Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pregnancy and Hearing Loss

My belly at 25ish weeks
The countdown is on.  Two weeks to go and we get to meet our little boy.  Maybe we'll even have a name for him by then.  This whole naming your child thing is so difficult!  As I've said before and as I'll say again, pregnancy wrecks havoc on our bodies.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely!!!!! 

This time around, with a CI, my pregnancy experience has been a little different.  I've heard the baby's heart beat sooner.  When meeting when the ultrasound tech, it was not as much work to understand everything she was saying about how baby is doing.  Scheduling appointments for the ultrasound and doctor and everything else has been way easier.  I have understood the nurses better when they ask me questions or turn around to write something in the chart while speaking to me.  Overall, my stress levels are just lower than they have been with my previous pregnancies.

I've been thinking about how delivery will go.  Since I have csections, I basically know what to expect and know what I need.  However, laying down can pop the CI magnet off my head.  I don't want to be worried about keeping it on or fixing it constantly.  I think I'll experiment with a headband over it to see if it stays in place while being operated on.  I'm also curious about how I will do in OR with the medical staff all having masks over their mouths.  I'm looking forward to the experience with my new hearing abilities to see if I pick up more on what they are saying.  I'm excited to see my little guy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May Updates

Though my posts are infrequent, I am still getting a ton of hits on this blog.  So I will continue to occasionally post.  I hope I am giving the encouragement that people need to consider CI's.  It still frustrates me that most Audi's won't recommend them and when asked downplay how beneficial they are.  Ugh.  These bionic bits of technology are incredible.  My quality of life has improved in powerful and miraculous ways.

I continue to be incredibly busy (who isn't?!!).  Just trying to keep my life balanced between my family, church, job and volunteer responsibilities.  This pregnancy has been a little harder on me physically.  I'm not exactly a "young" pregnant woman!  I also have taken on additional responsibilities at work which takes a toll on me physically.  The adoption manager is on maternity leave so I am filling in for her until she returns.  My own caseload has decreased but my work load has significantly increased.  I work more hours.  I deal with higher stress situations.  But my hearing is not a roadblock in any of it really.  I have to talk on the phone.  A lot!  Every time I take a call I still send a silent prayer above pleading for help with hearing.  Time after time, I am amazed that I managed the call successfully.  There is an occasional person I struggle with understanding but the large majority I can do quite well with.  I just never expected to be this successful with a CI.  I was hopeful, but didn't allow myself to expect more than "slight improvement."

When the time is right, I'll get my left ear implanted.  Until then, I'm going to appreciate what I can hear every second of my life!

Friday, March 29, 2013

March Updates

I just wanted to post a quick update to the blog as it has been a while.  I am still doing awesomely amazing considering how deaf I was a year and a half ago.  My life has changed so very much.  Some of my recent successes:

-Hearing a speech given in a microphone in the church gym while I was in the back.  I also was turned away from the speaker and helping myself to seconds on the food table.  I heard every word.

-Being able to successfully eavesdrop on a conversation happening down the hall from me.  It was a very boring subject, office computers, but still I could hear them!!

-Hearing some song lyrics without needing to follow the words.  Though this is still rare, I occassionaly hear a song very clearly and it MAKES my day.  I am really loving Maroon 5 and Christina Perri for this reason.

-I'm successfully using the phone to call doctors, make appointments, talk to clients, etc.  Wow, has this made my life a zillion times easier.  I still use an ALD and maybe always will but still am super happy about it.

-Successfully navigating the public school world as I am learning how to register my daughter for kindergarten, arranging assessments and becoming familiar with school staff.

All in all, just fantastic.  But I'm still hard of hearing.  I still miss things.  I still have challenges.  I'm nowhere near as anxious about them but just keep trying to work on them.  My biggest challenge continues to be the volunteer work I do for church.  I work with the teenage girls and my oh my do they have soft voices.  I'm hoping my constant request that they repeat themselves helps give them the courage and confidence to let themselves be heard.

And by the way, I'm pregnant.  I'm having a boy and we are all super thrilled about it.  He should be coming in mid August :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

One Year Anniversary

On January 5, 2013, it was my one year activation anniversary.  I had the best of intentions to write an entire post about the year's journey.  Not going to happen!  Instead I am just going to put links of the journey so that anyone interested can just click and read on what they want to read.


Activation Day

My husband's version of activation day

The hardest phase of being newly activated

Back to work

Hearing human again

Hearing test at 2 months post activation

3 months out

8 months post activation

The benefits of a CI to a mom

The Holidays

Here are the lovely 17 people I had in my home for three weeks over the holidays.  I know it's already February but I just barely feel like I am starting to catch up!

First, my successes.  I first picked up my older brother and his family from the airport.  They flew in from Italy.  I understood my brother and his wife very well.  Their kids, not so much because their accents are so thick.  However, I did well enough that I probably heard at least ten times that night "I can't believe you just heard me say that!"  Score!  Next I picked up my younger brother and his family from the aiport.  They also commented several times they could not believe how well I was hearing them.  The true test came home on the way home from the aiport.  It was 12:30 at night.  We were all tired.  My sister in law, Anyi, talked to me from the seat behind me most of the trip back.  She would ask me a question and I could respond correctly.  I asked her questions and could hear a response.  She did have to repeat herself a couple of different times but overall, we were able to converse pretty freely.  One reason why this is so amazing is because I never once could read her lips or facial expressions as I was driving and she was behind me.  Another reason why this is so amazing is because she is from the Dominican Republic and has a very strong accent.  (I have a very international family, I am the only one who married an American, though marriage to a man from Rexburg, Idaho certainly feels like I married a foriegner sometimes!)

I'll admit it.  I absolutely loved how much they complimented my new hearing abilities.  It was so fun.  Surprisingly, all the background noise of 9 kids did not take away from my ability to take part in conversations.  I felt so connected to my family and so much more invested in the happenings around me.

After everyone went home, the clean up process and room restoration process began.  Within a coule of days, the kids got sick.  Very sick.  They just had the flu (Influenza B if you want to get technical) but it was a horrible version of the flu and it knocked them out for days and days and days!  They are now back to normal and we are now starting to resume and get back to normal again.  So now it's time to do some catch up on the blog.