Yesterday I took a 98-year-old friend to the audiologist.
A couple of weeks ago she developed a cold, and by the end of it all she couldn’t hear. I called her doctor, and he came out to her apartment (yes! a house call!!) and cleaned out her ears (just a day before I was to leave on vacation) and she was hearing great. When I returned from my vacation on Monday I had a voice message telling be she couldn’t hear again.
I must admit that when I called to make the appointment on Tuesday of this week, it was with the understanding that they were going to squeeze her in to see what the problem was. I wrote all of this out, but when we went yesterday, my friend assumed she would be having the two-hour hearing test and leaving with new hearing aides. When she discovered this was not the case… well let’s just say she was none too pleased. Maybe 30 years ago that was how it was done… but most of us who live in the day-to-day world know that with most medical professionals, three rules apply: (1) hurry up and wait; (2) you have to plan your illness at least two weeks in advance; and (3) if you have an emergency, don’t expect the professional to drop everyone else to take care of you. If you’re lucky they will miss part of their lunch break to see what they can do to make you feel “better” or at least “less miserable.”
The doctor did replace the tubes in the hearing aide, and now she can hear. We did make an appointment for a hearing test and replacement of very old hearing aides (the type of appointment I’ve been trying to get her to make for two years!) two weeks from today.