Always the problem-solver, Erik! Unfortunately, my husband is completely deaf in one ear and partially in the other. Unlike other civilized countries, the USA does not have comprehensive national health insurance. The American version for those 65 and older is Medicare, which still requires supplemental insurance. Even so, Medicare and supplements do not cover hearing aids or glasses or dentures. Our government keeps us alive in our old age but we are blind, toothless, and deaf.

Hearing aids must be purchased out-of-pocket and would cost him a minimum of $8,000 from the last estimate he received in 2017. So, he lives without them. And, that means he listens to TV at volume levels that leave my ears and mind numb. Ear buds, ear phones, and ear anythings cannot block out the noise.

It is a contentious and constant problem in our home. I hate to complain because it’s not his fault that he can’t hear, but I can’t stand the noise and I can’t get away from the noise. We’ve tried TV sound enhancers with no luck. He says the sound is unclear and he can’t make out what people are saying. So, he listens to news and I take a shower or a walk.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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