Phone Phobia

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate answering the phone?  I have that exact cat expression except with a slightly more raised left eyebrow whenever the phone rings.  (Oh crap.  Who is that and what the hell do they want. I’ll just let it go to voicemail.)

I will make an exception of course if I’m expecting a call, or recognize the number and actually feel like talking, but those circumstances are rare.

List of possible reasons for my phone call paranoia:

  1. It might be bad news.  Here’s a weird thing I remember from my childhood. Our phone rang and I said “phone calls used to always mean bad news, like somebody died”.  After that profound announcement my mother took the call and learned that one of our uncles had suffered a heart attack and died.  It was a strange coincidence, I’m not psychic or anything, but I’ve never forgotten it. Maybe this helps to explain the little jolt of anxiety a ringing phone still gives me.
  2. If it’s a telemarketing or solicitation call it’s hard for me to be anything but dismissive and rude.  It’s impossible to but in because they never shut up, so I just talk over them and then hang up.  After that I put their number on our  blocked list.
  3. It is really frustrating to have difficulty understanding what is being said, especially if someone talks very quickly or has an accent.  I’m so much better face to face.

Whoa. That last one is the biggest reason.  I stopped after I wrote it and went off to do some research and this resulted in (YAY!) yet another list.  Check out this site for the full version.

When you have a high frequency hearing loss, you may have trouble:

– following conversations (hear but can’t understand).
– talking on the phone.
– understanding TV shows or movies even when you turn the volume up.
– understanding young children’s voices because they tend to be higher in pitch
– enjoying music because it sounds distorted, especially at higher volumes.

Also….

– people think you aren’t listening to them or accuse you of having selective hearing

– you accuse people of mumbling

– you answer questions inappropriately or miss punch lines

– you smile and nod even though you have no clue what the hell is going on

Well that explains a lot. Why I turn the radio off with a sigh of relief.   Why I always have subtitles running across my screen no matter what I’m watching.  Why I can hear some things from rooms away but never the stove timer.  Why my mumbling grandchildren are so hard to understand,  and why they get so exasperated having to repeat themselves for me.

Sorry guys.  It’s not JUST senility.  Maybe I do need to seriously consider that hearing aid I was told I was borderline for needing.  Or I could wait until I can no longer even hear the phone ringing at all.  Decisions, decisions. Meanwhile, practicing that cat face but adding nodding and smiling to it.

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What Did You Say?

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'Actually I asked for a large 'Cola'.'

'You never listen to me, you only hear what you want to hear!'

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Today the weather was blustery and cold and I didn’t feel much like venturing out for my walk. It’s only going to get worse before it gets better and walking outside on the icy sidewalks will soon become treacherous. So today seemed like a good day to switch to plan B and do a fake walk on my mini trampoline. It’s low impact and makes me sweaty and short of breath, so the results are definitely similar. I just switched my weight from one side to the other in a bouncy fashion and then got my arms working as well (and after awhile couldn’t believe how slowly doing that made the clock move….)

Later when W asked me if I had gone for my walk I said “No, I did some dancing on the trampoline”. And he said “You did WHAT on your hands and knees??”

OMG, both of us being half deaf is going to be so much fun.

Sharing My World 17

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Share Your World – 2015 Week #5

Do you prefer shopping or going to a park?

Oddly enough, I’m going to say shopping.  But not for groceries, because that kind of shopping is tedious and annoying and causes me to sigh a lot and wish I were somewhere else.  I normally like parks just fine, but this is February and the benches are probably freezing cold.  Compare that to a nice warm store and it’s no contest.  Somehow I inherited a junk collecting gene.  Spending time (and sometimes money) in a store like Home Sense or Pier 1 Imports looking at strange furniture and weird wall décor is a lot more fun than staring at grass.  I’ve always fancied having an antique folding room divider like the ones ladies in movies go behind to undress, throwing random pieces of clothing over the top.  Or one of those willow swing-chairs that hang from the ceiling.  Good thing the price tags on these things are completely out to lunch.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

red cat clogsred sheep clogsmoose birkenstocks

Any one of these.  Because they’re interesting and fun and red.  There’s nothing like a pair of red shoes to perk you up on a dull day.  They should make these for seniors.  The ones with the moose look very Canadian.

What’s the story behind a time when you got locked out?

Only ever been locked out of a car a couple of times, unless being locked out was such a traumatic experience that I’ve erased the event from my memory.  We have extra keys for things, in unexpected places.  Or we just forget to lock the door.  Either way, being locked out hasn’t been a problem.

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

Anything that can have nuts added to it always tastes better with them than without.  I’m thinking of crunchy peanut butter, carrot muffins, brownies, ice cream sundaes, any kind of chocolate.  Nuts are just fine on their own too.  I broke a chunk off one of my molars once while eating peanuts.  So even though I have no nut allergies, those little buggers can still be dangerous.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Yesterday my audiologist did an hour-long, very thorough, hearing test on me.  I’m grateful that she was excellent at explaining what she was doing and what my results indicated to her.  For low-pitched sounds I have mild hearing loss.  For higher pitched sounds, the loss ranges from moderate to moderately severe in both ears.  The only thing left after that is profound.  Yikes.  So I am a candidate for hearing aids.  If I sit face to face with someone who doesn’t mumble or speed-speak, everything is fine.  I can hear W from pretty much anywhere because his normal method of communication is to shout.  Phone conversations are difficult.  And I know it’s extremely annoying for people when I continually ask them to repeat what they just said.

So, I am grateful to have had that done and paid for by health care.  They will not be so generous with hearing aids, but we’re checking to see what our insurance will cover.  I know when I fit glasses, some people didn’t like the sensation of having everything suddenly look so clear.  The audiologist said it’s sometimes like that with hearing aids too, and could take some perseverance getting used to hearing every little thing again.  I am looking forward to a report being sent to my doctor and to me,  and then I’ll have to decide how much I enjoy being a deaf little old lady.

