I published my first book “The Killer Within” last year and I’ve had quite a few sales. All of the book sales have been local, right here in the good ol’ USA. However, today that all changed and a book was actually purchased way across the seas in the wonderful country of France. I never in all my long life ever imagined that I would be able to sell my book, let alone have one bought in another country.
Now, I’m worried that if the book becomes a runaway best seller in Europe, I’ll have to scrape up enough money to go overseas and visit other countries. My only hope is that I receive a large advance on my book so that I’ll have enough money to get there.
However, first I need to stop and take a deep breath, as I think I might be getting ahead of myself. I got to thinking about the book that I’d just sold in France and I suddenly realized that one book sale doesn’t necessarily make an author an International best seller. Then I thought, maybe one more will do it. However, upon further thought, I realized that it will probably take a few more. Oh well, it was a nice dream until it was over.
When I go to sleep tonight, I plan on dreaming of traveling to Europe and visiting France, Germany, Italy, and several other countries. Once I get there and I start promoting my book, there may be no stopping the sales. My one concern is that I might become such a success overseas that I won’t be able to get back here. (Hmmm, maybe while I’m still dreaming, I should dream about taking my laptop with me so that I can continue writing over there!)
I’ll let everyone know how the dream turns out. Till next time, Stan
“Could you please speak a little louder!” I would ask.
Back in my pre-Cochlear Implant (CI) days, I used to say that a lot. Back then, I didn’t really think that I had a hearing problem! Actually, I thought that most people didn’t speak clearly enough and that they usually, for some reason, spoke in a low voice.
Then, I was implanted (sounds rather bionic, doesn’t it) with my CI and that’s when I discovered something very interesting. It wasn’t everyone else that was having a speech problem – it was me having a hearing problem. My dear wife had been trying to tell me for quite some time that it was me and not everyone else, but I thought I knew better. However, in the months leading up to me getting my CI, even I began to believe that my hearing might be going downhill. I was beginning to believe that my ears might finally be completely failing me. Even the powerful digital hearing aid I was wearing didn’t help as much as I thought it should. My hearing which had been going downhill at a slow steady pace for sometime, had finally taken a nosedive. My right ear was totally dead and now my other “good” left ear was deserting me.
I was beginning to believe that it might actually be me that had a problem. What was I going to do? Finally, my wife came to my rescue and recommended to my audiologist that I might possibly be a CI candidate. I would have protested, but she was sneaky and did it when I had my hearing aid off. While I sat smiling, she talked to the audiologist. When I got my hearing aid back on, the audiologist looked at me and, I swear he winked at my wife, said, “follow me into the testing booth.” I wasn’t sure why I was having my hearing tested and I started to protest. However, before I could put up a good argument about why I didn’t really need any tests, he had me strapped in the chair and the heavy metal door clanged shut behind me. There I sat looking blankly at a metal wall and waiting for the audiologist to say something. Ever once in awhile I thought I heard something and I’d raise my finger like I was told to do, but I wasn’t really sure if I heard speach or not. Finally after what seemed like an hour, the test was over and the audiologist announced that the test indicated that I was definitely a candidate for a CI. I think I caught a glimpse of my wife smiling as I tried to explain that I thought I heard and understood everything that he said during the test. However, I think he again winked at my wife and looked at me and shook his head, no. It was at that very moment that I encountered “the truth” about my hearing.
Fortunately, not everything turned out bad after that. I was sent to the Oregon health and Science Institute (OHSI) up in Portland, Oregon, about 140 miles north of where we live, for an evaluation. They did an MRI and another hearing test and said that I absolutely was a candidate and that I could pass the candidacy test with my eyes shut.
I was implanted at OHSI on my wife’s birthday, 24 February 2005. It wasn’t until six weeks after the implantation that my new CI was activated (turned on) and I could start to hear. That day, I came home and discovered sounds I had forgotten existed. There were all kinds of animal sounds outside. Birds were singing, frogs were croaking, crickets were chirping, and my wife was saying words and sentences that I could actually understand.
I had traveled a journey from the non-hearing dark side to the lighted hearing side. It was a long journey and I was glad it was over. Since that time, I have lived a new life where I no longer llive in a dark non-hearing world. I’ve learned some sign language and I’ve opened my own hearing products store. I opened the store because I wanted to help those that might be in the same non-hearing world I was in. I stocked my store with goodies that would definitely help people hear better and I tried to put a price on them that would be as low as possilble.
