Where NOT to Leave Your Hearing Devices

I blew a gasket yesterday.  Not proud of it, but it served to reinforce some points about how much I love hearing.

It was a hot a sticky day…about 34C with the humidity (thats about 94 degrees F, my dear American readers).  I was assembling my new tree stand in the garage but I was sweating like polar bear in Florida.  First I took off my shirt.  I can do that now and not have people scream in horror.  Got a chance to show off my new tat in the process.  But I was still too hot and sweaty.  Even though both my hearing aid and cochlear implant are water resistant, I still don’t feel comfortable getting these expensive devices drenched in sweat.  So I took them off and put them both on the hood of the car.  I turned around and went back to my project.

Here’s my new back piece Tattoo. It doesn’t have too much to do with the story, but I needed a picture.

Meanwhile, my son is having a real hankering for some Indian food.  He earlier asked me for a couple of shekels for this..I gave him enough for himself plus extra for some butter chicken and naan bread for me.  Point is, I knew he was going to drive off at some point, so this is not his fault.

So I am working away in the garage with my back turned to the car.  After about 15 minutes I turn around to get a glass of water in the house and see that my wife has returned from her errands. I start to talk to her but say “Hang on,let me get my hearing aid and CI which is on the hood of the car….Holy S#@*!”.  I now realize the car is gone along with my hearing aid and cochlear implant.  I am cursing like a trucker…screaming like a banshee…swearing like a sailor…angry like a, well you get the picture now.

Half a block away we find the hearing aid.  But so what.  I barely hear with that thing, its the CI I really need.  We continue to search the road while at the same time we are calling and texting my son to stop driving and pull over.  I am still panicking.  I have mental images of my cochlear implant becoming road kill.  Finally, he gets the message. Turns out the magnet on the CI kept it stuck to the hood, even though he had been driving for 20-30 minutes.  He pulled it off the hood and brought it home.  The CI still worked despite bouncing around on the hood of a moving vehicle.


Lessons learned:

1. Don’t put expensive hearing devices on the hood of a car.  Duh!

2. Try not to curse too much when you can’t hear.  You can’t monitor your loudness.  Turns out the whole neighborhood heard me.  (Sorry folks.  But maybe you learned a few new fascinating words? They may come in handy later.)

3. Boy do I I love to hear.  So much so, that the thought of having to wait a few days to get a replacement CI freaked me out.  I can go an hour or 2 without hearing, but not more than that.

4. I still wish I never needed these things.  Normal hearing people can sweat, swim, get dirty and still hear just fine.  But there is no point wishing for something thats never going to happen.

5. I was very lucky yesterday…maybe I should go out and buy some lottery tickets.

My fellow people with hearing loss or parents of kids with hearing loss…do you have any stories like this to share?


12 thoughts on “Where NOT to Leave Your Hearing Devices

  1. Too funny! My story is one I often share with my clients who went in the shower/bath with their hearing aids on. At the time, I am about 7 or 8 years old at a private campsite with my family and friends. I go down a water slide. As I am going down, I say to myself, hmmmm wind noise, that’s new. Ugh! Got my hearing aids on! I tried soo hard to break but no luck. In I go, out I come, out comes the dryer and eventually, my hearing aids worked again.

  2. I left my hearing aid and cochlear implant speech processor on a towel while enjoying a swim at the beach in Florida. I made sure that the towel with my precious hearing devices were placed far enough up the beach that I would be sure that no water would get to them, and ensured that the devices were not covered so people would not miss them and step on them. After coming back for a swim, I put my cochlear implant speech processor on first, as it’s water resistant and could handle some drips of water from the soaked hair. As I reached down to pick up my hearing aid, a huge wave came and drenched the towel…and I watched in horror (and scrambled after it head over heels) as my hearing aid drifted out to sea. I eventually found the hearing aid partially buried in the sand under water. And I managed to dry and clean it (with surgical precision) and get it to work again. Unfortunately, after a week the internal components corroded and we had a funeral. But what a close call for my Ci processor, which I adore much more! (never mind the cost to replace?! yikes!)

    Oh…and don’t put the hearing aids on a dock that floats on a lake. My brother eventually got his scuba diving license….and why not? He spent so many hours in the water under the dock (while a sobbing little sister and frantic mother beseeched the Heavenly Lord for divine assistance on the dock), feeling around in the muck for my missing hearing aid…which he always managed to find.

    Love to you and your darling wife, Peter! And kudos to your son…who pried the magnet (and CI processor) free from the hood of your car….

  3. That’s understandable, I’d be doing the same thing if I lost my hearing aids. We’re just human, as well as deafened, after all.

  4. Hilarious story. But the days of waterproof processors is already here and very near for cochlear America recipients….never say never!

  5. Glad to hear it worked out for you, Peter! You’ve done wonderfully if you’ve only had one close call. My most recent one was sleeping in, grabbing my hearing aids, sticking them in my pyjama pocket, running downstairs to put the coffee pot on, running upstairs to grab a load of laundry, running downstairs to toss it in the washer, thinking “these pj’s could use a wash,” stripping them off and tossing them in the washer, and then heading upstairs for a shower.

    Yep, that’s what I did. Got out of the shower. Dried off. Looked for my aids. All of a sudden, I realized. Oh. My. Goodness! Worst feeling ever. Like you, I don’t want to go for more than a few hours with no sound. I feel so disconnected from the world.

    Anyway, the front-loader was in its spin cycle. The machine locks in this cycle so all I could do for a few minutes was watch the clothes–and my aids–spin round and round and round until the washer door unlocked.

    Incredibly, after getting them out of my pj’s pocket, carefully drying them off with towels and the low setting on my hair dryer, they WORKED!! I’m still wearing them a couple of years later too. (and I did buy a lottery ticket after, I felt so lucky. Hope your tickets were better than mine.)

    Despite that, I’ve been a bit complacent lately so thanks for the timely reminder! (And loved the other stories as well. It helps to know we’re all in the same boat–and hopefully it’s a dry one!)

  6. Hi Peter, awesome story!

    One day in the morning, after wee-wee, taking a shower and dressing up I was searching for my CI which I thought to have placed on the tray above the sink next to the shower. After 30 minutes of searching in every corner of my flat I really got scary but told myself: ‘ok boy, now think where you have been this morning’…
    But even more horror came up when I realized that I might have dropped my CI into the toilet and flushed it down the dirty tube!!!
    I couldn’t imagine that this happened, but where else could be my CI?
    The day was over for me, I decided not to go to work and spend the day in bed, mourning about by so much loved CI.
    But just as my head hit the soft pillow I felt someting hard on my ear, yes, I had my CI all the time on my ear but not switched on!
    I must have put it on my ear right after shower while my mind was still snoozing….

    Lesson learned:
    Don’t put your CI on the ear without switching it on

    Not so dramatic as your story but you asked for telling our stories 🙂


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