Friday, July 22, 2005

675 Batteries

Today, I just walked by an aisle at Walgreens' and I noticed the button sized batteries called "675". It is the biggest battery we can buy for the behind the ear hearing aids. Typically it lasts for about 2-3 weeks. It costs about $6 dollars for a set of six batteries. It's been about 4 months since I bought these to replensh my stock, as if it were a checking account that my life depends on it.

When I was growing up, every morning, I was trained to use the battery tester to ensure that I have ample "juice" in the battery for the day's use. Later on, I stopped doing the testing and listen for the sounds to see if it is working fine. I usually talked to myself to check if my battery and hearing are working. Then I start my day from on. I used to keep a stock of 675's in my car, bedroom, and at my office.

When I was a kid, you can only buy these batteries from a hearing aid places, and it would go for about $10 a set. We buy a few sets of these 675's and we always count our battery supply everytime, to ensure that I will not run out of it on weekends. These 675's used to come in many codes like AAA675, 234675, etc... but eventually years later, all became one code - the 675, and then became available at drug stores everywhere.

If I go on a long car trip, all these noises from car would drain the battery. When I was kid, I kept forgetting to take the spare 675's for the trip. By the end of the day, I would have to tell my folks that I need a new 675. My father will get mad at me, telling me why I did not pack these batteries and giving me some "life lessons" examples not to repeat that "stunt" again. (It didn't help at all, thanks to Dad!) He would go on and on telling me, too. .. Then my frustrated mother had to get out of the car and walk to a drug store to see if they have any 675 (in many variations of 675 codes) for sale. Even I did tried to explain them that you can now buy it at drug stores instead of at hearing aid center, but they still believe that 675's from hearing aid center are the only ones that works with my hearing aid.

Now, I no longer have to buy these 675's, since I am now using the rechargble battery. I keep spare rechargable battery in my pocket, because it lasts for about 14 hours. But sometimes it can go dead unexpectly, bringing me back all the memories of my father on the subject of not carrying any spare 675's....

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Lessons Learned....

Three things I learned as bilateral:

The volume settings on each implant goes up and down all the time for "balancing". For example, I turn down on left, and turn up on right, and vice versa. The brain sorts all information out and balances it out beautifully.

I cannot go on for one minute with one implant off. I get a strange sensation that there is something wrong. It is like there were no sounds coming in from one ear while other ear is getting information, then my mind starts doubting about it. In my opinion, what really happens is that the brain cannot tell if each ear is working or not - it simply process all the information and place into the perceptual world in your mind. If the brain senses some missing information, it alerts the emotional state as an warning message.

Don't talk to strangers without implants on - your speech is not same as with implants on. :-)