Horace hasn’t just been a patient for several years, but become a real friend and spiritual guide. It was a slow morning, so we had a bit of time to chat. I choked down the urge to unload my issues on him, something it seems the rest of his flock is all too eager to do, and asked how I might be of service? Feeling instantly better for simply getting out of myself and becoming focused on serving someone else.
Now, Horace’s loss is in the range of what we categorize, as severe, to profound. In two words; very bad. Without his hearing aids, Horace has real problems, and that severely limits his ability to function as Shepherd, to a considerably sized flock that continuously look to him for all sorts of guidance, and support, in their times of crisis.
Getting it right for Horace matters to a lot of people.
With clear ear canals and hearing aids we moved into the programing interface. The Rexton gear Horace is wearing has some really cool features, but one of the ones that continues to amaze me is, their on-board data logging.
Now, what this does for me is to tell me just about everything I need to know about what’s happening to, and with Horace’s hearing aids. The Strata’s system is truly remarkable, while the hearing aids do not record what’s being said, or anything like that, they do record what environment they are in.
It’s amazing, but the algorithms are so robust, and chip set so powerful that these instruments not only know what program they are in, what percentage of the time, but also such things as how many volume, or program changes.
It was interesting to note that Horace was spending almost a quarter of his time in his BlueTooth phone program. Given that he wears his instruments an average of sixteen hours a day, that works out to four on the cell phone.
When we saw this, I couldn’t help but ask if he thought that what we were looking at was right, and he assured me that it was, and how much easier that had become with his MiniBlu versus the old system that required him to wear a neck yoke to work.
The data logging also showed he was spending over ten percent of his time in the car, and the instruments were indeed showing that they were switching to their “focus 360” program.
Horace said, “My granddaughter, I take her to and from school, and other things and she sits behind me. These let me understand her, over the road and traffic noises.”
After a few question, and a bit of tweaking we’d added just a bit to bring up Horace’s ability to hear speech sounds in the environments where he was asking for a bit more help, and in doing so I was reminded once again, it’s not about me, my problems, worries, or cares.
It’s about our patients. When I needed reminding most, Horace showed up. And, he just thought he was there for a simple adjustment. While I did make a few minor adjustments to his system, he had thoroughly readjusted mine, without even knowing it.
Or, being the incredible guy he is, maybe he did.
It happens when you practice from first principle, you get the best patients in the known universe. Who just happen to show up, when you need them most.
His visit, and taking the time to listen to what was going on in his life, got me out of the petty things I’d been letting annoy me. Simply listening to him, and the challenges he was facing, lifted mine.
Serving him, allowed me to forget about myself, my worries, or cares, as they vanished, by simply focusing on taking care of him, and his hearing care needs.
When we were done, and parted with a hug and promise to keep praying for each other, I realized just how much I had been blessed.
I had assurance that there were lots of folks with issues, and problems lots bigger than mine, and I received real validation, at the same time, that what we did really mattered.
Horace enriched my life by reminding me of the importance of what we do. Without us, or someone like us, Horace wouldn’t be able to tend his flock.
The gear, and services we provide, make what he does possible. His hands free cell phone use allows him to spend four hours a day without a cell phone glued to his head. The incredible software, and processing of the gear we use lets him hear his granddaughter, in the seats behind him, even over the road and traffic noise. We allow him to hear those whispered confessions, and cries for help.
Horace reminded me of that.
And, to think, he thought he was the one receiving the service.