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Losing our processors or hearing aids
When we rely on some sort of device to hear it can be devastating if we lose or damage one. I asked a group of people had they ever lost one.
I’ve had a couple of close calls, some where I could not have recovered it. There are occasional situations where my processor comes off because the magnet is attracted to the metal. It’s uncomfortable but in most cases I can retrieve it without damage. For instance, at work there is a room with a sloping ceiling for storage. I have to duck under the beams to get to the back and if I’m not careful my processor comes off and sticks to the beams.
But the worst occasion for me was when I was washing the car. If you’ve ever used those DIY car washes you’ll know there is a big arm which swings out over the car. One day the arm hit me on the head and my processor stuck to the metal part. Had it dropped to the ground it would have disappeared down the grate.
A few years ago I lost my hearing aid. I had been gardening on our 17 acre property. I hunted high and low removing all the newly laid mulch – but I never found it. To this day I don’t know what happened to it. I do remember that when I came back inside I flushed a heap of tissues and to this day I wonder if I flushed my hearing aid down the toilet too.
Another lady told me “I’m boring…nothing exciting has really happened. But here’s a few silly things. Sometimes it come off when greeting a friend. They kiss or hug you and say hello and it accidently gets knocked off and onto the floor. I had this happen once in a busy shopping centre and my first thought was …QUICK…my processor….don’t walk on it. …Luckily I saved it just in time.
Other times I have had it come off in the Dentist chair or having physio and then I can’t hear the ask questions.”
A couple of people said “I have trouble when my processor jumps onto the stem of my umbrella. It is always in the rain (why else would I have the umbrella open!), when I am least expecting it, leaving me fumbling badly.”
One gentleman told me “Not long after being fitted I was hanging out the washing and when I went back inside and started talking to my wife I could not hear her replies. My processor was still outside hanging on the wires of the washing line, attached by the magnet.”
Another said “’Touch wood' but I have yet to lose one, but a friend is a farmer and he actually drove his tractor over his. The tread on his tyres missed sending the processor closer to middle Earth!”
This could have been bad. “I have had two rather frightening experiences nearly losing processors over the years.
Many years ago I was mowing the grass in our large backyard. Manoeuvring the lawn mower under a large plum tree one of my processors hooked on a branch and fell to the ground right in the path of the mower as I was pulling it out from under the tree. Fortunately I saw it in time and picked it up but I had visions of a shredded processor after being caught up in the mower blades.
In another gardening incident I was raking up piles of fallen leaves under a large tree. Again a processor caught on a branch of the tree and disappeared. I now know that a Beige processor in a large pile of yellow leaves is like looking for a needle in a haystack and after half an hour or so of fruitless searching it was panic stations but to my great relief I eventually found it.”
Friends often have to help search. “Although it hasn't happened to me, I participated in a search for one that someone else had lost. A few years ago I was driving taxis in Sydney. As I was driving near where a friend lived, I saw the car belonging to yet another friend parked outside, so I thought I would stop and say Hi to both.
The lady who lived in the house apparently had lost her implant processor while gardening, and had called the other friend to help. They were both in a bit of a panic when I popped in as it looked like the processor was gone for good.
I got them to find an old biscuit tin and sweep it along the ground, in the hope that the magnet would attach to the tin. However, on her way back from her house with the tin, the home owner found the processor hanging by its ear-hook from a rose plant. So we never got to try my magnet-detector idea.” (But what a great idea!)
One lady reported. “WOW Felicity it’s like you have ESP... I went to the beach for a break with my husband and daughter and we went on a boat tour.
I have a beanie I call my "processor hat" it was knitted by my wonderful mother in law and is very thick. Part of the boat tour fun was that at times it took off really fast so we got a little splashed with crisp clear sea water (OHHH my skin felt wonderful after this tour). I had my hat on while at one stage the boat took off so fast I was laughing and cheering like a child.
After the boat slowed I took of my beanie to check if it was getting to wet. But all was fine, however I could not hear out of one side. I went to take my processor off to fix it, only to find he was gone (I was so worried). I looked at my daughter and yelled ‘I have lost a processor’. She looked worried and started hunting, my husband started hunting - still no processor. We had people behind us looking still not to be seen. By this stage I was on the verge of tears. Then my daughter smiled as she unhooked it from the inside of my beanie. Everyone on the boat clapped and laughed with me I had no idea everyone was watching the whole thing unfold) I popped it back on after a big hug and kiss from me then never took my beanie off again...
A young woman told me “I haven't lost my BAHA but of late my eight month old daughter has discovered my 'special ear' and locates it, pulls it off and has sent it flying across room. The first few times she did it was a little funny but now she actually looks for it. A very firm no and a few tears is slowly protecting my processor from little fingers.”
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