Uhh.. "Shearing Sets"?!?!

Off the top of my head I can think of two medical exams where I actually need to use my brain: an eye-exam, and a hearing-test. But it's the hearing-test that I have honestly felt stupid, and even humiliated at times.

I got my hearing-aids when I was in pre-school. I vaguely remember my dad having to wiggle them into my ears with one hand, and with the other arm holding me still as I squirmed away. I also remember that they were attached with a red string, the kind of string that holds a librarian's glasses together - one loop around the left hearing-aid, and the other loop around the right hearing-aid. In my pre-school mind the only thing that string was good for was to easily yank them out the second I got home.
This means that I have had plenty of audiology tests in my life. Back when I was a kid there were fun blocks and toys to play with, and a Sesame Street puppet that danced in a window box as I turned my head to whichever speaker I thought was playing the tune. I don't remember when things got incredibly less fun, and incredibly more 'test-like' but it happened before I finished elementary school.

Soon there was one spot that I would have to stay very still in. There were all kinds of strange headphones placed at various angles around my head, and on my ears, and right behind my ears - and the only movement allowed was to raise my hand every time I heard a beep.
Wait did I really just hear that beep? Or did I just remember that tone from the last beep from a few seconds ago? OMG brain, please focus dammit!

Oh god not the annoying static at that annoying-as-all-hell pitch! And she wants me to listen for that tiny beep... with all this other noise in the other ear? Well that's just obnoxious!

Wait I didn't actually hear that low beep, but I definitely felt it vibrate from the headphones. Does that count? Should I raise my hand? Dammit, what the hell - I'll just raise my hand anyway. 

What will I have for lunch after I get out of this hell hole? Forget lunch, I need a straight up beer after this nonsense!

During this whole time it's just me in a sound-proof room with the audiologist in the other room, looking at me through a window as she fiddles with her dials and jots down on a piece of paper all the made up noises I am hearing. And in my paranoia, or lack of confidence in my hearing abilities, I am desperately searching her face for clues of whether or not I'm getting anything right!

But the beeps and noises are nothing. The toughest part of this for me is always the "say these words back to me.." part of the test.
Her: Say hot dog
Me: hot dog
Her: Say sailboat
Me: uhh..mail moat?
Idiot! That's not even a word. What the hell is a mail moat?
Her: Say cupcake
Me: uhh.. cake.. fuuhhc..wait. Oh, cupcake!
Context clues helps! 
Her: Say mat
Me: crap. Is it mat or bat? Wait did we already use either one of those words? Ugh just go with "bat."
Her: Say letter
Me: feather
Her: Say weather
Me: weather
Her: Say sweet
Me: uhh.. fleet?

It also drives me nuts because the audiologist hides her mouth during this part behind a piece of paper. My natural instinct is to say "I have a hearing-loss and lipread most of the time, can you move your hand?" But I can't. I can't because she is hiding her mouth on purpose and my gut says: you are a cruel cruel human being. But of course I know that's not really who she is... she just happens to get to be intentionally annoying as a professional career... and I try really hard to think to myself: this is for your own good. All while I am repeating:
"uhh.. waffle?"
"ban Kate?" "..no wait, wait, I meant pancake! Did I get it??" But she has already moved on without responding.
Her: Say bleacher
Me: creature

Oy vey. I consider having "passed" a hearing-test when at the end of it I am not taken away to the loony bin because I am "hearing things."

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