Monday, May 29, 2006

Congratulations, John!!

I am so happy, I want to share it with you!! My son John graduated from high school on Saturday. I think I was kind of numbly happy--I didn't even cry. But I am so proud of him. I found out from the graduation program (!) that he graduated Suma Cum Laude. He's such a humble little buzzard I didn't even know that! He's also an AP Scholar and a National Merit Scholar. He got a scholarship offer from two different schools that accepted him.

So now he's concentrating on getting a job for the summer; he had a second interview at one place already. The pay is $10/hour. Shoot! That's more than I ever got before I had my professional certification! Pardon my parental glow.

And with the cochlear implant, I understood much more than I ever would have with hearing aids. Definitely. However, it was in a gymnasium with 500 graduates and at least 1500 hearing was not ideal for anyone. My parents are here visiting for the occasions, and they are AMAZED how much better I am hearing with the CI. So that's cool too.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Comparing a banquet pre- and post-CI

I went to a big benefit banquet Friday evening (for a school our church supports in Rwanda: link and I could NOT believe how well I heard compared to the same event last year. I could hear my son when he was talking across the table; I could actually hear pretty much most of the conversation at our table--of TEN people! (using my noise reduction program than decreases the sensitivity of the microphone) God is so good! It's only been 5 weeks since activation, and I'm already sometimes doing so well that I forget I am even wearing the CI. Amazing. Just totally amazing. Makes me grin my little face off!!

And I could even understand Bishop John Rucyahana as he spoke, both at the benefit and at church this morning. He is an amazing man.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

John's Fall Plans for College

My son John was accepted at two school with architecture programs he considered worthy to apply to: Washington University in St. Louis and University of Southern California in LA. He and Joe went to visit USC after acceptance; he and I went to re-visit Wash U. a few days later.

It was good for me to finally get to go on one of these college trips. I got to see John in a different light, and listen to him compare and contrast the two architecture programs. Even though I liked the thought of him being only 6 hours away (at Wash U), I could tell by his careful analysis that USC really was the better program for him. He has two years of design and architecture study under his belt already, and at USC he can hit the ground running. He is SO ready! I feel so incredibly proud of him. I also realize I will deeply miss him when he goes. LA is a loooong ways away.

So, he accepted the USC offer about 24 hours after we got back from Wash U. It includes a 50% scholarship on tuition if he lists them as his first choice school on his National Merit Finalist form. So he sent National Merit that information the next day. Now just to get through the last weeks of senior year! Ack--senioristis is hitting. He just wants to get MOVING on this new stage of his life. But I believe he will finish strong.

So, blessings on you, John, as you make this next major life transition from high school to college. I'm very proud of you, and I will miss you so very much when you go. But I can tell you are mature enough and really ready to go. Congratulations.

I love you.

Six Weeks Since Activation!

Wow. I can hardly believe it. The time has flown by. I have had a bunch of mapping appointments, and things always sound better when I leave than when I arrived.

At first, everything was a high-pitched monotone. But within a matter of days, my brain began to perceive some pitches, enough to have voices sound at least somewhat like I remembered them sounding like. I was astounded and delighted to hear how carefully my children enunciate things--because I was finally hearing ending consonants!

By now, my preschool students are becoming more and more intelligible. They are, after all, only 3-6 years old, and unintelligible even to their parents at time--so I feel like I'm doing pretty well. :-D It has been a delight to hear their voices, or I should say my perception of their voices develop. As I perceive more and more of the higher range of frequencies, their little voices are just adorable! And two of the boys with the (newly) cutest voices are two of my little irrascible loose there you go.

David was showing off how he had hooked up the living room stereo to be able to play through the speakers in the sunroom. He demonstrated it using one of my favorite CD's, "The Most Relaxing Cello Album Ever." (Got it at the grocery store, I think.) It was mush to me. BUT--as we walked down to the sunroom, there was a moment--maybe a measure or two--where the cello was solo...and I HEARD CELLO! The rich deep resonant tone of a cello, as opposed to a violin or viola or bass: distinctly cello. It just about knocked the wind out of me...and almost made me weep with joy and delight.

I am doing really well on the phone, too. At home, a corded phone seems to be a bit better than a cordless phone on our land-line. My comprehension on my cellphone is at least better than with my hearing aids, but still not perfect. It depends on so many things, such as how strong my signal is, how familiar the voice is on the other end, who good their signal is--and if they speak English as a second language. If I get a recording, I've got less than half a chance that I'll catch enough of it. So I still have David and John (or Joe) take those calls for me. Voice mail is a bit of a challenge, but I don't think it is worse than with my HA's. The answering machine, however, is a LOT worse. I don't know why. I cannot understand much of anything when I try to play back messages, so I have to have another family member listen with me.

OH! And I put a Peter, Paul and Mary album in the CD player in Joe's car; I turned the bass way down and the mids and trebles way up...and it sounded SO GOOD! I could sing along with all my old favorites. What fun!!! And I could find the melody enough to sing the harmonies I remembered from when I was a kid and my older sister had jsut about every album they ever put out. I haven't put in my new Peter and the Wolf CD, nor the Carnival of the Animals by Saen Sans. But I'm just about ready.

One thing I never anticipated is how tired I would be for how long. I'm still beat. It's more common than not for me to come home from work and sleep for an hour or two, and still get to bed at a decent hour and get my 7 hours of sleep. I'm finding, finally, that exercise helps on both counts--I still need the sleep, but my brain gets clearer and I sleep better at night. My brain is still rather in a fuzz. I feel like I can't keep track of the passage of time as well as I used to, adn the days just slip by and sort of mush together...and suddenly it has been 6 weeks and I haven't posted much recently. Now you know why. :)