Ear Check 8/20/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

These past few days have just been crazy. For those following my exploits, I have a few updates for you.

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about the young woman making hearing appointments for whom I bought a drink since she didn’t seem to have one? Well, the appointment was today, kind of. As it turns out, my ears were pretty much entirely plugged up. I wasn’t really surprised; I’ve not had problems hearing per se, but they’ve definitely been feeling plugged up.

I don’t envy these doctors. As disgusting as it sounds, he spent the appointment digging the wax out, mining for the eardrum, I guess. As it turns out, it was far enough in that there’s some redness, and he wanted to wait to get an accurate test.

I actually had my hearing tested sometime around 1970, give or take a few years. I was in elementary school, and for some reason they were testing all of the students. The test was simple; they put these big headphones on and played various tones in one or both ear and I had to signal which ear I heard it in and when. I think I kind of freaked them out, because I cheated. As it turns out, just before the tone there was a tiny little almost inaudible (meaning I must have had good hearing) “click”, so instead of denoting the tone, I was denoting the click sound. So, who knows? Maybe I’ve been deaf my entire life.

My father was kind of my inspiration for the test. He was blind as a bat. We all saw the decline in his vision, but he absolutely refused to acknowledge the problem, or have his vision tested. I guess I’ll never know why now, but I didn’t want the same thing to happen so, what the heck.

We did have an interesting conversation though. As it turns out, if our hearing is impaired, the portion of our brain responsible for processing the signals begins to decay, which has been linked to cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, at least according to him. He said my “free test” will include a test of that decay, but he also said that such damage was irreparable. But, if it’s irreparable, why test for it? Still, should be interesting.

For those how remember my second job doing the surveys? Well, I’m guessing that’s out. I successfully completed my in-home training, but I still have the remainder of the training. Originally, this required travel to the training facility which would take an entire week. Because of Coronavirus, this training is being transitioned to online, but five full day courses. This would have been fine; it was expected to happen in June. As an adjunct professor, and especially since my summer class was canceled, this would have been great. But June turned into July, and as July approached August, I warned my would-be supervisor that once classes begin, I will not be available for full day training. This led to, well, nothing. I assume now that the job won’t happen, but I did receive an ironic email.

This is apparently a very large national company. I received an email from headquarters to inform me that, since I started when I did, I am eligible to start putting money into their retirement program. I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

The Covid-19 vaccination study is apparently still on. I was contacted for the initial medical screening appointment. They sent a very long document for me to sign. Reading the potential side effects was actually very interesting. Apparently, armpit sweating on the side of the injection is one of the potential side effects. I’m kind of looking forward to that one, though. It’ll be interesting to see how my deodorant works. Two studies in one. I wonder if pit stains on just one side will be sexy?

Finally, I decided to start winter preparations a few days ago. Last winter I went the entire season with a leather jacket to keep me warm. It was really not sufficient, but I did look cool! So cool, in fact, that I was cold! So, anyway, I walked into a men’s store to see what they had. I realize that it’s too early in the season; the winter line is not available yet, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, they’d have some coats left from last season. Heck, I don’t mind coats that are “so last year”, especially since winter coats usually are worn until they are worn, not until they’re out of style. Yes, word play intended.

So, I walked in, and asked if they had any winter coats in stock. This young man said no and told us that headquarters had them send the remainder of their winter coat stock back just last week. Okay, that’s fine, so out I go when I notice a mannequin that looked as if it was wearing, you guessed it, a winter coat. Not only was it wearing a winter coat that was apparently overlooked, but it was also my size. And it was on sale. And, along with being on sale, the sales associate gave me another discount, I’m guessing because it wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. Now, I have an out-of-season $350 Joseph-Abboud coat that cost me $90. Hey, I’ll gladly be outdated for that discount!

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