My brown hearing aid book
I think most of us have our few essentials that we always have with us in our handbag/backpack/designer bag and when we get a new bag, those essentials would get transferred into the new one too. I have to make sure that wherever I go, I always have a supply of hearing aid batteries. And I mean, literally, every time I leave the house I make sure I have my batteries on me. And you can guarantee they will run out when I'm in the middle of a really interesting conversation or when I'm at the theatre or cinema or like a couple of weeks ago when I was having a lovely meal with friends! That's when I'd like a pause button while I sort my hearing aids out!! 🤣
I was so worried about not being able to get new batteries like I usually do just before lockdown started, that I paid for quite a few packs to see me through lockdown and they have. I usually get my hearing aid batteries courtesy of the NHS and I've never had to pay for my hearing aids or batteries but in this instance I was worried I wouldn't have access to the usual places that give out batteries during lockdown. I was worried that they would be shut and they were. You can send them by post but that's a much slower way of doing things and I didn't know if there would be people at the other end who would prioritise sorting out new ones and sending it back to me. Obviously, because my hearing aid broke and I had to wait for weeks for that to be sorted I was glad I'd bought new batteries. My brown hearing aid book lists what type of batteries I need and where they are issued. It is in my rucksack along with my batteries and spare tubing etc. When they hand out the batteries, you have to produce your brown book and they write it in.
When I go to these places that give out batteries, I always find I'm one of a kind. I feel like I'm surrounded by elderly people and then there's me. Mind you that's not surprising as one of the places I can pick new batteries up from is from Age Concern. Sometimes I think, wouldn't it be lovely if I came across someone my own age and we could have a chat?
I used to be the person on the other side of the table handing out batteries, I was a hearing aid maintenance volunteer for 9 months helping people with working out what was wrong with their hearing aid and replacing tubing and exchanging batteries. Sometimes it would be a simple thing as a small blockage in their tubing which had meant they hadn't been able to hear anyone for the past week. I discovered that a lot of people who have come to deafness much later in life sometimes find it a real struggle to get used to hearing aids. I remember a conversation I had with my great grandmother and she remarked how awful it was trying to cope with hearing loss and I think it must be worse if you know what it's like to have 'normal' hearing and then lose it. I've never known what it's like to have 'normal' hearing and so I've never missed it.
I think it helped that I started wearing hearing aids at such a young age, I don't remember never wanting to wear them! I think I knew that they would help me. I remember not wanting to wear glasses though until I realised I needed better sight to lipread! 👓