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Chuck Hinman: No. 366. Noise Pollution

It's Just Me Again No.366 Noise Pollution
The next earlier Chuck Hinman: Chuck Hinman. IJMA No. 067: Master Lemon Pie Baker Is Chuck Hinman your favorite Sunday with CM columnist, as many tell us? If so, we hope you'll drop him a line by email. Reader comments to CM are appreciated, as are emails directly to Mr. Hinman at:

by Chuck Hinman

Beginning in 1987, after I retired and we moved back home to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, from Houston, Connie began to show signs of Alzheimer's disease. This had the effect of her gradually, totally losing her cognitive function. A Tulsa gerontologist remarked he had never see anyone lose cognitive function as rapidly as did Connie.

Prior to that, she was a talkative, laughing, fun-loving person. She created her share of the household noise. She was a long-time listener of the Kitchen-Klatter radio program out of Shenandoah, Iowa. Every evening while I read the paper and waited for Connie to put supper on the table, she kept up a constant chatter filling me in on what had happened on that day's Kitchen-Klatter program. She was an excellent healthy-cook. She often times prepared good things from the Kitchen-Klatter cookbook seasoned with Kitchen-Klatter spices and flavorings; she had all of them! If she wasn't bending my ears about Kitchen-Klatter klatterings, she was telling me about Rev. Theodore Epps' radio broadcast -- Back To the Bible -- broadcast from Lincoln, Nebraska, or all the other radio preachers she had listened to that day.

I admit to a certain amount of selective hearing! She laughed a lot and was fun to be around. Connie was a talker -- always in a good mood.

As the telltale signs of progressive Alzheimer's disease evidenced themselves -- her communication skills became more difficult to the point she made no effort to respond. Little by little all that was left in the mind of an honors college graduate, former high-school English and Commercial subjects teacher, an Executive Secretary to Barton Witchell at Phillips Petroleum Company, a loving "can-do" everything mother and housewife, -- was the ability to say "I love you" with a perpetual disarming sweet smile. She had a hug for everyone - even startled strangers and chattered softly. She got by with it in cosmopolitan Bartlesville because everyone knew and loved that attractive well-groomed lady who smelled of expensive fragrances.

It makes me cry as I remember how sweet and calm she was in dealing with a devastating problem -- what a trooper!!!!

Our household went from a normal noisy household to a cruelly silenced household over a period of 15 years. During the time of Connie's mind breakdown, I began to have a hearing loss. I lived most of my hours in a relatively silent world. Connie couldn't talk, the cat didn't talk all that much, and the only TV I watched were sports programs with the sound turned off. I don't have to be told what I can easily see in a ball game. For many years, the only noise coming from our house was when I cranked up "the Mighty Wurlitzer"!! Connie always liked to hear me play but she grimaced if it was too loud!

When Connie developed a swallowing problem and had to be hospitalized for treatment -- she forgot how to walk and I had to finally place her in a nursing home. After a year of living by myself in a big house with no sounds, I succumbed and moved to a big-lovely retirement home "Tallgrass Estates" where people were living out their remaining good years in a luxurious setting.

I love it but had difficulty with all the noise! I have been fitted with hearing aids where I can hear a pin drop. I went from living in a nice quiet house with a cat to living in a 113 apartment - three-stories building with over 100 loud-mouthed, laughing people who are having a ball -- running from one activity to another.

At meal time with dishes banging all over the huge dining room, a loud player piano playing in the distance with no one listening to it, and old people with he

aring problems yelling to be heard over the din of all the other noises -----Frequently I am

glad to retreat to my apartment just to escape the NOISE POLLUTION!!I thought only teen-age giggly girls were supposed to make noise! -Chuck Hinman
This column parallels an earlier one:What I Miss Most -RHS

This story was posted on 2011-02-27 10:23:38
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