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Can you hear me now?

In today's paper Becky Nappi and her husband Tony Wadden tackle the thorny subject of hearing loss.

He said:

“Huh?” I ask my wife, Becky, for the third time.

She stomps her foot, rolls her eyes in frustration, and utters a short irritated growl, “Urrgh! Didn’t you hear me?”

I’ve suffered significant hearing loss over the past 16 years. I was fitted with my first hearing aids in 1998.

I knew I had to get them if I wanted to continue discussing literature with students in my college classes at Gonzaga University. In my last four years of teaching – I retired in 2005 – even with improved devices, I became increasingly frustrated by my inability to dialogue with students. Read more.

She said: My husband and I have already decided on the epitaph for our combined gravestone. It will read: “Talking together again.”

When I married Tony 28 years ago, my friends who had married strong, silent guys envied me the catch of a “verbal man.”

So when Tony’s hearing began deteriorating more than a decade ago, I did not react well. I felt angry, frustrated and sad.

You don’t read much about the grief associated with hearing loss, for the people experiencing it and those who love them. More here.

Have you had to deal with this issue with a loved one? How's your hearing?







Loud concerts and hearing loss

"Let's just say that thanks to George Thorogood and Neil Young my husband and I have great appreciation of closed captioning on TV," wrote Sandy Tarbox.

"Years ago we saw George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers at the Opera House (loudest concert ever performed there). When we came out of the concert a local radio station kept the enthusiasm going by playing even more Thorogood. We rocked out all the way back to Post Falls.

"Next morning my husband gets in his car to go to work, turns on the engine and nearly blew himself out of the car with the volume of the stereo. Apparently our ears were so numb after the show we had the radio cranked up a little bit for the trip home."