Thursday, October 13, 2011

In Which Connor Loses A Hearing Aid

Well today was interesting.

Somehow I forgot to mention it yesterday, but late in the afternoon I was changing Connor's shirt and realized that his left hearing aid was missing.  Evidently he'd yanked it out of his ear some point during the afternoon and then managed to pull it completely off the cord attaching it to his clothing. 

I wasn't too worried about it at the time; he's done this before and it's always turned up pretty quickly-- usually hiding somewhere in his wheelchair.  I searched the chair and came up empty.  Then I checked the couch cushions where he'd been sitting.  No dice.  I figured it was probably out in the van and decided that as soon as Jer got home I'd go out and find it. 

Jer came home, and in the rush to get off to my derby scrimmage I completely forgot to check the van.  So first thing this morning I dashed out before he left for work and went over the whole interior with a fine tooth comb.  Nothing.

By this point I was getting kind of worried.  Connor and I had run a lot of errands yesterday, and while I knew he'd had both hearing aids on for most of our outing, I couldn't remember if I'd noticed them in the last two or three places we'd been.  He pulls them out so rarely now and they're such a part of his usual appearance that I don't really notice them all that much any more.

I wasn't panicking yet, though; there was still a strong possibility that one of the cats (guess which one?) had carried the aid off or batted it under a piece of furniture.  So after I dropped Connor off for school I went over the house, carefully searching under the couch, the refrigerator, the closet doors and all of Loki's usual hiding spots.  Nada.

My heart sinking, I picked up the phone and started retracing my steps.  No one answered at the craft store, so I left a message.  Everyone else hadn't seen a hearing aid.  It was starting to look like the thing was well and truly gone.  Not good.  Connor will only wear his hearing aids together-- it's either all or none with this kid.  Also the hearing aid missing was the one for his more affected ear; without it he can hear only about 30% of what is going on around him.  I was pretty sure the warranty had expired by this point too as he's had them for about three years, which meant that there was a good chance we might have to replace it ourselves to the tune of $1400 or so.  Those things are not cheap.

I bit the bullet and called our speech and hearing center to let them know Connor's hearing aid had migrated off to parts unknown. Then I went and picked up the little guy from school.  Once we got home I decided to give the craft store one more call this afternoon just to cover all my bases.  The woman at customer service said she didn't think she'd seen anything like a hearing aid come through, but she'd double check just to make sure.  I left my number with her in case she turned up anything. 

And guess what?  They had his hearing aid in their safe!

Turns out a good Samaritan customer had found it in the parking lot of the store and brought it inside sometime yesterday evening.  It rained steadily all last night, but they found it before it got wet or damaged in any way.  Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers!

I called Connor's audiologist back and let her know that disaster had been averted, and then we hopped in the car and rode down to retrieve it and heartily thank the manager for keeping it safe for us.  The rest of the day was thankfully uneventful, and went very smoothly.  I'll be shopping around to see if I can find a more secure way of clipping Connor's hearing aids to his clothing to make sure this doesn't happen again; once was more than enough.

I'm so relieved!



FutureBionicEar Mom said...

Hi Jess,

Here is the website about insurance for hearing aids.

leah said...

Oh, goodness - lost hearing aids give me heart palpitations. We've lost Nolan's more than once, but have always managed to find them (thank goodness)! I'm glad someone picked it up and brought it back to the store before it got rained on or run over!

We have used ear gear and critter clips, but the ear gear is too big for Nolan's ears and makes them bend over. The critter clips or the Oticon clip (has an elephant and rather short cables) work pretty well for retaining the aids.

Julia said...

Wow, what an adventure!!! Fortunately (I know y'all will hate me for this) Ben was never an aid puller-outer, at least not after he finished babyhood. [We're now having Fun Times with Tinnitus, but that's another story.] So glad someone found it and did the right thing.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh, I know that sinking feeling! So glad your story has a happy ending - thanks for the kindness of strangers :D


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