ve forgotten my claustrophobia.

That was my right ear.  He then puts a static noise, like cellophane crumpling over and over, in my right ear so it won’t help out and give a false reading.  In my left ear, nothing.  Then, mild pain that I feel, but do not hear.  One or two low warbling sounds, faint and far away, but heard in my right ear in spite of the static.

“Let’s look at the results.”

As I thought, I’ve lost hearing in the high ranges in my good ear.  The sibilants are harder to distinguish in challenging environments, s, f, th.  Yes, I’ve noticed that.  In my left ear, “You have no functional hearing.”  Oddly, this pleases me.  I guess it confirms my reality, again.

There are options for me, but not really bang on good ones, at least not at the level of difficult I have now.  Maybe later.

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