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My 93 year old mother refuses to wear hearing aid, says batteries are too hard to change. Every conversation I have to repeat louder and louder about 4 times. Now my friends are telling me not to yell. Any suggestions?

Is she putting enough lubricant on. I fought with my mom regularly over this. And not until she just couldn’t manage it , I put the lubricant on, more than she did, and it slipped right in…I realized that was her issue…
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Reply to babsjvd
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My 94-year-old mother-in-law lives with us and we had the same problem. We got her a BeHear SMARTO hearing amplifier and we are all thrilled with the results! We even recorded her testimonial about the product and it's now on YouTube: https://youtu.be/SROCUOtVmCE
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Reply to RuthB58
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There are several things that can be done in this situation. Get the new rechargeable ones. Replace the batteries for her. get a white board & write to hear. Speak to her in a normal tone & let her determine how she wants to handle this. She should be able to read lips at this point in her life.
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Reply to ToniFromRVA
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Are there any rechargeable hearing aids?
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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Midkid58 Aug 26, 2022
Most are rechargeable. I know that when we bought DH's, they didn't even offer ones with batteries that needed to be swapped out. Of course the rechargeable ones will eventually stop charging fully--but not everyday.
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Molly2022: This is a common plight among individuals with hearing aids. Many keep them in a drawer and not on their ear. You could suggest that you will change out the number 13 size battery when the old battery is dead. I obtained my one aid at the young age of 55 and readily adapted to it. However, I apparently was fortunate since some individuals do not. Of note is that I have a specially made-to-fit molded aid due to having tympanomastoidectomy surgery in the ear.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Can your 93 year old mother use a cellphone and can she see clear enough to read messages on one? I ask this because I'm hard of hearing, and to be honest hearing aids can be irritating and even painful to wear for some people with hearing loss, and some only amplify sound (all sounds) drowning out conversation of the person speaking directly to you.
There are caption apps that can be downloaded on cellphones now free of charge for the hearing impaired, where a person can speak directly into their cellphone and the words will show up on a screen. If she has a cellphone and you have a cellphone where the app can be downloaded you can speak to her from phone to phone and the words will show up on caption. Or you can speak into your phone and the words will show up and you can give her your phone to read from.
Another simple way w/o the caption out, one my children use with me, is we text back and forth. Just a suggestion. There might be other options that could work for you and your mom.
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Reply to Iambe1612
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Hearing aids are problematic. Unless you find one that you can appreciate, they are more of a necessary annoyance.

If the problem is really the batteries, there is one really important thing you need to know (only because I didn't know at first either) The batteries that my Mom uses, are activated by "air". If you see a tab covering the battery, you have this type. These "air activated" batteries require a minimum of 3 minutes to fully activate....that is pull the tab off, let it sit for 3 minutes, then insert it into the hearing aid. Anything less makes them run out prematurely, like almost immediately if you don't wait at all. 3 minutes is a long time. Most people can't imagine waiting 3 minutes for a battery to activate before putting their hearing aid on. Sounds crazy, however it is true....you need to wait at least 3 minutes after pulling off the tab.

To see if her hearing aid battery is "dead", have her take out her hearing aid and you put your hand around it. It should "squeal". If it doesn't, the battery is dead. Sometimes, you can take out the battery, put it back in, and the hearing aid will work for a little while longer.

As my Mom got older, she would occasionally put in the battery upside down. The problem is that the battery cover will close over the battery, even though the battery is upside down, then your hearing aid doesn't work. Getting the battery to be right side up when you discover this, can be a real pain to correct.

Through trial and error, I found out many times that the reason why my Mom couldn't hear me, was because I didn't speak slow enough. The clue was that she would eavesdrop on conversations, get upset, when just seconds ago, she said she couldn't hear. Yes, it could be due to age, however, it has a lot to do with the hearing aids too.

Now that I'm wearing hearing aids, I find that I have significant trouble hearing voices at certain frequencies, more than others. To determine if that is the case, change the pitch of your voice when you repeat what you said to her. Apparently bass (low) are the frequencies that most people have trouble with. The pitch doesn't have to change much.

Last but not least, my Mom went to 1 hearing aid instead of 2. The issue was that she could not hear peripheral sounds nearly as well when she had 2 hearing aids on. Hence, with only 1 aid, what 1 ear couldn't hear, the other one did and the brain put it all together (just like your eyes.)

Personal amplifiers are another option. Hearing aid in one ear, earbud from the personal amplifier in the other. Your Mom's audiologist can recommend one (there is a lot of difference in the brands) and even tell from her hearing test, whether this might be a viable alternative.

