The eyes are usually the first to go.

I was fitted for my first pair of eyeglasses at age forty, and then bi-focals about ten years later. I just passed the eye test to renew my driver's license, so I guess I can put off the cataract surgery for a while.

At age seventy-seven, I had a knee replacement. I am using every tool available to assure that I keep my teeth. Now, I am on the hunt for a hearing aid(s).

Hearing loss is one of my family diseases. My father was unable to pass the physical for service in WWII due to his hearing impairment. We all learned at a young age to use our "big voices" so he could hear what we were saying. Unfortunately, that is a habit that has stuck with me over the years. I am usually the loudest one in the room.

For several years, I've been refusing to admit that my hearing was going. But recent visits with family members where I couldn't understand a thing that was being said, and attempts to hear movie dialogue (over the ridiculous music the producers think enhance the art) have frustrated me to the point that I am on the hearing aid hunt.

For some time, many of my friends have been showing off their new hearing aids. The fact that they still occasionally respond with "What did you say?" makes me wonder just how much good these tiny little instruments really provide the hearing impaired.

I have looked at the Consumer Guide recommendations for hearing aids, asked all my friends about their satisfaction with their aids and still come up confused about which route to go; over the ear, invisible in-the-ear types, re-chargeable vs. replaceable batteries, etc.To make matters worse, there are at least five hearing centers in our area, all selling different brands.

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Then there is the cost of those tiny little objects. It can cost thousands of dollars and the cost is not covered by most health insurance policies. Replacement batteries are also expensive and some of them only last about ten days. The high cost is another reason to be certain that I make the best choice in selecting my hearing aid.

So, until I make a decision, I will continue to say "Ehh – what's that you said?" I expect the next gadget I'll need to keep me going is a set of false teeth; although a new hip may come first. A friend just had a pacemaker installed. She says she's good for another 100,000 miles. With all my new body parts I should be good for at least that.