Hacked?

Behind the ear aid

Behind the ear aid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A strange thing happened to me yesterday which drove me crazy. Since I recently reached middle age, I can admit that one of my physical deficiencies is poor hearing. My love-hate relationship with a pair of world renown Siemens hearing aids began three and a half years ago. I love my aids when they work, and I hate them when they do not, or are marginal at best.

This day, they worked. Peg and I sat having lunch within a few feet of our TV listening to news as we usually do. The house was cool, but not cold, while the outside temperature stood at ninety-two degrees. I spent the morning working on the 2013 Monet Vision and came in rather sweaty, but by the time we had lunch I felt dry.

My aids sent me a string of tones of unusual sequence. The electronics will send me a set of four notes running down the scale when a battery dies, but this one was entirely different it went up and then flat. Within a few seconds of the alarm, the aids shut down. I didn’t panic immediately, I just pressed the button on the right aid and turned them back on. The two devices respond to each other wirelessly. Within a few seconds I got another set of tones and a shut down. Oh, oh I thought, this is not good. This time I pushed the button on the left side and they turned back on, but without the usually tonal ping that says ‘I am on” yet in deed, both aids were on. The signal tones and shut-downs lasted for a good ten minutes as I played with the buttons and the aids continued to communicate with each. Peggy thought I was going crazy. I left the table to install a new set of batteries. Nothing changed, they continued to shut down after sending tones from one ear to the other in various notes.

I removed the faulty aids and installed my new MSA30X sound amplifiers that I bought from a TV ad for $47.95. WOW! They do amplify. They do such a good job, I could hear every sound 30 times louder than normal even though I had them turned down to low. Background noises are the worst, and Peg’s voice still unintelligible. I couldn’t take these new aids either.

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading in wonderful silence. By the evening hour I decided to try using one aid alone. Since the right one seemed to respond more normally, I put it in and turned it on. It worked, and I didn’t get the Mexican Hat Dance playing before shutdown.

This morning I reversed the order and used only the left unit, it worked. After two hours of trouble free function, I installed the right unit. I turned them both on, and experienced wonderful stereo sound again. So far, they are still functioning (knock on wood), and I am back in the “love” phase.

All I can deduce is that the NSA read my boring e-mails, and because they didn’t find anything incriminating they went one step further to hack into my head through my hearing aids. What other explanation can there be?

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