President Biden just signed into law, the ability to get hearing aids without prescription. I hope this provides a lot more options, and encourages better hearing aids. I'm not happy with my hearing aids. It is like the old days where when you talked to someone on a speakerphone, you cannot hear 2 voices at once. I thought that bluetooth from my cell phone directly into my hearing aids would help the fuzziness of the call quality. Nope, it turns out that programming bluetooth is an art. My best calls for voice (not music), come from Apple Air Pod Pros and AfterShocz. If you are not hearing impaired, you cannot grasp how difficult it is to get full-spectrum hearing back.

I feel for you. Please have patience with your Mom. I totally understand how hearing will "isolate" a person. It takes quite a bit of energy to make sense of the "garbled" noises.

P.S. I have the hearing aids with rechargeable batteries and bluetooth. One of the downsides is that I can go only 16 hours on a full charge. In addition, one side will go out before the other. My Mom's hearing aids with batteries, last 9 days, mine don't last even a full 24 hours.
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Reply to ChoppedLiver
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babsjvd Aug 24, 2022
Now I know why my moms battery seemed to die ! I never knew about the 3 min pause… she always put them I. Right away and then complain the battery died a day later!
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My 96 y/o mother has same issues...After seeing the same audiologist and buying new aids, I decided to go out of our network medical group and schedule an appt w/ a 2rd professional ...My mother can sit in front of the t.v. and have the remote sound up to nearly 30-50 (digital tv) and has no problems...At that level I can listen to the program on the front porch...and this is a 2,500 sq/ft home . My recently deceased wife had the same frustration and bought my mother t.v. headset which "really"helped ...she will no longer use those..We bought my mom new digital hearing aid I can control on my smart phone but no relief....thanks for allowing me to vent....We will see how the audiologist works...
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Reply to Sooner51
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There’s a link between hearing loss and dementia. She might decide hearing aids are the better way to go.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss
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Reply to Erikka
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Tell her you will change the batteries for her. Also , talk to her ear doctor and find out how to make sure she is comfortable with the aid. They take some getting used to; when you talk to her on the phone make sure she’s using the speaker, and NOT too loud.
I am 82 and still have problems hearing when people mumble or speak facing away from me; can’t imagine Not having more problems if i live that long! Take it easy……
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Reply to ChirsM
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I switched my Mom to rechargeable hearing amplifiers because of the battery issue. She had very expensive in-ear hearing aids but the MC facility forgot to change the batteries or Mom took them out and lost then and once she tried to eat one. The amplifiers were about $50-60 each and came with a usb type charger. I bought a "leash" I put on them and attatch it to her blouse so even if she takes it out, it does not go far.
Not endorsing this brand, just an example
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WJPPV4N/ref=sspa_dk_detail_5?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07WJPPV4N&pd_rd_w=Cu2kN&content-id=amzn1.sym.4d0fffec-3aba-4480-8fad-c6bd8f7f6b41&pf_rd_p=4d0fffec-3aba-4480-8fad-c6bd8f7f6b41&pf_rd_r=VBHWK2YATSQT9NAEZ2M7&pd_rd_wg=so2M3&pd_rd_r=4485face-a946-46f0-b148-fa2ff1d06c36&s=industrial&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9kZXRhaWxfdGhlbWF0aWM&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyQlBRTkhLVVZLTFJGJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTI4MjcwV1kwTzlMRk0yWFdRJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAyMDkxNjgzTDc3MUMxRVJBTzVDJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsX3RoZW1hdGljJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
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Reply to GrandmaC
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There are rechargeable hearing aids on the market now that are very good. I simply place mine in their holder every night and I always have a charge. No more batteries. I paid a lot of good money to replace my still-good older hearing aids for this benefit. Worth it! I donated my old hearing aids, with all the supplies for them to someone who could not afford the aids.

On the other hand, my mother had some excellent hearing aids which she rarely wore. The older she got, the less she wore them. What my sisters and I did was to refuse to raise our voices. If she wanted to know what the conversation was about she could always put in her hearing aids. If they needed a battery change any one of us could change them for her. When she would complain about people "whispering" we would respond to her that it was not whispering, but normal conversational tones.

It does not help to raise your voice because an older person refuses to wear their aids. You strain your voice and you also reinforce the behavior you are trying to discourage. Don't become impatient or argue. That is not helpful either. Just make it plain to her that you will not strain your voice because she does not want to wear her aids. Let it be her choice whether she would rather hear or remain confused about what is happening.

You probably have many battles ahead of you as your mother continues to age. Try to choose not to participate in as many of them as possible. Believe me, you only have strength for the most important ones. My sisters and I tried to be as non-confrontational as possible with Mom during the final decade of her life. It was often very frustrating, but we found that life was much easier if we simply let Mom have her own way in matters that were not serious health concerns.

