Back in 1996 I had a long treatment period of chemo-therapy. The Dr said "you'll think we're trying to kill you". No kidding!! Well, everyday the nurse would come to me and ask, "Is there any ringing in your ears?" The answer was no, until one day I awoke with what sounds like crickets in a swamp, amplified. On that day I said "yes, I have ringing in my ears", thinking that she can probably fix this since she had apparently been anticipating this moment. "What can you do for this." "Nothing, it might go away but that's not likely".
The result of that was to effectively wipe out a sound range, which when complicated by any other 'white' noise (like wind whistles in cars) makes it hard for me to distinguish some sounds from others. I may have fallen prey to this tintinitis, I believe they call it, anyway, but it was sped along by the chem-o.
I began not being able to hear our cute little timer that we keep on the stove. People would walk in and say "how longs that beeper been going off?" Fortunately for me, it counts from zero backwards, so they could say, "holy cow Dad, it's been dinging for 18 minutes and 32 seconds"!
Our phones, of which 2 are cordless, can throw their voices. The phone rings, I am cooking breakfast in the kitchen and hear it ringing in the bathroom. I run to try and keep the answering machine from starting, the phone, isn't in the bathroom anymore. I run to the office, this phone is attached to the wall. I know where it is located. After the call, I go to the portable phone base unit, push the 'call' button, and finally find the phone by the stove. In the kitchen.
I bring this up, because this weekend, my eldest son, had his appendix out. We went down to help take care of the baby so that our daughter-in-law could spend more time with him. The next morning, there was quite a crowd gathered in the room. I heard a ding, ding. I said "your IV machine is dinging". "No Dad, that's Jackies cell phone."
Again, ding, ding. "Jackie, your cell phone is ringing", "no Dad, Dan's phone is low on battery". Ding, Ding. "Low Battery?" "no Dad, that portable DVD player has been on 'pause' too long. "What's that? "Toms new cell phone Dad." Later I ask "what's that?" "That IS the IV machine dinging". Still later I hear nothing and everyone starts moving and looking at each other. Someone asks "Who's phone is that?" "Dad, where's your phone, it's ringing." This is great, I can hear everyone's phone but mine.
"Turn that TV up, Dad." I push a button, a frazzled nurse answers me thru the TV remote in my hand, "may I help you, is every thing all right?" "We're fine Ma'am." Someone else asked "What's that dinging in the hall?" "I think it's Cliff getting on the elevator" was the answer.