This is NOT a rant (well, maybe a little) – just some existential grumbling.
Great news! My recently acquired BTE hearing aids have made a huge improvement in my speech recognition. But mind you, improvement is just that – my SR still isn’t “normal”; I still need most speakers to face me, and though group conversations are better than before, they’re still tricky. The single issue that my new HAs have brought to the fore though, is what I call the “fast talker syndrome”.
These are the same folks that people with normal hearing sometimes find difficult to understand. For some reason, their vocal processor (aka brain-mouth connection) runs at about twice the speed of a normal person – particularly when they’re excited. Given that my own “receiver system” (ear-brain connection) runs about half normal speed at best – even with my HAs – I’m at a real disadvantage when these folks rev up their engine, particularly on the phone. The worst part is that by the time I realize I’m missing stuff, my friend has already gotten 6 blocks down “conversation street” and I’m left in the dust asking for a lengthy repeat.
Not that they (my friends anyway) won’t cheerfully comply, but as “voiced” by others on this blog, I get really tired and frustrated having to ask. Particularly since both my friend and I assume (incorrectly) that my HAs should bring me closer to the normal “conversation zone”. Indeed, I’m aware that I (e.g., my brain) am still in training – I’ve only had these aids for a little over a month. Perhaps some of this will improve for me. Of course, the reality I must face is that I’ll never have normal SR (or any other hearing functionality), at least with the current technology.
What I guess I need in the meantime, is a “Slow Down” button to wear in addition to the “Face Me” button I wear now. Of course, that’s not going to work for the phone unless I get a video rig. Or how about a drug (me or them?) that makes speech (or seems to) slower? The possibilities could be endless.