The BruserFactory

Normal  Is Relative

I'm an Audiologist. I test people's hearing. I love all my patients.

An elderly lady is looking through the testing booth and asks if she should take off her glasses. Before I could tell her she didn’t have to, she has them off. She sees her daughter through the window and tries to pass them to her through it! Boink. Oh, she says. I guess I can’t do that.

After the completion of the hearing evaluation I am forced to relay to an individual that there is some, but not too much hearing loss present. He has received this as a bit of bad news and as he is leaving gives me the qualified salutation, “Have a nice day anyway.” 

A patient is describing his circumstances which brought him to this appointment. “It started about a year ago.” I was at hunt camp and I got dizzy. It’s been going on from there, steadily getting worse. It affects my eyes and my vision and now very often I get suddenly so dizzy I have to hold onto something or else I will fall down. It’s getting to the point where I’m almost afraid to drive!”

A patient’s spouse is watching me test his wife from outside of the sound booth. He looks at her and says, “Is that a two-way mirror?” Yes I replied. She can look out and we can look in. Some call it a window.

I give the following instructions to a patient trying out their new hearing aid. “When you hear the sound coming out of that speaker in front of you, press the button.” “When I hear the sound?” she asks for confirmation. “No Mam, if you can smell it coming out of there you go ahead and press that button.

A mother is having her son’s hearing tested before his speech evaluation. “Problems with his hearing?” I asked. “No, he’s just having problems with his penunciation.” she replied.

A four year old is sitting on her mother’s lap in the sound booth. The child is not cooperating with instructions and so her mother feels obligated to help. “Honey, it’s very important that you do as the man says. Otherwise, we’re going to have to go to the hospital for an operation. With needles. And you don’t want that do you?” The child was quite cooperative after that. I don't think he blinked for the rest of the appointment but he was very cooperative.

A elderly man from Chelmsford laments that when he moved here fifty years ago there weren’t many of the buildings that you see here today. “Yep, there were a lot more deer back then than there are today. I remember you could just walk over that hill there and shoot a deer any time you wanted!”

An elderly lady on the elevator asked me, while pointing at the floor buttons, “Does ‘2' mean basement?” I pointed out the ‘B’ on one of the buttons. No. Basement means basement.

Frequent occurrence: Patient comes in and I ask, “Have you ever been here before?” “No.” They’ll often say. “This is my first time.” Then, after the hearing test they ask, “So has there been any change in my hearing?” 

Visits are scheduled by appointment only. At a particularly busy portion of a day, one couple walked through the full waiting room and waited outside my door. When I opened it to retrieve the next patient, the woman said, “We don’t have an appointment. Are we next?”

After attempting to answer a patient’s question as to what possible treatment a family doctor might offer, I realize the futility when I’m asked, “A decongestant? What’s that, a pain reliever?”

Top three winning responses after these instructions: “Now I’m going to say some words and I’ll just ask that you repeat them. Say the word baseball.”

Second runner up reply: “The word baseball.”

Runner up reply: “What do you mean?”

Winner: “Out loud?”

Honourable Mention: “So I just push the button here when I hear the word?”

A lady, after trying on her first hearing aid, begins to complain: “Is everything supposed to sound louder?”

A mother, not quite knowing how to regain her young son’s cooperation and good behaviour pulls him aside and I hear her threaten, “If you don’t behave -- Do you see that man there? If you don’t behave that man is going to get very mad at you!”

A not entirely thin five year old was seen for a hearing evaluation as part of an educational assessment which means that little Johnny isn’t doing so well in school and recommendations have been made to have his eyes tested, and his ears tested. After the hearing evaluation was finished, the little guy’s mother began going through the list: “Well, it’s not your eyes and it not your ears. We’ll just have to keep looking.” Johnny replied “It’s my stomach.” “Why?” asked his mother. “I don’t learn so good when I’m hungry and I’m always hungry."

“Do your ears have anything to do with your head?” (A lady asks, who is wondering why her hearing is being tested while her primary concern is dizziness)

A little girl in grade two was very upset. You see she had never uttered a word in school for the entire two years there and was displeased to find that her foster mother had shown the video to her teacher of her speaking freely and effortlessly at home. I guess they just accepted that given her difficult past they assumed it to be her norm. She was actually quite a pleasant little girl and I had no difficulty speaking with her when performing the hearing test. She verbally responded to my questions and it was only at the end of the assessment that the foster mother relayed the story to me. Rather amazed by the story and pleased that the little girl had felt comfortable enough to speak with me I said goodbye as they left the clinic. The little girl, also pleased with her performance smiled back waving and said with an ‘Ill see you soon intonation’; “Goodbye! I talk to strangers!”

A mother describes the diagnosis of her daughter as microcephaly and then comments, “My sisters also have small heads so I think it’s headitary.”

A man indicates that his mother had hearing loss. He says “I’m pretty sure it’s generic.”

Somebody called me the other day to book an appointment to see me. I had to give them the toll free number where they take and arrange those appointments for me. I never know if the person at the other end has a pen in their hand and so there are a couple ways to handle that. I’ve asked ‘Do you have a pen there?’ But I don’t want to insult the person, especially if they are the one that asked me for the number. Why on earth would they ask for a phone number if they didn’t have a pen ready to write it down? This one fellow asked, “What’s the number there?” So I waited a moment, in case he wanted to say “Wait a minute, I’ll get a pen.” and then after the short silence I began, “One, eight hundred...” when he interrupted me. “Wait. I’ll go get a pen.” I don’t understand that. What did he think I was going to say? “Five.” The toll free number to my office is five. You don’t need a pen to write that down. Just remember it. Five.