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A Challenge for the Hearing Impaired - or Maybe for Me?

Posted on August 13, 2015 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments
You may not know this about my mom but she’s extremely hard of hearing.
   “What?”
   I said she’s extremely hard of hearing. (I know, bad joke!)
   Seriously though, without her hearing aids Mom doesn't hear anything. Waking up in the morning has been a challenge for her. I can’t count the number of different alarm clocks she’s slept with trying to wake herself up. That’s right; she put the clock in bed with her! And yet slept soundly through the blaring alarm bells ringing next to her ear.

   But she’s a stubborn gal and resolved to be as independent as possible. She was determined not to have someone come to her room to wake her each morning so we’ve been on a search for a super-sonic alarm clock.
   The latest model was this Swedish model.

   We plugged it in.
   “What’s twenty-hundred hours?” Mom asked.
   “Ah … maybe military time,” I said, reaching for the directions.
   Foreign words and symbols stared at us.
   Fiddling with buttons we managed to get the clock on standard time. After several more button-pushing episodes we displayed the correct time of day and had the alarm set.
   “The alarm should ring in high and low frequencies and escalate louder,” I said as I read the brief English from the outside of the box to my mom.
   She nodded.
   “Do you want me to set up the bed shaker?” I asked, mentioning a vibration attachment to wake you when put under your pillow.
   “Don’t fuss with that now,” she said.
   So Mom and I said good-bye.
   The next morning Mom called. “My clock woke me up!” she said, her voice booming with exuberance. “It said: ‘Relax, relax, relax.’”
   Now Mom is eighty-eight and of sound mind, but nothing on the outside of the box said anything about the clock talking.
   With Mom’s headstrong disposition I knew better than to argue. We hung up.
   The next morning, Mom called, “The alarm rang, no more talking.”
   “Did it wake you up, though,” I asked.
   “Oh, my, yes,” she said. “But the night light isn’t coming on.”
   Before a trip to Mom’s independent living center I googled the clock. A step-by step video gave me all the ins and outs … in English.
   I was off to Mom’s with confidence.
   When I arrived she had the bed shaker attached to the clock. It was rattling up a storm on her dresser.
   “Isn’t that the cat’s pajama’s,” she squealed. “I set the alarm to remind me when Wheels of Fortune begins. And Lordy be, I got the night light to work.”
   I guess Mom doesn’t need high-tech instructions after all.
   I hope that I age with such zest.
   Aging can be a scary thought. At sixty-two years young, I cherish each day as I’m sure you do, too. So be like my mom, and remember to take time to appreciate the little wonders like a bed shaker.
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