Thursday, August 18, 2005

Day Three with T-Link

Today was a good day. I only tried to talk to a few people with my new T-Link. I'm still not doing as well as I would like to but I've gone from not using the phone at all to using it to call the people I'm most comfortable with. This morning I called my coworker, Kim, who is in the next cubicle to finalize our lunch plans. I could have easily gotten up from my desk to ask her but I wanted to try the phone first. I called the front desk to be connected to her extension and was expecting to hear "Alcoa Tenn Federal Credit Union. . .one moment please." But, I didn't hear that. Instead, I heard someone say, "Hi Laurie!" Now what? I was confused so I asked her who she was. I knew it wasn't June so I asked if it was Amber. She said no. She repeated her name again a few times and then I realized it was Sarah! Sarah is a hard word for me to understand because I don't hear the "S", "R", or "H" sound, which are "soft" sounds. It just all runs together. I talked with her for just a little bit and then she connected me to Kim. We were able to decide to go to lunch at 12:30 p.m. and Cindy (who is in the cubicle next to Kim) was laughing at us! But, I could hear every single word that Kim said. Talked to Steve and Brad again today, too.

This afternoon I thought I would try another experiment. I called my brother's friend, Jonathan. He wasn't home or answering his cell phone but he did return my call about two hours later. We talked for 22 minutes! I could only understand him about 50% of the time but I had him get on his computer while I was on mine and we set up the instant messaging feature. If I couldn't understand a certain word he was saying, he would type it to me. That was fun and a good experience. He kept asking me what I was cooking for supper and it took me a long time to figure that one out (it felt like five minutes). I was trying to figure out "what are you cooking for dinner?" And he would not give me the answer until I got it right! He is from Morocco and speaks several different languages and has a little bit of an accent. But, he will talk slowly for me and is a very patient person. He was also very excited and happy to hear from me!

Talked with Steve tonight. I asked him where he was and he said that he was sitting in the Crown Room at the Cincinnati airport waiting catch a plane to come home. We had a good conversation but kept it short. That is all I can handle for now. But, I like hearing his voice. I miss him when he is gone. Now I can feel a little more connected to him when he travels.

I needed to call Invisible Fencing today to order a new battery for Riga's collar because she is getting out of the yard again. I ended up using the relay service because I'm just not ready to call someone I don't know very well. One of these days I should be able to.

Doug read my blog today. It didn't take him long to email me and ask what the brand name and model number of the T-Link so he could get one for his hearing aid, too. Even though his hearing loss is about the same as mine, he developed better language skills than I did and always did well on the phone. He lost that ability about 11 years ago after a jet flew over his head and caused him to have a bad case of tinnitus (which is a constant ringing in the ear). His hearing took a dramatic drop right after that and he hasn't been able to hear very well, use the phone or hear the piano since then.

I tried to use the T-Link with our cordless phone in the house yesterday but could not hear very well with it. The cell phone sounds a lot better. Steve says that our land line is "dirty" and that he hears better with his cell phone, too. The land line has too much static in it.

I need to learn how to use my cell phone. I had not been able to figure out how to make a call by dialing the number. I've been putting the person's name and number that I'm calling in my "phone book" first and then I make the call. When I told Kathy, my sister, was I was doing, she said "You silly! Just key in the number you want to call and press talk!" I'm so phone illiterate! I got my manual out tonight and will read it to learn how to use the other functions of my cell phone. I've had my cell phone for over two years and have only used it for text messaging.

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