The verdict is in and my husband is vindicated. The doctor said that he is legally deaf in his left ear. (I, of course, gave my husband this information quite some time ago, but I guess he didn’t hear me.)
Because he is so thoughtful, my husband wanted me to have this news right away so that I would fully understand and respect his many requests to turn up the volume on the television. And, of course, to make sure I knew why he sometimes doesn’t answer when I talk to him.
That same doctor told me during my own annual visit that I have almost perfect hearing.
“Last week, you told my husband that he’s deaf, remember?” A light bulb seemed to appear over the doctor’s head. “Oh, yeah… I guess that could be a little bit of a problem for the two of you, huh?”
My semi-deaf husband told me that the doctor said he could qualify for a hearing aid through our insurance, especially since the loss is at least partially due to a military service injury. “Hell, no!” he told the doctor. “I’m not going to get one of those things! I can live with it just the way it is!”
So, a wife with almost perfect hearing living with a husband who is at least 50% deaf … in our 60’s … spending more time together, overall healthy and looking at the possibility of another 20+ years of marital bliss.
According to the National Institute of Health’s website:
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults… There is a strong relationship between age and hearing loss… 30 percent of adults 65-74 years old and 47 percent of adults 75 years old, or older, have a hearing impairment.
Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women.
There is actually some good news about our TV volume dilemma. For some reason, several years ago my husband abdicated responsibility for the remote control to me. A few of my women friends, who report being driven to the brink of insanity, have husbands who won’t let go of the remote for any reason.
But here’s our scenario. Husband and I agree on a program or movie to watch (that’s an entirely different dilemma). Then, I turn up the volume to a comfortable level for me… and immediately notch it up a few more numbers. If the volume is OK, I get a nod. If not, he says “turn it up a little more” and raises an index finger. That finger keeps stabbing the air until the level is where he wants it to be.
Occasionally, I try to sneak the volume a little lower, especially during one of his favorite types of movies – obnoxiously loud shoot ‘em ups with guns, explosions and never-ending car chases. Very seldom do I get away with it. Instead, that finger starts stabbing the air again, and I raise the volume and cringe.
Because I love him, though, and because I would probably have a hard time finding another guy in his 60’s without some kind of hearing loss, I resist the urge to stab one of my fingers into the air.