Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Catching up on posts 3/25 - 3/30

I keep forgetting you guys can't read the posts I put on my yahoo forums!! So I'm copying a few that will catch you up to how things are going. I'll have to remember to do this much more often! These are posts from my Christian CI group where we share prayer requests
Saturday 3/25/06
"Glad" to be deaf?

It's interesting, because I started reading this group's posts all the way back at the beginning, so I watched your process through deciding to go for it with this interpreting job. /[this guy started interpreting for the deaf at a church near him within a year after getting his CI!!]/ That's why I know it's how you feel and why I mentioned it in my post.

I have had some incredible opportunities, especially at this school where we mainstream D/HOH students using cued speech. Right now we have only 2 DHOH students, and both of them are SO incredibly excited about this surgery of mine. Both of these students are from lovely Christian families, too! Our speech pathologist is a Christian and has adopted two deaf international children and they have 3 CI's between the two of them. It is just THE most incredible place for me to work. I "normalize" the experience of wearing HA's and now a CI for the hearing children, and I am a role model for the D/HOH kids. I can tell the other teachers what it's like from this side of the microphone.

If I look at my life now, and what I might guess my life would have been like if I'd never lost my hearing, I can say I like it better the way it is now. Am I "glad" I lost my hearing? Mmmmmm...not really. Have I worked to allow God to mold me and shape me and craft me through it? Most emphatically YES. Has it been worth it? That's still hard for me to agree to. It has been the source of much pain, and maybe in a few more months or so I might be able to say yes. It's coming. :)

Sound discoveries today? I think I already wrote about the sweet sound of strawberries crunching when I cut them (I almost put a whole pint of straberries on my cereal while not paying attention to how many I'd already cut! So I sliced the rest onto my son's cereal!). And the quiet gentle crunch of the salt when I scooped out a bit for my oatmeal.

Then I went shopping with my son, and I really struggled on the phone (handy electronic devices for finding a teenager in a large store, you know?). But he said I am doing well and he can tell that I am doing better hearing him while driving with road noise, than I was doing before while driving, with road noise.

My husband is travelling today, so my sons and I went out to Steak & Shake for dinner. I held my own in table conversation in a noisy environment. So, that was good.

A good Saturday of listening...gently. :)

Wednesday 3/29
Second Mapping
I had my second mapping today; I'm on day 5 of hearing. We turned up the power on most of the higher frequencies because voices sound muddy. But mostly I am SO pleased with how I am doing so far already, and so is my audie!

A God-moment: Last night I was walking my dog and my battery died. Of course my other battery is safely tucked into my purse, back at my house! So I was walking along with nothing. I saw another dog and walker up ahead approaching us and called out, "May we say hello?" as this is the highlight of any walk for my dog. She smiled broadly and called out something affirmative. When we got within talking distance, I told her (out of habit), "my hearing aid battery just died, so please talk loudly--it's ok to yell!" Then I thought why did I say *that*? So I said, "actually, I just got a CI and that battery died. I haven't gotten the hang of these batteries yet." Her whole face lit up and she said, "My friend has one of those!! She just got it three months ago!!" Turns out from the same hospital, same surgeon, same audie! She is having a bit of a hard time, and quite discouraged about the whole thing. So I asked the dog-walker to invite her friend to come to the CI Club meeting. "She won't go without someone she knows." Well, she can get to know me, and we can travel together to the next one!"

So I now have a new dog-walking and CI friend who lives 1/2 mile from my house! I wrote down her name and house number as soon as I got home and sent her a note with my name, address and phone number. I would love to meet her friend. I have a ladies tea on the first Monday of each month, for friends and neighbors. So I sent her an invitation to that. When I went in to see the audie today, she knew exactly who I was talking about (the patient is also a midgit, so she's easier to remember!) and said she's having less of a hard time now.

I read a comment on another list not to treat the CI like a hearing aid and keep turning it up. That can distort sounds. Instead, work on hearing and listening to softer sounds. That was good for me to hear. I thought I was training myself to do "better" if I kept trying to turn it up. My audie pointed out that since I haven't had to turn it up, we probably set it a bit too loud on the first try.

But, so far so good. I'm also aware of not working at all this too I don't get a headache or get burned out.

Thanks for all the tidbits I'm learning from you all! This is GREAT to be on here. I really appreciate it!!

Thursday 3/30
I had a fall-apart morning today. I woke from totally bizarre dreams that seem to illuminate the general theme of trying to keep up with the ever-shifting normal these days. I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. I emailed a quick prayer request to my prayer partner at church, and it's better. But I can tell there is more work to be done.

I just feel so disoriented, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically sometimes right now. When I woke from these dreams, I could not get a firm grasp on the reality of here-and-now because it's just plain so different from what reality was even two weeks ago (ie, pre-CI surgery). I spent two hours crying. My dear sweet poodle has been by my side almost constantly--the softness of her fur, of her licking my hands (she likes the salt from the tears!) and the tenderness of her canine empathy have been a reality I could grab on to--literally! :)

There are other bits of reality in my life that are very much less than ideal or pleasant (like parenting two 18 yo boys!), and it just felt like it all came crashing down on my head and mind and emotions this morning. I wanted so badly to sit down and talk to a dear friend and former therapist--but he died a year and a half ago from an undiagnosed enlarged heart. More tears. I'm exhausted, but I have got to do some cleaning (throwing away junk and clutter) today out of respect for and love for my dear patient husband who is beginning to feel claustrophobic in his own home. (That is not good!)

So, please pray that God will do His work in me today, that my mental and emotional chaos will become re-anchored in the reality and surety of His constant love and His constant character. I am so keenly aware of how that knowledge in itself is already taking away some of the fearsome chaos in my heart and mind.

Thanks, friends.
So, blog readers, I'm sorry I haven't kept YOU up to date! Now you're closer. I'll go back to my other group and see what I've posted there, too.



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