Over Hearing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ian had been hard of hearing all this life. He hoped the operation would transform his life.

Submitted: May 22, 2019

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Submitted: May 22, 2019

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'Have they said when your operation will be?’ asked Tina.

‘Sorry?’ said her husband.

Tina cursed loudly, unworried that her husband would hear. She took a sip of tea and tried again.

‘The hearing operation, do they know when it will be?’

‘A couple of months,’ Ian replied. ‘at least I think that’s what they said.’

Tina shook her head, sighing that it couldn’t come soon enough. Ian slid a pamphlet across the kitchen table.

‘It’s some new operation they are trialling.’

She put her brew down and flicked through the Health Service leaflet. The new revolutionary procedure was experimental, but, if successful, could drastically improve the patient’s hearing and transform their lives.

‘It says it will transform your life.’ said Tina.

Ian nodded in agreement but Tina knew he hadn’t heard her. She looked out the window at the rain battering down from the grey skies above.

 

Ian had struggled with his hearing for as long as he could remember. When he was a kid at school, the teachers would wave and point, if they wanted his attention, and would talk extremely loudly and clearly. Even today at the office, he would ask customers on the phone to send an email. He would say this was so they had everything in writing, but in reality, it was because he hadn’t heard what was being said. He wasn’t completely deaf, but if you did not speak clearly and loudly, then he couldn’t hear you. His friends and family were used to it. Tina knew better than to call from the kitchen to ask if he wanted a cup of tea. If he was talking to a stranger, he would explain that he was hard of hearing and ask that they speak up. Most of his friends would text rather than call him up.

And now, finally, he was on the waiting list for this new operation. With a bit of luck, that would sort his hearing out. It was Tina he really felt for. It couldn’t have been easy living with him. He knew it got her down and frustrated her. He excused her when she snapped at her. Hopefully this operation would solve all their problems.

It was twelve ling months later when Ian received the letter telling him that the operation would be the following week. Ian and Tina had almost given up hope. He had tears in his eyes as he read the letter over and over. He punched the air in delight.

Tina dropped him off at the hospital. They grinned at each other in anticipation.

‘Hopefully when you pick me up this afternoon, I will be able to hear what you’re saying.’

Tina nodded at pecked him on the cheek.

 

He explained to reception desk that he was there for a hearing operation and asked that they come and get him instead of simply calling out his name. They guy on the desk smiled sympathetically.

Ian was shown through and told to lie down on the bed. The medical staff had to shout to explain, but he would be put to sleep and everything would be fine when he woke up.

He lay back and stared at the ceiling. This day had been a long time coming. In his peripheral vision he made out the medical team bustling around the bed. He felt a prick on his arm. Moments later everything went black.

 

‘Ian? Can you hear me?’

Ian laughed in delight.

‘Yes, I really can.’

He sat up in bed gently as the doctor looked on, eying him over his reading glasses. He looked around the ward. He felt as though he’d just landed from a far off planet. His hearing was so much improved. The chatter of the ward rang loud, sharp and clear in his ears. He could even hear someone in the corridor talking on their mobile phone. At the end of the ward a couple whispered about how long they thought their uncle would last, yet he could hear every word, as though they were standing at the foot of his bed.

He couldn’t believe the difference in his hearing. With the volume turned up, the world seemed brighter, more vibrant. Everything sounded so clear. The hustle and bustle was in the ward was as though there were twenty radios playing at the same time, all chattering away.

‘Over the next few days,’ the doctor said. ‘your hearing will settle down. Right now, you will find your hearing is extremely sensitive. That is perfectly normal. It will correct itself over time to normal levels.’

Ian nodded despite having no idea what normal hearing was like.

 

Two hours later Ian was discharged from hospital. He had been told to avoid listening to headphones for a couple of days, but, apart from that, he could start living his life again.

Tina was parked up in the carpark, waiting for him. He spotted the car and made his way over, weaving in between cars. He waved a hand, then gave a thumbs up. She was speaking on her mobile phone but waved back with her free hand. With his new improved hearing he made out every word she was saying on the phone.

‘I’ve got to go. He’s here. Yes, I’ll tell him soon. I love you too.’

 

 

 


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