Monday, April 8, 2013

Post English to English Translation

On an interned forum I read, regarding relatives who refuse to wear hearing aids: "She has developed an irritating habit of nodding at everything we say, pretending to have heard us when we know she hasn't."

My aunt got in this habit. This one is Father's younger sister. She also had never been in a hospital in her life. She was even born at home, about which there was an amusing family story. 
Then she had to go to the hospital in an ambulance. For awhile they didn't think she was going to make it.  Then she recovered enough to be awake.  She was nervous and just fell back on smiling and nodding when anyone she didn't know talked to her. 
The nurses and doctors thought she understood and scheduled whatever they had been talking about. Then the procedure would start and she'd be startled and terrified.
She had moved 500 miles away from her main family and was 200 miles away from me. So I basically had to go stay in her hospital room and do what my sister called English to English translation. The nurse or doctor would talk, and she would nod and they would nod, and they'd make a note on their board.  And then I'd lean over and yell straight in her ear, saying what they'd said. She'd frown and ask me to repeat and start asking questions, and very often say no, she didn't want that or it wasn't like that and they'd have to change their notes. 
I talked to the nurses and put up signs saying you had to yell and that if she couldn't repeat it back, she hadn't heard it. Eventually, she told me that she owned a set of hearing aids that she didn't like and didn't use.  They were in her dresser drawer. I brought them in and they helped a little. It was hard to turn them up high enough to work without causing a feedback squeal, so I could see why she'd avoid them if she was at home with her husband.
Having any kind of hearing aid put her ahead of her husband, who didn't have or want a set and was also wheelchair bound. He had gotten used to not dealing with anyone while she took care of him.  It appeared that they had a habit of having conversations past each other.  If they really needed to communicate, they got up close and yelled and and yelled until enough got through to satisfy them, or until they were too tired to care.
When she landed in the hospital, a good time was not had by all.

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