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A few nights ago, before activation, Lisa and I went out for dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. I had my leftovers packed up to go in a doggy bag -a styrofoam container in a plastic bag.  Strolling down the street, we noticed that there was live music happening at Rooster’s, another neighborhood establishment. We decided to go in for a nightcap and to enjoy some tunes.

The music consisted of a fantastic DJ spinning some beats accompanied by a violinist playing nearby.  The place was jammed with patrons chatting, laughing and some even dancing. Polished cement floors and enormous windows contributed to the bouncing cacophony of sound that was swirling around my lone hearing-aid and it was becoming too much.  I stood still and tried to relax, focusing on the dancers in front of me.

Lisa tapped my shoulder, motioning for me to take the glass of wine and the doggy bag that were in her outstretched hands. I reached over and took both items and suddenly the beat of the music made sense to me.  Looking over at the violinist, I happily watched him sway as my right foot tapped in time to the vibrations reverberating through the styrofoam container in my left hand.

With the aid the styrofoam clenched in my fingers, my brain was able to isolate some of the sounds and I could see where the beats were coming from.  Fast forward to today, that’s what I feel is happening with my newly “activated” left ear. I’m experiencing an odd assortment of sounds -mostly a dull roar, almost like a continuous tone of white noise with the sporadic injunction of a tweet or ping.

When I leave my hearing-aid out, it’s hard for me to map where the errant tweet or ping comes from and I don’t even necessarily hear anything more than that but when I put my hearing-aid back in my right ear, I suddenly hear more in my left. I know this is because my brain is mapping sounds with the help of my right ear -which I’m now referring to as my “styrofoam doggy bag”.

I can definitely tell the difference today and it’s only been 24 hours. My hearing is heightened.  Almost like when you have a decade-old prescription for eye glasses and you’re used to it. You go in and grudgingly get a new prescription and, wow! things are so much more crisp! You can read those signs! Huh!

It’s not all clear yet and there’s clearly a lot more mapping to do but I can see where this is going.  Today I tap-danced in the office bathroom after flushing the toilet because I could hear the tinkling of the tile under my shoes. And I liked it!