Yes, we would have preferred to have her wear her aids and be fully part of our conversations, but if we were going to be assertive about something it would be the need to pay some heed to her diet for diabetes or the need to use the grab bars in the shower. My own rule for myself was that I would only try to assert myself once in any one visit. I would hold off in that one time until I felt that something was really, really important and let the small stuff go. It was far more important to both of us that we had a nice visit rather than a constant battle.
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Reply to LittleOrchid
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Haha my grandfather was that way he really did not want to hear what people were saying.
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Reply to Sample
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First I have to ask, how often to batteries need to be changed? Does she need an upgrade in hearing aid? They have rechargeable ones now, that you just plug in.

Can someone check the battery charge and change them for her? Or is she just “thinking” there’s a battery issue, when it just gives her something else to “ka-vetch” about ?

You need to determine if this a real issue or not. If it is the real issue, it’s easily solved - take care of batteries for her or upgrade to a better hearing aid.
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Reply to Donttestme
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Make sure her hearing aids are serviced regularly. If she can't change the batteries and do the maintenance herself, then you need to do it or make arrangements for someone else to.
If her hearing aids are being well taken care of and she still refuses to use them, stop repeating yourself. Tell everyone she interacts with to not repeat themselves either. She'll wear her hearing aids.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Just service her hearing aids yourself! Change batteries and wax guards regularly.
I did this with my husband's HAs every night after I put him to bed. Be sure to leave the battery compartment open when not in use to prolong battery life. Not hard to do. She still may not wear them, but it will remove one excuse.
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Reply to jaypy22
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It probably hurts her ears. She may enjoy peaceful quiet over unnerving excrutiating surprise noises every time a pin drops.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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Had a father inlaw like that so I just write things down and let him read it, sooner he put his aid on and that was that...
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Reply to kenobuddy
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My mom (now 85 w/dementia and a host of other things) started loosing her hearing many years ago but being a very vain woman she refused to wear hearing aids. She is very high in narcissist tendancies and there is no reasoning with her even before the dementia.

Before the nursing home placement (NH) two years ago, on her last trip to the ENT and audiologist; she had lost 75-80% of hearing in both ears. Ten years prior it was 65%....

I honestly believe that the hearing loss was a contributing factor to the dementia, as her ability to understand what was being said was basically lost. In her mind, if she heard sounds (even ones that she could not distinguish or the clarity of words spoken) she "WAS NOT DEAF," therefore she did not need hearing aids. Yes, doctors, audiologists, me, grandkids as well as her brother tried to reason with her NOPE.

So I had to give up on getting her to consider hearing aids. Oh the social workers at the NH tried too, NOPE. So before the NH, I would only respond to her w/brief one or a few words, and it would be written on a post it note or emailed to her (she could read an email, could not lean how to email back but whatever). And this way of "talking" was if we were standing right next to each other.

My decision to write brief note or email responses came after one blow up. She lived in our house for 20 years (that's another story), but I told her "I'm going to the store" as I was just about to leave. She blew up at me, yelling "I do NOT snore." "Why do you say I snore?" I repeated in the loudest voice is could muster, "I am going to the GROCERY STORE." She just said "oh." No apology, no awareness of how NOT being able to hear impacts everyone else, how impossible it all was. No one could visit in her room as the TV was blaring, she'd yell all the time because she could NOT hear her own voice. Maddening.

I agree with others, stop yelling. Maybe just write one-word answers on note paper. But at some point -- like with my mom -- it is just too late for hearing aids. Thankfully mom's TV in her NH room has "closed captions," but I have no idea if she really can follow them.

Sad what people do to themselves.
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Reply to Sohenc
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Belsnickles Aug 22, 2022
Oh, Sohenc, I feel your pain. SO many ridiculous misunderstandings/arguments between my mother and me because she cannot hear what I am actually saying! Totally frustrating, I know.
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You could stop talking to her. And tell her why. Her refusal to do the right thing is being enabled by those who let her get away with it.
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Reply to Fawnby
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I have lived 41 years with a man with an extreme hearing problem from a childhood accident. It wasn't till we had to change providers that I was made aware what is really involved in getting a good fit with a hearing aide. Yes, the batteries are small but should last a while if Mom remembers to open the compartment the battery is in when taking the aids out for the night. But I agree, that rechargeables maybe better.

My husband did better with analog than digital. It was finally explain that with analog the person talking sounds just like the person. With Digital its more mechanical. The brain needs to get used to that mechanical sound, about 2 weeks. If you don't wear them all the time, the brain won't adjust.

Hearing aides need to be serviced once a year. Molds get hard and need to be changed. They also may not fit well causing soreness, these can be shaved down. Tubing too gets brittle and needs changing. And should be checked regularly for wax. There are tools included with the hearing aide to clear out the wax. Wax will effect being able to hear.