I hope that people who could use a little hearing help will find my store and find a few things that will make their life a little easier. The store resides on the Internet and I had hoped that it would be kind of in an easy place to find. However, one thing that I discovered after I opened my store was that the Internet is one giganic place. I found out that you can have the best place in the world resting on the Internet and no one, I mean no one, will even know you exist. So, to make it a little easier for you to find the store, I made up an address for you to use. An Internet address allows people to find a place just like if they were driving around in a big city with a street map and looking for a house number. The store name is its address, which is http://www.bestassistedlivingaids.com. It’s kind of a long name, but since there are literally thousands of hearing product stores on the Internet, I wanted people to remember that it was the best of its kind.
If you manage to arrive at the address, please look around and check out all the neat things besides hearing products that can be found there. I hope you can find the store and that you get a chance to stop in and browse around. This year, I changed the store from “our” store to “(y)our” store, because I want you to feel like it is “your” store. Please stop into “your” store and drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know what you think of it. Thanks for reading. I hope to see you in “your” store. Stan
This is a fictional short story bearing close resemblance to many real-life stories.
“What kind is it?” I asked my wife, thinking she was asking about the dog we had just passed on the road.. “My gosh,” she said, looking at me with a puzzled look, “what do you mean by that? I asked you what time it was?” she said. “Oh,” I answered, “I knew what you meant,” I chuckled and tried to sound convincing! It was at that moment that I realized I had a hearing problem. There had been little things that I had been noticing for quite awhile, like having to have the television a little louder and having to ask people to repeat things, but I guess I’d tried to suppress the fact that I had a hearing problem. As I drove, I thought about my hearing and figured that maybe it was time to do something about it.
When we got home from our trip, I worked up the courage to tell my wife that I thought I should make an appointment to get my hearing checked. She surprised me, by saying that it’s about time and she added with a chuckle, “I didn’t say what kind.”. Although I had tried to deny that I had a hearing problem for quite awhile, my wife had apparently been well aware of it and hadn’t said anything.
The next day, I made an appointment with an ear doctor and got my hearing checked. The doctor checked my ears for wax and did a sound booth hearing test. When he finished, he told me he was recommending I go to a hearing aid person and see about getting fitted for a hearing aid. He said that my right ear had a slight loss, but that my left ear was okay. When he told me that, I realized why I had not heard my wife correctly when she was sitting on my right side in the car.
A couple days later, I went to the hearing aid dispenser lady that the doctor recommended and was fitted with a hearing aid on my right ear. I didn’t particularly like wearing it, but I was amazed that I could then hear better. On the way home from getting the hearing aid, my wife asked about the time and I smiled at her and said, “I know what time it is, it’s 4:15.”
The day I got my new hearing aid was one of the best days of my life. Since that time, I’ve heard things much better than I had for quite awhile. Most importantly my wife and I can now take trips and we can talk without me missing or guessing at half of what she is saying.
Since I still work, I have to get up in the morning earlier than I’d like to. Several times in the last year, I’d overslept because I didn’t hear the alarm clock. It only happened when my wife got up early and was not there to wake me up. However, it got me to thinking that I might need a better way of waking up. I did some searches on the Internet and found a company that sold bed shaking alarm clocks. I was a little leery of whether they would work or not, but I decided to buy one and give it a try. The ordering was easy and the alarm clock arrived a few days later via UPS. I plugged it in, followed the easy setup instructions, and went to bed that night hoping that it would wake me in the morning. The next morning, I overslept, like I’d done a few times in the past. When I woke up, I looked at the alarm clock and wondered why it didn’t go off. Then, I noticed that the time was set to pm instead of am. I felt a little embarrassed and reset the clock to the right am time. The next morning and every morning after that, the clock vibrates the bed and has awakened me right on time. I’m happy and my wife is very happy with my hearing aid and my alarm clock.
If anyone thinks they may have a hearing problem, I highly recommend that they have their hearing checked and get hearing aids if needed. If it is found that you really do have a problem and you need further help, then I would like to recommend a company on the Internet that has many wonderful products that can help you cope with the loss. That company is http://www.bestassistedlivingaids.com. They are a great company that will go out of their way to answer any questions you have.
Thanks for reading,