My hearing aids got wet.
When it happened, it was like super slow motion, as gravity pulled me into the pool. I tried to find some way to keep my head above water. I flailed my arms and kicked away I can only imagine my face being covered in sheer terror.
I never thought they would survive.
It all happened when I was working on a guest ranch in Wyoming. I was living and working as a cabin host (fancy name for housekeeper) lives away from the nearest city – or even a sufficient town for that matter. Around July 4, we had an employee party with dinner, along with the privilege to use the swimming pool, which mostly off limits to non-guests.
I was fully clothed and was walking from one end to the pool to the other, when suddenly one of my colleagues thought it would be really funny to push me in. (If I had not been wearing my hearing aids, I would have thought so too!)
He snuck up behind me and gave me a good push. I immediately only thought of one thing – my hearing aids.
Then, I hit the water and the pool swallowed me.
I immediately swam up in panic mode out of the pool, exited the water and ran back to my dorm room. I couldn’t help but cry and have all those questions of what I was going to do without my hearing aids run through my head.
When I got back to my room, I took my hearing aids off, removed the batteries and tried to dry the case as much as I could.
A couple girls who saw what happened had gotten a bag of rice from the kitchen and brought it to me. I put the my hearing aids in the bag and let the rice soak up any moisture for a couple of hours.
The girls comforted me and all I could do was wait and see if the water had any impact on my wet hearing aids.
Thankfully, a couple of hours later, I slowly put them on my ears and hit the power door for the verdict – they worked!
After this experience I learned that my Phonak hearing aids actually are water resistant.
They aren’t made to scuba dive with, or be in water for long periods of time, but they can handle being submerged or splashed with water here and there.
Phonak Tip: Phonak hearing aids have an IP67 rating. (IP is the Ingress Protection or International Protection rating system, which is a classification system showing the degrees of protection from solid objects and liquids.) The first number 6 is the level of dust protection which is dust proof. The second number, 7 is the level of water or moisture protection. This means it is water resistant to a level that it could withstand up to 30 min in 3 feet of water before it must go into the company for repair due to water damage.
This fact is actually amazing, and I wish I had known this before – seeing how terrified I was after the pool incident.
In the end, I was ecstatic that I had lived one of my true nightmares and had made it out alive. Traveling and just daily life in general can leave you faced with lot of scenarios that can lead to a hearing aid’s demise (including my dog eating my hearing aids.)
Now, I know I can at least enjoy being around water without too much worry. My dog is another story.