I was watching a playoff football game with about 10 friends and I pulled my phone out of my pocket at least 4 times to adjust my Resound Hearing Devices. On the fourth adjustment, my friend, Mike, looked at me with that “get-off-your-phone-there-is-a-football-game-to-watch” look on his face. I turned my iPhone towards him and showed him the app.
“I am making adjustments to my hearing devices so that I can hear better.” I had to yell because a great play was made at the same time. I showed him how I could suppress the noise around me and focus my hearing towards the television, or any sideline conversations. I showed him how my devices could be programmed on the fly and not miss any of the fun.
He looked at me for a long time, studying each side of my head, and showed that frustration of a person who just didn’t get the joke.
“Do you have a question?” I asked.
“Yeah. I didn’t know you wore hearing aids. I thought you were checking with your on-line betting.” He smiled.
“Nooo-ah!” I retorted with emphasis. “It helps just so I can hear and understand.”
“Relax dude! I was just kidding. That’s great and very natural because I had no idea you were that old, and wearing hearing aids…I’m kidding.”
I am amazed at how seamless using these devices have become. As I’ve become more used to them in my ears, I have found sounds that I didn’t know I was missing, adjusted the noise that I found too loud, and I have looked forward to the relaxing tinnitus therapies. I have been studying the word “acceptance” verses the word “tolerance” in the past couple of weeks. I have been exposed to the Serenity Prayer for the first time in my life:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Tolerance to something one puts up with, because they feel they cannot change it, but have to live with it. I tolerated my hearing loss, because I felt there was nothing that could be done. I tolerated my tinnitus and coped, because I thought there was nothing to be done. Tolerance is a perception in dealing with the things I cannot change, falling short of acceptance. But, when I was shown that there was something that could help, and technology is available to improve my life, then I had to step up with the courage to make that change. Thus, acceptance and courage goes beyond tolerance, where you actively work to mix and blend in that concept into your lives, living with and practicing that idea.
I have found acceptance to be less exhausting and less burdensome than the prejudice that grows in the shadow of tolerance. Acceptance can come easy when listening to the truth. With these Resound devices, I can listen for that truth better than ever.