Mom had really become hard of hearing. Even when looking right at her, inches from her face, she was having difficulty understanding what I was saying. I had mentioned hearing aids on several occasions but I had never pressured Mom to get them. A few weeks ago during a particularly difficult conversation after a sad attack I mentioned hearing aids again. Finally she agreed to get them.
I was both elated and sad. I was elated because the most used word in her vocabulary would no longer be "pardon" which would mean I would no longer need to repeat myself more often than normal. I was sad because Mom fights the battle against aging with every ounce of energy she has and denying her hearing loss though misguided, was one of her 'weapons'. So I was sad to see her surrender it.
Having agreed without coercion I made an appointment to have Mom's hearing tested in Vancouver. We drove down last Monday. At the beginning of the appointment the audiologist asked Mom a few preliminary questions, none of which Mom heard. Then she looked into Mom's ears and calmly stated she couldn't test Mom's hearing because her ears were plugged with wax. I bit my tongue.
By the time we had completed the 200k return trip, my tongue had healed enough to make an appointment with Mom's doctor to get the wax removed the next day. When I told the doctor why we were there she filled the sink with warm water and got out what looked like a huge stainless steel syringe and filled it. I told Mom the doctor was going to stick the syringe in one ear and blow the wax out the other. She didn't hear me otherwise she would have come back with something like, "I hope she doesn't blow out more brains. I haven't got any to spare".
What actually happens is that the in going water softens the plug and after hitting the 'wall' it turns around and forces the plug out. Half way through the third syringe full of water a plug about 3/4 of an inch long and the diameter of a dew worm popped into the basin; and Mom could suddenly hear again. The doctor repeated the procedure on the other ear and Mom could hear even better. No wonder she couldn't hear before. You put a dew worm in your ear and see how well you hear.
On the way home Mom and I had an almost normal conversation. Of course she asked me if she still had to get her hearing tested Friday and I said yes. After a couple days however, I cancelled the appointment. Mom's hearing isn't great but it is workable. When I told Mom we weren't going to have her hearing tested after all, she looked at me as if I had taken her to the fountain of youth and returned her favorite "weapon".