Anything can happen in just one day

There’s a wonderful quote by Gayle Forman that goes:-


“We are born in one day,

We die in one day,

We can change in one day,

We can fall in love in one day.

Anything can happen in just one day.”



This is the story of how I got my hearing back in just one day.


Monday 7th March 2022 – It was a Monday morning like any other. I had an appointment at the audiology department of Bangor Community hospital at 3pm.


I was in two minds as to whether to even attend. After all, I’m completely deaf in one ear. When I was first diagnosed at the age of ten, I was told a hearing aid wasn’t an option. To have a hearing aid, there’s needs to be some natural hearing – it’s like turning up the sound on a radio. If there’s no noise at all, there’s no volume to turn up.


The thing is, my “good” ear had been getting worse. Terrible tinnitus which flared up when I was stressed, but was ever constant. A dull, annoying buzzing. Going back to the radio analogy, it was like trying to tune an old-style radio and hearing that constant buzzing noise – when you can’t quite land on a channel.


My GP referred me to hospital. “Maybe they can do something to help the tinnitus.” I doubted it, but I thought there was no harm in trying. After all, I’m in the habit of taking things one day at a time now; learning to just turn up and see where the day takes me.


They started with some tests. I was told to put on some headphones and hold a little device. On the device was a button. Every time I heard a noise, I had to press the button.


All of a sudden, I was transported back to that time in childhood, when I was presented with the red tin can headphones and the drumstick; told to tap the table every time I heard a noise.

The audiologist started clicking buttons on her keyboard. Click, click, click. I presumed each click pre-empted a noise on the headphones. There were many times she clicked and I didn’t hear a single thing.


That must be clicks for the deaf ear, I thought.


Then the tests got harder. I was told to ignore the wind whooshing noises and only listen for the beeps. I had a fair idea I wasn’t going to get an A+ for this test!


At the end, she showed me two graphs – one of the left ear and one of the right –

or as I call it – the “good” ear and the “bad” ear.


The “good” ear screen was lit up in blue with marks scattered along the graph in a semi-circle. The marks were the points where my ear picked up the beeps.


On to the “bad” ear screen. It was lit up in red with no marks anywhere. Ultimate fail.


Then the audiologist talked to me about the tinnitus, about how to ignore it, etc, all the stuff I’ve heard before.


Just when I thought the appointment was over and it definitely was a waste of time, she piped up:


“There is something we could try.”


Her brainwave followed my musings that my deaf ear and tinnitus often made me feel socially isolated.


There were many times I had been invited out for coffee or dinner with groups and my immediate response was that I didn’t want to go. An evening of straining to hear over background noise, feeling uncomfortable if someone was trying to talk to me on my “bad” side – it all felt too exhausting and overwhelming. I would end up just coming home with a sore head rather than an evening of social relaxation.


“We could try this special hearing aid,” she declared.


Oh yeah? What’s that then? My ears (literally) pricked up.


“It’s a bi-cross hearing aid. There’s a hearing aid on the good side and then there’s a “receiver” on the bad side.


The receiver picks up the sound from the good side and mirrors it.”


What? Really? Sign me up NOW!


“That sounds great!” I said. “I’d love to try that.”


What followed was a bit of technical rigmarole – her fiddling about with her computer and settings, rigging up the hearing aid to suit my ear canal.


Then it was fitted.


I couldn’t believe it. Sitting there listening, everything sounded… SHARPER.




Like putting on a pair of glasses for the first time.


The audiologist went to my “good” side and stood in the corner. She mumbled something. I could hear her.


Then she went to my “bad” side and stood in that corner. Again, she mumbled something.




“I can hear!” I exclaimed.


“I can hear on both sides!”


She smiled. “Oh, that’s great!”


Flabbergasted, I said, “I feel like you’ve just given me a million pounds! I can hear!”

“Aww,” she said, touched by my response. What must it be like to do a routine job that is simply life changing for others?


She carried on, training me how to use my hearing aids, how to clean them, what to do if I need to order new attachments, etc. The whole time, my mind was whirring with:




I can’t believe this has happened today!






Sending me off on my merry way, she asked if I wanted to keep the hearing aids in or put them in the box.


“Oh, I’ll wear them!” I said, thanking her profusely and swinging out of her office with my new ears.


Getting in the passenger seat of the car, my friend was driving me home. Regaling him with my news, he laughed happily.


“That’s amazing!” he said.


He carried on chatting and I realized something. I didn’t have to twist in the seat to hear him. Normally, when someone’s on my “bad” side, I have to turn around to try to catch the sound. Not this time! I sat staring straight ahead, able to pick up every word. I could even hear the rustling noises of his waterproof jacket!


I tried to engage in a bit of chit-chat on the way home, but my mind kept going back to:


“I can’t believe this happened today! I can’t believe I can hear on both sides now!”


Anything can happen in just one day!

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