Friday, March 31, 2017


March 31, 2017

Just about a year ago, my audiologist retired, requiring me to search for a new hearing aid provider. The timing must have been providential because my old hearing aids decided to fizzle out just about that same time. Finding a provider who takes the insurance I have was a bit tricky, but it all worked out, and I ended up with a different brand of hearing aid than I'd been used to.

About six months into my new hearing aids, the left one quit. They were insured, so I got a replacement. I went for a week with only one till I got the call and went in to get it fitted. Unfortunately, they sent a right one instead. My provider tried to trick the electronics into thinking it was a left one, but with identical serial numbers, he couldn't program it separately. My ears don't hear equally, so another week went by before I received the right one. Actually, I received the left one, which was the correct one.

My audiologist tweaked it so it amplified the higher pitched sounds more than the lower pitched ones. It's the upper registers where I'm deficient, and no, I'm not talking about my brain power, although the case could be made that there is a deficiency there, too. The problem is, that if I set it so I could understand the dialogue in the school musical or Sunday dinner conversation, everything else was annoyingly loud and gave a squealing feedback. If I put my hat on, they would begin to squeal. The only way to get them to stop was to dial them back to the point where they were almost non-functional.

I went back, and he tweaked it some more, but the problem persisted. So two weeks ago, I made another appointment, determined to get things fixed. I figured that if he dialed back the highest registers and amplified the mid range, perhaps we could eliminate the feedback. Last week when I went in, he was at one of his other offices, so I was greeted by his assistant. She asked me some questions to ascertain what was the problem, then looked at my chart and the computer record.

"Hmm," she hummed. "It doesn't appear that you ever had these calibrated while in your ears."

"What's that mean?" I asked.

"If they were only calibrated sitting on the desk, the microphone thinks the entire room is your ear canal, and is trying to fill that whole space with sound. No wonder you're getting feedback!"

She tapped a few keys on the computer, told me I was going to hear a series of squealing pitches, and not to make a sound. I did as I was told, and less than two minutes later, it was done. The difference has been amazing! Calibrating them did the trick. They were matched to my unique ear canals, and the problem is gone. I don't know why my audiologist failed to calibrate them, but I'm grateful his assistant caught the problem and knew how to solve it. Calibrating them made everything work better.

Life often needs to be calibrated, too. We humans think we can fix things by tweaking a bit here or there, but the problems persist and often get worse. The Bible is God's way of calibrating life to our specific need. It diagnoses the problem, and connects us to the only One who knows exactly the right mix of wisdom and correction we need. We don't get too much or too little. I am grateful tonight not only for the calibration of my hearing aids that have enabled me to get back in the game, but also for the way God calibrates my life, connecting me to Jesus Christ who brings me into line with his purposes. Life is better this way.

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