November 29, 2010

The traveling hearing aid

I am short a hearing aid. It has gone on a journey without me.
When I spent five days in Ohio in October, I was showing off my ability to hear. Rick Moody's mom, Bev Caldarelli, even came over to Karen Gamber-Wackerly's place so show off her new pair. We both cooed, delighted with ours.
And then it was time to go. Emilio was picking me up at 3:30am and it was cold, so I wore the new, slightly stiff hooded sweat shirt layered on top of a T-shirt, layered on top of a camisole. Since I was the first person at Akron-Canton Regional Airport, I had time to kill. When the gift shop opened up, I opted for a neck pillow, all the better to sleep sitting up.
So I went to the gate and slept. I did well and woke up in time to board the plane and had a nice flight to Atlanta and another little nap before deplaning in Atlanta. There, at the ATA gate area, I notice my hearing aid was gone. They searched the plane and sent me to customer service. They gave me the number to Lost and Found at CAK Airport. I waited 24 hours or so and called from my home in Isla Mujeres. THEY HAD IT!
After an elaborate verification that it was my make and model, I was told to send an insured FedEx enevolope to them. Having heard that, Emilio rushed to the airport and picked up the hearing aid package.
He mailed it to Johanna after a bit and she opened it as soon as she got it, a couple days before coming to Isla Mujeres early in November.
Well, she emailed me. She had two in-the-ear hearing aids, clear in color. Not one behind-the-ear (BTE) with a taupe body.
I called Lost and Found at Akron-Canton Reginoal Airport. "That's the only hearing aids I had," Karen said. "But I'll call home to the five others who work here."
Time has passed. I talked to Karen again. "No one remembers your hearing aid and it's not here. It probably was donate to AmVets." Call them, I said. "Well, they just get a box of junk and I am sure they won't be able to find it."
Now, the asking price for that pair of hearing aids this week on eBay is $1500, a give away price, but still three times what I paid. I've submitted a bid, resigned to the hopelessness of getting the traveling one back from some lucky disabled veteran.
It's probably sleeping on a sidewalk somewhere near the Stark County Regula Federal Building, waiting for an appointment with the owner's case worker. Or, maybe it's flying to Florida for the winter with a thrifty shopper like me, feeling lucky to have a Widex Diva Senso hearing aid.
Me, I've learned to get along with the one and am careful where I wear it. And I keep looking at eBay to see if anyone else is interested in the pair, worn only one year until the owner died and they were placed in a box for safe keeping a year ago.
So here is a warning to you. The airport doesn't keep track of it's found items or a list of names of people looking for items. Need a gold watch? Try calling Canton-Akron Regional Airport.

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