Watch out for the Weather Report!
The sun is beating down on NYC; it feels like it should be August...not May! And with this hot and humid weather (it's 78 degrees), the city is a veritable concrete jungle. Calling all those with weather-controlled hair: it's time to submit and accept the frizz. (Who knows? It could become a trend!) But that doesn't mean you should accept all things humid-related, especially not when it comes to your 'aids. After all, humidity is really (note the underline) dangerous for your hearing aids. So, learn how to protect the one machine that always has your back... After all, the temps just keep rising.
A few weeks ago, I found out that I lost some hearing. *Cue the sad music!* Instead of my usual moderate-to-severe loss, I officially have a severe-to-profound hearing loss. Ugh!!! What that means, though, is that I had to make a demi-pan-American trip to get new 'aids. I crossed half of the country by train in just under two days to get to Minnesota where the Hearing Aid Genius (A.K.A Bill Austin) lives and works.
I took a 3:00 p.m. train from NYC's Penn Station to Chicago's Union Station. It arrived, after crossing through NY, PA, OH and IN, the next day around noon. Three hours later, we departed on another 7 hour train for St. Pauls, MN. To be honest, I have to admit that I never realized before this trip how many farms, cows and fields of wheat are in the Midwest. (Actually, make that in this country.) They definitely evoked images of Willa Carther's midwest: the land of the free and brave billowing with the wind. I arrived in Minnesota at midnight, exhausted and cranky. I was definitely happy to sleep in the hotel's normal bed, since the night before I had to sleep on the train's hard seats.
My new hearing aids
The next day, my mother and I went to visit Bill Austin's hearing aid studio, Starkey Labs. I wish I could say that I arrived to his company at the crack of dawn to get my brand-new hearing aids. Unfortunately, that would be a lie. Instead, at sometime around 9:30 am, my mother and I arrived in Eden Prarie, MN. (Note: that is where Starkey is located.) Immediately, I was ushered in to have an ear cleanliness check, which is basically a search for earwax. ‘Nuf said. I passed with flying marks, meaning that my ears were good to go.
The sun is out times a million. Yup, it's super, duper HOT and HUMID here in NYC. So, what does that mean? It's time to take special care of your hearing aids..., A.K.A it's dehumodiefier time!!!!!!! But, dehumidifiers are ugly -- right!?!?! That's why I'm gonna show you how to take your dehumidifier from drab to fab just in time for camp!
Before and After
What do you think? Would you do it?
For all of you deaf/hoh t(w)eens dreaming of a career as a police officer, you should know that it is impossible in NYC. I'm sorry. :( Apparently, the NYPD has a policy that prevents deaf/hoh job candidates from being hired as officers if they have a hearing loss.
Even more ridiculous, the NYPD prevents officers who became deaf/hoh (after being hired) from wearing hearing aids. Beginning in 2009, the agency began a crackdown on hearing aids, forcing officers who are deaf/hoh to either retire or work without their aids.
So, many NYPD officers are hiding their hearing loss from their superiors, fearing the harsh consequences. One officer who insisted on anonymity goes as far as removing his hearing aids while on duty. But, it's not just the officers who take the imperative; the NYPD has told officers to stop wearing their hearing aids in three different cases. I don't know about you, but I can barely hear without my hearing aids. So, how can this or any officer effectively do his job aid-less (and sound-less)?
Have you seen the television show Castle? I love it; it is this amazing detective series that follows Richard Castle (a.k.a. Nathan Fillion)--a famous mystery writer--as he helps the NYPD investigate different crimes, using the work as inspiration for his books. It is similar to 80s television show Murder She Wrote.
Recently, there was an episode "Punked"--no, it did NOT follow Aston Kutcher as he played pranks on different celebrities--, where Castle and Detective Beckett (the P.O. that Castle shadows) investigate the murder of a young executive, which involves antique guns, a 200-year-old bullet, and New York's steampunk subculture.
As a complete Swiss-ophile, I fell head over heels in love with these Swiss Army Knife-inspired hearing aids.
The Central European country, Switzerland, is the epitome of versatility with four official languages--German, French, Italian and Romansh--and three different cultural regions. Likewise, Swiss Army Knives are, also, multi-purposed; they are multi-functioned pocket knives, which originated from Ibach Schwyz, Switzerland in 1897. Various models of the Swiss Army Knives exist, with different tool combinations (blades, tweezers, corkscrew, screwdriver, nail file, scissors, ballpoint pen...).
Following its inspiration--the Swiss Army Knife--, this Bernafon AG hearing aid is multi-functional. Some cool features include t-coil capability, minimized whistling, color design and control options, automatic adjustments in fast changing situations, wireless connectivity to Bluetooth, wireless TV signal transmission and premium live music experience! [Sorry, that does NOT mean that the hearing aid is a tiny iPod! Instead, it just means that one can hear music well with these hearing aids.]
If your hearing aid could do anything, what would you want them to do?
P.S. Bernafon AG is a Swiss hearing aid company
Michael Jackson once sang, "We are the ones who make a brighter day/ So let's start giving!" to Africa in his famous song We Are the World in 1985. Well, instead of making a "brighter day" we should be giving a LOUDER and AUDIBLE day to those who live in third world countries.
Quick Question: Do you know how many hearing aid batteries you use in a month? Me, I use somewhere between 8-10!!!!! (One for EACH ear!) If a pack of three batteries cost roughly a dollar a hearing aid, that adds up to A LOT! Now attach the price of a hearing aid. Unfortunately, many families who are living in poverty and hunger all around the world are unable to afford the prices of food for their families, let alone hearing aids. As a result, those who are deaf/hoh end up in silence.