Mondays with Morie–Episode 16–VA Medical Center

va medical

Our Monday with Morie this week consisted driving to Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center so my husband could get his hearing aid repaired. The complex in south St. Louis County almost on the banks of the Mississippi River, is a vast complex of numerous buildings, some old, some new and some under construction. It abuts the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery and when we arrived at the audiology building, we could see the rows of white granite grave markers.

I had always accused my husband of having selective hearing. I felt like many women do that he heard only what he wanted to hear and what was it Simon and Garfunkel said? “Disregard the rest, ooh ooh ooh”. Several years back, during one of his doctor’s appointments, the doctor encouraged him to have a hearing test but warned him that most insurance plans, Medicare included, either don’t pay anything or pay very little towards the thousands of dollars that hearing aids cost, should he need some.

He was relating this statement to a friend of his and this friend reminded him that since my husband had served in the military, he would qualify to use the Veterans Medical services. During his time in the Marine Corps, my husband had been a rifle and pistol instructor. The friend looked at him and said “you need to go to the VA Medical Center. You can probably qualify for free hearing aids”.

Many men and women are under the assumption that in order to qualify for Veterans Administration Medical Benefits they must have received some type of illness or injury while in the military. My husband had been one of those under this assumption. which isn’t true. Just by virtue of your service and receiving either an honorable or general discharge, a veteran qualifies for free or discounted medical services.

My husband had his hearing tested and was told he had significant hearing loss in both ears. He was fitted for hearing aids and he has been wearing them or subsequent generations of them, for several years. And best of all, they were free! He still tends to not want to wear them when he’s at home which made me have to repeat myself numerous times to the point where I’d finally refuse to repeat what I’d said. Then he’d get aggravated and I’d be aggravated. The solution to me was so simple. Wear the dang hearing aids at home! He is doing better at wearing them and I’m trying to do better about not getting aggravated when he doesn’t have them in. It’s a work in progress.

Right now he’s down to one hearing aid so I have to be patient (which isn’t one of my virtues) until the repaired aid comes in the mail.



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