Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bike, Hike and Hearing Aids

An entire week has passed since there has been a blog post.  It's difficult, I can not compete with the postcards presently coming out of Ouray.   Mark, Gayle, and others have been providing me with glorious photos of the scenery we are currently missing.  Trying hard not to be bitter, but it's difficult.
We're continuing to bike and walk up the big hills.  My average on the bike is getting faster, so I'm happy about that.
Sunday was the culmination of Seafair, with a day of air shows and boat racing.  I think this is the best thing the Blues do in their routine.  They're flying at about 128 mph, just sort of standing on the air using pure thrust.  Then one of them puts the power on and flies straight up and out of formation.  It's impressive.

In addition to the unlimited hydro racing, which has gotten pretty boring, there were F1 Powerboats racing.  You can see them lined up waiting for the next heat.  Behind them is a small sample of all the people on shore.

The boats have been around for awhile.  After killing a few drivers, more attention was paid to safety, to include designing the cockpit to break away in a crash, and the use of harnesses to restrain the driver.  Their course is much longer than the three laps done by the unlimited hydros and the boats are fun to watch.

There has been hiking in the woods.

The woods are mysterious, dark and deep.  It's also hot and humid in there because there is no breeze.  We may not do that one again for awhile.

Here are a couple of local flowers for beauty and color.

Jim had his hearing tested this week when I went in to pick up my new pink ear plug (keeps water out of ear when showering).  He has hearing loss in the 1500 hz to 8000 hz range.  That would be the range in which my voice occurs.  My left ear hearing drops at 500 hz, so I can't hear anybody.  Jim's thinking about getting hearing aids for the following reasons.  When your hearing deteriorates, the nerve is not being stimulated.  When the nerve is not stimulated, neither is your brain.  These are bad things.  Difficulty hearing is also positively correlated to increased levels of dementia and loss of grey matter in the brain.  So, even though Jim is coping with the hearing loss, it can't be left alone forever.  Since the hearing in my right is still very good, my brain is stimulated.  My left ear nerve conduction is good, but the lack of an ear drum is the problem there. 
Right now we're thinking about what to get and where to get them.  Our first estimate from an audiologist associated with the ENT office was $5,000 for a pair.  Does this seem like a lot to you?  It does to me.  The NYT had an interesting article a few years ago about finding a less expensive hearing aid, which can be found here.  I also found another article on why hearing aids cost six times more than an ipad, which you can read here.   As Jim just put it so succinctly, the consumer is getting hosed.  This is going to be a big budget line item for us.  Jim will need two, and if my ear drum graft takes, I'll probably need one for that ear. The major issue for us it that what ever we're wearing has to work with a bike helmet.  This will probably be an odyssey. 
I did get a surgery date for the ear, it's August 31.


  1. That does seem outrageous… What about getting them across the border in Mexico (Yuma) this winter? If it's like the dental work they would be half price.

    1. Aaaarrgh. That would require going to Yuma! You know how I feel about that!

  2. Hey, Allison -- Happy Belated to Jim. I would not have guessed 69. Sorry about the hearing aids, but good you guys are getting all the maintenance knocked out. Jim and Gayle's friend Jimbo Melton got hearing aids in Algodones this past winter. I am not sure of the outcome, but it might give you a good benchmark as far as price. Hope your "pit stop" is near done there...

  3. Hi Allison! My Mom has had hearing aids for several years and has had decent pricing and great service from Costco.

  4. I've heard of others having good luck with hearing aids at Costco. Jimbo paid about half in Mexico of what he was quoted in CA. Last time we heard from him he was still having some trouble adjusting to them but I think that's to be expected no matter what.

    1. We're going to try Costco. I just can't get over the prices!

  5. Also meant to add that I hadn't heard of the link between hearing loss and dementia/loss of gray matter. Very interesting.