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Sharing My World 16

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Share Your World 2015 Week 4

Where did you live at age five?  Is it the same place or town you live now?

The year I was five we moved from one farm to another one.  Of the first farm I have relatively few memories, except that it was close to grandmas, it was a very long walk from the house to the barn and I was not allowed to go there on my own, and in the house we could run around in a big circle from the kitchen, past the stairs, through the living room and back to the kitchen.  There was a hand pump for water in the kitchen and a dark shed (where the dog lived) attached to the back door.

The new farm, to my five-year-old mind, was utopia in comparison.  The run in circles was twice as long, through the dining room, past the stairs, through the living room and into the kitchen, past the basement stairs and back to the dining room.  We could also run up the front stairs and down the back ones, and from the front lawn to the side lawn to the back lawn, across the driveway and another side lawn and back to the front.  Obviously, running around in circles at this stage in my life was extremely important to me.

A lot of family still lives in that area so I go back to visit frequently, but I haven’t lived there, or in that province, for over 40 years.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

Our farm was in the midst of many small-town Ontario towns, but I consider the one where I went to high school as my home town.  It was on the shores of Lake Huron, had amazing sunsets, and filled up with beach-going tourists in the summer.  I liked it just fine.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Hey, I still haven’t decided.  I was very good at running, with all that practice, and won lots of races in elementary school, so being an Olympic runner crossed my mind.  Then I became a lazy teenager who ran one relay race at one track and field meet (we came in second) and my ambitions shifted to obtaining my driver’s license and getting the hell off the farm.  After that, my plans were always rather vague.  University, teachers college, meeting interesting men, going to parties.  (I wonder for priorities sake if I should have put all that in reverse order.)

You are invited to a party that will be attended by many fascinating people you never met.  Would you attend this party if you were to go by yourself?

Sure.  I will be one of those fascinating people in attendance.  Just hopefully no one asks me what I want to be when I grow up.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for our amazing weather, pretty much unheard of for here in a normal January.  I know there’s a lot more winter to come, but this has been a lovely little break in the middle.  A long cold month which usually drags on forever has turned out to be pleasantly quick in passing by.

Next week I’m going to see an audiologist.  All that running around in circles as a child probably damaged my ear drums somehow,  and I’m paying for it now.  I think I can hear just fine until people mumble at me on the phone, or garble some strange nonsense from another room, or when I decide I can’t understand what people in movies are saying without subtitles across the bottom of the screen.  Yep, it’s time.

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Mega Lopho What?

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Holy cow, I have been so incredibly busy with so much to do I just can’t tell you because I don’t even know where to start….

(So did that sound convincing?)

Maybe you’d prefer the truth.  I have done pretty much nothing for the last couple of days.

Except, my new printer arrived and is as hooked up as a smart wireless printer needs to be.  I have no idea how I survived for so many years with my monstrous old one which in comparison was not very smart at all. But it was a good scanner and it printed excellent photos.  I liked it just fine until the day it decided it could no longer recognize a new ink cartridge and refused to carry on no matter how hard I kicked it.  I’m kidding, I don’t kick inanimate objects.

On Saturday our brand new much-anticipated great-niece arrived! I saw her picture on Facebook before I got the message on my phone! She is in Ontario so I don’t know when we will get to meet her in person.  Why this wonderful news made it impossible for me to accomplish anything is a complete mystery, but I’m using her birth as an excuse anyway.

Then today my daughter cleaned my house and W took granddaughter K shopping for a new winter coat.  One of these years she will stop letting her arms and legs grow ever longer.  And yes, I know I could probably get off my ass and clean my own house now that I’m no longer working,  but I pay her well so I think she’s happy to have me as one of her clients,  plus we sometimes feed her.  I absolutely love how everything looks when she’s done.  And I like to talk to her constantly while she’s here (talk about a captive audience) so once again – no drawings or painting or writing.  I did cook supper though.   I’m not completely useless.

All of the above, including the picture which illustrates some of W’s Christmas decorating skills, has very little to do with the incredible word I discovered and would like to share with you.

megalophonous

Having a loud voice; vociferous; clamorous.

Of grand or imposing sound.

The word ‘megalophonous’ comes from Greek roots meaning ‘big’ and ‘sound’.

The reason I like this word so much is because it so perfectly describes the one and only W.  He isn’t always loud, but when he is,  it’s definitely mega.  He uses his megalophonous talents when greeting people in public places, talking to a group of people, or to just one person in a room full of people so that all other conversations are effectively drowned out, AND when he is talking on the phone.  This is the one that drives me crazy.  He has a friend he talks to who also has a super loud telephone voice.  When the two of them get on the phone I can hear their entire conversation from the other end of the house.

He will tell you that he does this because he is used to talking to his hearing impaired dad, but his dad wasn’t always deaf, whereas W has always been loud.  Perhaps he is partly to blame for his dad’s hearing loss.

My head hurts and my ears pound and ring when people are too loud.  I don’t like music turned up or concerts or crowds of people making a big racket.  Sometimes I think my own hearing loss is a form of self-defence.

So yeah.  That’s all I wanted to say about that.  Because if I say any more and W reads it I’ll be in for a loud lecture on all his virtues.  The entire time I’ve been writing this, W has been sitting across the room as quiet as a mouse.

Okay I take that back because he just made a long and loud speech about the pros and cons of dishwasher liquid versus powder detergents and how he prefers laundry detergent in liquid form.  I agree with everything he said, so there was no reason to shout.

Gawd, we will end up as two little old half deaf shouting people having random conversations about nothing.  Unless that’s happened already.  If so, I really don’t want to hear about it.