Saturday, December 03, 2005

Is It December Already???

I know it has been a while since I've written an update. . .I'm sitting here with my morning cup of coffee and am listening to Christmas music on my iPod and will write! I have so much to say and will try to summarize everything briefly. . .

California: I had a great "three day date" with Chris in San Diego. It was so nice to have my Marine son all to myself! Usually when the kids are home, they are busy hanging out with their friends or doing other things. I try to have a "date" with them once in a while so I can have some one-on-one time with them. When I arrived at the San Diego airport I got the biggest hug from Chris! It was so nice to hold him and hear his voice! He was very interested in my implant when I showed it to him. He lives in a house with three other guys and it was an "experience" living in a bachelor pad for three days! Chris let me have his room and bed and I was very comfortable. We went out to eat a few times. He took me to the Camp Pendleton base and showed me around. Went to Starbucks a few times. We also went to the ocean twice so I could "hear" it! Chris took me for a three hour ride to the beach on his motorcycle and that was fun. I'm not really crazy about motorcycles but I knew he would be careful. I took my CI off while we rode because I didn't want to take the chance of it falling off. I did put it back on when we got to the ocean. We walked out on a long pier and I just "listened". It was GREAT! I wanted to stay there all day. We also heard a man in a wheelchair playing his saxophone from a distance. Beautiful music to my ears.

I had no trouble with my flight to and from CA with my CI. Going through security was uneventful and was just like any other time I have traveled. On the plane, I was thrilled that all of my cords for my CI and HA worked with the movie and music plug ins. But, I didn't watch the movies for two reasons: I still need some close captioning and the audio did not match the video (that drives me crazy!) so I gave up. I tried listening to the music instead but could also hear the "whine" of the plane at the same time. So, I just plugged in my iPod and listened to music as I knitted. It worked out well and I was happy that I didn't have to sit in bored silence for four hours. My ear did "pop" in my hearing aid ear but I did not have any discomfort with my CI side. Things did sound funny after I landed but went back to normal the next day.

Riga: We bred Riga two weeks ago. Hopefully I will be able to hear "puppy sounds" in January!

Auditory therapy: I'm going to auditory therapy twice a week. Susie says I'm making good progress even though I don't feel like I am. I just need to be patient. Patience is not one of my virtues! I look forward to my therapy sessions and am understanding more sounds all the time. I'm able to grasp and pick up vowel and consonant sounds better at each session. Susie says it will take some time for my brain to adjust to the new sounds that it is hearing. My communication for all of my life has been AUDITORY and VISUAL with lipreading. Now I am trying to build up my "Auditory Dictionary" without lipreading. It is hard for me but would be very easy for a hearing person. I tried to listen to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears online the other night and could not get many of the words. If I could have slowed down the speaker, I might have done better. Susie says that she notices that I pick up words quicker when she slows down. Eventually she will be able to speak faster and I will be able to understand at a quicker rate. Later she'll add background noise. But for now, KISS (Keep it Short and Simple!)

Thanksgiving: We went to Ohio for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time with family and friends. I was able to see relatives that I had not seen since my implant (and had to do a little show and tell, too!) Heard some wonderful sounds, too:
  • voices of family and friends
  • windchimes on my brother's patio
  • the wind blowing
  • sirens off in the distance
  • clinking of silverware and glasses
  • playing "Shepherds Play Your Melody" on the recorder while my brother accompanied me on the piano
  • being able to carry a conversation in a car, noisy room, or restaurant
  • whistling teakettle
  • the timer on the oven when the food was ready
  • wrapping paper ripping and rustling as we opened Christmas gifts
  • cameras clicking
  • music playing in background
  • called sister in law Allison on the phone quickly while I was packing to ask a question and got my answer
  • being able to talk with my cousin across the table (she was glad I could still lipread because she talked quietly a few times when she didn't want anyone to hear what she was saying)

Even though I heard some new sounds at Thanksgiving, there were also the familiar sounds that I "heard" before my implant - the ones that my heart "hears". I am thankful for the love and sharing of my family and friends, my health, and the many blessings that we have. God is so good. As my pastor says, God’s economy is that of surplus! It's called “GRACE.”

CI and HA: I am wearing my CI and hearing aid together. I've tried going without it but my hearing aid seems to fill in the sounds that my CI doesn't give me. It gives me the richness and fullness that I need, especially with voices and clarifies my CI sounds.

My Best Friend Dawn: I have not been able to get together with Dawn for several weeks and I miss her. But, she is going through a difficult time right now. She sent me an email recently telling me that her mother has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that she has been spending a lot of time at the hospital or at her parent's home. I only know and understand her pain too well. . .my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at this time of year 13 years ago. . .

Will write more later. . .love and hugs to all!

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