When a hearing aide is new, its adjusted by computer. Its only taken so high and so low. It would be unusual if there was no tweeking before they are completely comfortable. So a person may need to go back for an adjustment. My husband has been wearing aids for 70 yrs so he is an old pro but someone wearing them for the first time has no idea if there is something wrong, they just stop wearing them. If a persons hearing has changed, an adjustment maybe needed to compensate. Its not just pop in and ready to go. It may take a visit or two to get it right.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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DH finally bought the most expensive HA's on the market (Over $7K). He did it to mollify me, although the audiologist told us both that his hearing was only about 40%, if that.

He doesn't wear them, ever.

And we all have to accommodate HIM. It's one of those things he simply will NOT do, and it makes me so mad--I just give up. If I have something to tell him, I find him and make sure he is looking at me and then I talk, very clearly and enunciate very carefully--and then I ask him to repeat back to me what I said, so I know there's no misunderstandings.

I have zero empathy for him missing out on the funny things the grands say, or missing movie dialogue--or just looking a little 'checked out'. He doesn't realize that saying 'what?' all day long is just ridiculous.

Yet his mom, who is as deaf as he is, he complains about visiting HER b/c to quote him "she's deaf as a post".
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Reply to Midkid58
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Yelling doesn't help, but changing the tone is better.

My mother couldn't hear my brother's deep voice, but if he spoke in a slightly higher tone, she could figure out what he was saying.

Yes, hearing aids are better, but the batteries are a real problem. They were scattered everywhere on my parents' floor where they fell. Try to have some empathy for how frustrating that is for your mother. No one wants to be unable to hear, but when the solution is almost impossible to use, it has to be that much more frustrating.

Help her find a better solution -- rechargeable aids, and if she still has a landline, contact the phone company for a free ADA phone with volume and tone controls.
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Reply to MJ1929
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I think that very old fashioned "ear trumpet" was the best, thou very large to use.

No fussing with such tiny batteries. I remember when I was ready to sell my parents house, I kept find those tiny batteries my Dad had dropped trying to put them into my Mom's hearing aid. Back then there weren't charging stations.

Wish those ear trumpets were still being made. Imagine the fancy designs and different colors depending on what you were wearing. I would use one.
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Reply to freqflyer
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You can buy an amplifier with a pack that goes around her neck. It won’t be sophisticated but at least you’ll know a little more signal is getting in.
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Reply to AnnReid
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All these suggestions are good. In addition, refuse to repeat yourself or yell so she can hear you. My father refused to get hearing aids and then expected me to pick up the slack because he couldn't hear. I refused. I was willing to help with things he couldn't do but I refused to take on extra work because he didn't feel like doing something.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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My mom would not wear her hearing aides. Everyone had to yell. I found I still talked really loud for her when she had her hearing aides in. People telling you not to yell , do not understand. I was able to get her to put them in when I visited. She drove the staff crazy because they had to yell. My mom started to wear hers about 2 weeks before she passed🤷
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Reply to babsjvd
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When you visit go get the HA, check the wax guard and battery, and then help her put it in - if she chooses not to wear them when you aren't around it's not your problem.
I was flabbergasted when my sister's MIL was sold a tiny in the ear HA, I get that technology has allowed for ever smaller devices but changing the batteries and even manoeuvring the device to fit properly was an almost impossible challenge for her - for elders often bigger is better.
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Reply to cwillie
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Speaking closer to the better ear ofen works better than yelling. Also speaking a little slower, clearly & ensuring your mouth is visible for lipreading.

A whiteboard can be used to write important messages or pictures to point at - although that is more often used if non-verbal.

I had to give up asking about hearing aides.

I just talk less & use more hand signals. Sure it's not a full conversation, but it's all I can do.
👍👎👉

I often wish everybody was taught sign language at school. Ears seem to wear out long before we do.. 😞
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Reply to Beatty
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Grandma1954 Aug 19, 2022
A few other tips to add to Beatty's
ENUNCIATE clearly
Lower the pitch of the voice, higher tones are harder to hear.
Speak more slowly so that words do not run into each other.
Look at the person you are talking to. Many people unconsciously do some lip reading.
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hi :),

it’s true: changing those tiny batteries isn’t easy.

if she can afford it, buy rechargeable hearing aids. my LO has that. charge them during the night; ready to use in the morning.

99.9999% of elderly people refuse to wear hearing aids. hopefully when we’re older, we won’t do that. it’s very annoying for others, to have to repeat sentences.

a lot of people don’t want to admit they have hearing problems. and they kind of like the silence, not being able to hear…

but for everyone else, it’s very annoying when trying to communicate with them.
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Reply to bundleofjoy
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