Room of Rattlesnakes

I wrote this almost ten years ago. Now almost ten years later I have become an advocate for the hearing impaired. Improving your hearing with technology improves your life and those around you. Ask me about the difference improved hearing can make in your life.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
Ernest Hemingway

After experiencing some hearing loss for many years, I just sort of got used to it, I suppose. I had high-frequency hearing loss beginning in my 20s with a continued gradual loss over the years. Perhaps from severe ear infections as a child or prolonged exposure to very noisy farm equipment, but for whatever reason, I definitely have impaired hearing.

Had delayed getting hearing aids for various reasons, I could still hear conversations if not in noisy settings, there are closed captions on TV, and hearing devices are available at most theaters, etc. And vanity probably paid a bigger part than I would readily admit. Elsewhere in Pulltight, I mentioned a hearing test with good and bad news. The bad news was I could not understand female voices, this was also the good news (an audiologist joke). It was actually a lot more than just female voices I wasn’t hearing.

Last fall Nancy and I visited the Texas State Fair. One of the highlights was an exhibit of the 10 species and subspecies of rattlesnakes residing in Texas. I walked into the room to an eery silence. I could see the snakes rattling in their wire cages, but it might as well have been a silent movie.

If our paths happen to cross you might notice I am sporting a new pair of hearing aids. I can again hear baby birds, high-pitched alarms, women, and rattlesnakes. It is surprising how noisy the world is.

Now I read anecdotal evidence suggesting rattlesnakes are evolving not to rattle. It seems the ones not rattling survive longer as they are not captured by predators including man. I have invested in a rather expensive pair of hearing aids. But, my chance now of stepping on a non-rattling rattler while walking around the limestone hills around Paluxy seems to be an increasing probability. Maybe I should get a new pair of snake proof boots to supplement my hearing aids



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