Must, have, coffee!

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So for those of you that dont know… which is most of you, I wear hearing aids. I’m not deaf, one ear has only about 10 % loss in it, but my other ear is has much more hearing loss that would require surgery to correct and even then there is no guarantee that it would work. I decided I would try hearing aids before anything else. I also wear glasses for reading. Let me tell you, hearing aids, glasses and face masks dont mix well behind your ears.

I often stop and get coffee in the morning on my way to work, just like a lot of you. Living out in the “burbs” there aren’t a lot of options for coffee. I usually go to my local grocery store that has a Starbucks in it. Last week, as I’ve done 100 times, I stopped on my way to work, parked my car in the grocery store parking lot, put on a mask and went in to buy my $5.00 coffee. It was icky out. Icky, a weather term meaning cold, dark, half snowing, half raining… icky. Inside I probably put on my glasses to see the key pad when I used my debit card, and then took them off again once I finished paying, then picked up the coffee and headed back to my car.

Once in my car I put the coffee in the cup holder, took off my mask and headed to work. Then, at work, it’s just the same but in reverse order. Put on my mask, grabbed my coffee and got out of my car and went into work. After a covid check-in I head to my office and get to work knocking out the dozen or so emails that I got overnight. With most people working from home it was near 10:00 o’clock when I needed to get up and leave the office. That is when I noticed that I only had one hearing aid in. The aid in my right ear, the one with most hearing loss, was gone. The aid doesn’t really help in that ear anyways and I just didn’t notice it was gone. Frantically I searched my office, the jacket I was wearing and even my purse. Being so “ick” out I decided NOT to go look in my car thinking that I would find it when I leave the office to head home.

At the end of the day I jumped in my car. I looked around the front seats and even in the cup holder, bummer, no hearing aid. Thinking I needed to search between the seat and the console I headed home thinking I would look once I got there. Again I looked around in the car, reaching under the seats, noting I probably should give the inside of my car a good cleaning, but didn’t find it this time either. Going into the house I told my husband that when I took off my mask in the car my hearing aid must have got caught, flew off, and is someplace in my messy car. He laughed and said good luck finding it.

Over the next few days I only half looked for it. Every time I got in the car I would look around, tuck my hand into crevasses of the seats, console and floormats, each time thinking how I needed to REALLY give the car a good cleaning. Four days later the weather is still “icky”, but I needed a coffee, so the routine begins. Park in the lot, put on the mask, buy the coffee, go back to my car. This time, the ground was wet and a little slushy. I’m holding my car keys, the $5.00 coffee and I’ve added a slice of lemon Iced cake… which by the way is amazing, and I’m in a hurry to not be late for work. Of course, I drop my keys on the ground, better than dropping the coffee or the lemon ice for sure! I put my coffee and cake on top my car, bend over to pick up my keys, and there it is! My hearing aid! Evidently I parked in the exact same spot that I had parked in 4 days earlier, and lying on the ground, dirty and scuffed up was my hearing aid. It was missing the little rubber end that prevents the aid from going to far into your ear canal and was wet and dirty looking but it was there and it had not been squished from other cars driving over it. Feeling amazed and lucking I grabbed it along with my food and headed to work.

In my office I pulled out the hearing aid, brushed off the grime, sleet, and whatever else ended up on it. Thinking that there would be no way it would still work I removed the old battery and put in a new one, and put it in my ear. I worked! How lucky is that! Four days, in “icky” weather, in a parking lot of a busy grocery store and it still works! I felt extremely lucky, but I also felt stupid. How could I have lost a hearing aid in the first place? Who does that? Feeling lucky I bought a lotto ticket, but didn’t win, that’s ok. I have learned not to put my hearing aids in until I’m someplace where I wont be putting on and taking off my mask multiple times and to take better care of these hearing aids until I have ear surgery. As for my car? It is still really messy inside, but I no longer feel the need to clean it. Today it is still “icky” out anyway.

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