Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Today is a good day! I had an email message waiting for me this morning from our insurance company. The pre-determination for my cochlear implant was approved on June 20th! Yay! I just stared at the computer for a few minutes and read the message several times! I sent text messages to everyone I could on my phone to share the good news! I wasn't sure what to do after that so I called the doctor's office (through Relay, of course!) to find out what we needed to do next. Teresa, Dr. Merwin's nurse said that the doctor needed to review the letter and paperwork and would let her know when to schedule the surgery date. I asked her if she could give me a time frame by looking at his schedule and she said that it would possibly be mid-August. I'm ready! That means I will be activated before my Dad's birthday on September 15th and he is the first person I want to call on the telephone as soon as I am able to! I still cannot imagine being able to experience the world of sound that has been denied to me for so long. Dad told me several weeks ago that when I was first diagnosed with my hearing loss, I only had 15% hearing. Now I have less than 5%. I'll be happy just to hear 30, 40, or 50%!!!

I wrote back to the insurance company to tell them that I had not received the letter yet. Another message came later saying that the letter was only sent to the doctor. They put a copy in the mail to me today. I'll just keep watching the mailbox for a few more days.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Scary Day

Yesterday was a scary day for our family, especially for me and Brad. Right after I left work, Brad sent me a text message on my phone that said, "Mom! Kayla was in a wreck! I'm on my way to the hospital!" Kayla is his sweet girlfriend and I'm her "second" Mommy. This was one of those times when I wished I could talk on the phone but I couldn't. I didn't want to text Brad back because I knew he would be rushing to the hospital and didn't want to cause another accident by texting him. So . . . .I waited for 20 very long minutes until he texted me again. I didn't know if she was hurt, alive, or anything. All I could do was pray. It was so hard not knowing anything. I wanted to be there for Brad and Kayla. I love my children so much and their special friends and when they hurt, I hurt, too. Brad texted me again and said that she was okay but had totalled her mom's car. Another message said he was bringing her home as soon as she got done with X-rays. When Steve came home, I had him call Brad to find out what was going on. Apparently, she had just had lunch with Brad and was on her way to the airport to pick up her grandmother and got caught in a quick downpour on the highway. She hydroplaned the car and lost complete control of it. She is so lucky to be alive because the car is almost split in two. Luckily she didn't hit any other cars and the guy behind her stopped the traffic and took care of her until the rescue squad could get there. Brad said she wanted to come and see me as soon as she got back. I was so thankful to be able to give her a hug and see that she was going to be okay when Brad carried her in the house. Her whole left side is bumped and bruised and she can hardly walk.

Using the phone by voice has always been a struggle for me. There was a time years ago when I was able to talk and understand short conversations on the phone. I can remember exactly when I lost that ability in my early 20's. We had a great telephone when we lived in Connecticut but after we moved, I could never quite use the phone very well again. I often wished I had taken that phone off the wall and moved it with me but it belonged to Ma Bell before the telephone companies changed the way they operated. Now, I rely almost totally on Relay service. For those of you who don't know what relay is, it allows people who use TTYs/TDDs to phone others who don't have one. A TDD/TYY is a telephone with a keyboard that displays printed text on a screen. My computer serves as my TDD/TTY. I found a wonderful Relay service on the Internet through AT&T ( and don't even use my TDD/TTY anymore. (I recently sold it on eBay!) I just use the website and my computer for relay calls and it is great. The Relay Service is basically a three-way call where the Relay operator has a TDD/TTY between me and the hearing person that I am calling. I will type to the Relay operator what I need them to relay/say to the hearing party and the operator types back to me what the hearing party's response is. This allows me to speak directly to the hearing party and gives me the independence to make my own phone calls. The calls take a little longer this way and people have hung up on me, not realizing that I am the one actually calling them and not the AT&T or some other phone company! I have been using Relay for over 20 years now and cannot imagine being without it. It doesn't have that personal touch (ever try to say "I love you" through another person to your spouse or child?!!! Or tell a third person something personal that you want to say to a doctor??) But it is better than nothing. Better than driving to and from a doctor's office with a fever or sick child to make an appointment and then driving all the way back later for the actual appointment. It has been my lifesaver, especially since Steve or the kids aren't always around when I need them to make phone calls for me. I wonder if I will be in a hurry to use the phone after my implant. I have too much emotional baggage associated with phone calls.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Baby Robins!

I was thrilled to find a bird's nest next to our driveway this morning! I found the nest because I just happened to notice a male robin fly in the tree with a worm in his mouth. I figured he would move if he saw me but he disappeared in the leaves. I looked a little closer and found the nest and some babies reaching upward with their beaks waiting for food! This is just another example of how my eyes are my "ears" for me since I don't hear the birds but see them. That was a God Moment for me today. I know that if God takes care of the birds and supplies all of their needs, he will take care of me, too! I know that as long as I keep my hand in His hand and walk with Him, there is nothing that I cannot do or become.

I keep watching the mail every day for my "letter" from the insurance company. I'm hoping they'll respond soon since I called them this past week. Next week our whole family will be on a much needed vacation! We all need it! I was hoping to have the implant done before our vacation so I could hear the sounds of the ocean and the beach and the seagulls, etc. I'll just "listen" for them with my eyes instead!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Still Waiting. . .

I know I haven't posted in here for awhile. I had my last appointment over a month ago and am still waiting for the insurance to give approval for the surgery. I've learned a lot about patience this last month! I keep checking the insurance website and they have processed and paid for all of my claims. The letter from the Dr. was sent to the insurance at the same time so we know they have all the information that they need. The Dr. had told me that it would take 3-4 weeks and that I would get my letter of approval the same time he did. No letter has arrived yet. We may need to call the insurance company next week to do an inquiry.

I did go ahead and got a meningitis vaccine last month. When I called the Dr.'s office, they said that I didn't need to have it before surgery but that it would be a good idea to have one. So, that is done and out of the way. Didn't hurt too much. My arm was sore for a few days.

I'll write more in a few days. A lot has been going on family-wise. My dear father-in-law (Steve's dad) passed away on Memorial Day. Kids are home from school and people are constantly coming and going. We sure have a different pace during the summer! Will be going on vacation to Hilton Head soon. I'm looking forward to some R & R and hopefully some peace and quiet.