Saturday, January 14, 2006

Read to Me/Talk to Me

Lately my favorite request is "Read to Me" or "Talk to Me." It is great therapy for me in the real world. My speech therapist says that a normal hearing person needs to hear a word or phrase 1000 times (yes, one thousand times) before the brain can "imprint" it and remember it. A deaf or hard of hearing person needs to hear it THREE TIMES as much before it is stored into memory. That is why auditory therapy is so important for me. My ability to understand without reading lips is just getting better and better all the time. Marissa, Steve, and Brad have all read some Mercer Mayer (kids books) to me. It seems strange to have stories read to me that I used to read to the kids when they were little but I have to take baby steps. I'm also talking on the phone a little bit more and can talk to Kim, my coworker, in the next cubicle. I can understand Steve while I am knitting in my chair or cooking in the kitchen. Each day I am gaining more confidence in my ability to hear and understand. My CI has also improved the quality of my speech. Everyone tells me that I seem happier these days and am more relaxed. I feel it, too. . . . .every day is Christmas for me!

Yesterday was a good day. I called Dawn, my best friend, twice and was able to understand and carry a conversation with her! I still like to keep it short and simple. Also, I spent all day in a seminar for work. Usually I get very nervous and stressed in a class or seminar because I don't want to miss anything and cannot take notes and listen at the same time. Well, I was able to understand the speaker with ease, took notes and even heard her say words and phrases (but not complete sentences) without lipreading! It was great! I'm realizing that lipreading is becoming more effortless for me and that I don't need it all the time. Also, I am asking people to repeat things less often. The seminar (Accounts Payables) was wonderful, too, and I learned alot. I cannot wait to get back to work to share what I learned with my supervisor and president of the credit union.

I also had another CI moment this week. To make a long story short, I had to talk with eBay on the phone. Someone had "hacked" into my eBay account and was selling a 2005 Harley Davidson motorcycle! I was getting emails from eBay members asking me questions about a motorcycle and I just ignored them, thinking it was spam. Also, eBay sent me several notices about "unusual" activity on my account and I ignored those as well, thinking it was a phishing scam. Well, it wasn't and eBay froze my account and cancelled the Harley Davidson listing! I had to go through several steps to confirm and reactivate my account and had to do part of it on the phone. eBay had to call me to verify my identity and phone number on my account. So, I was able to hear them with my T-Link. I was a little nervous but I did it! I told eBay that I will never own, buy, or sell a motorcycle nor do I have any interest in one and appreciated them taking appropriate action on my account.

This morning I called Brad and talked to him for about eight minutes. I had trouble with one word, "therapy" and after he spelled it for me I got it. He went back to Virginia last week and I miss him already.

Today my aunt Nelda is coming from Nashville to visit for the weekend. I cannot wait to see her and spend time with her! We have always been very close. She is about 11 years older than me and is like a big sister to me. We plan to go to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains today. Maybe I will hear some new sounds!

I will close this with a quote from Mother Teresa: "We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...we need silence to be able to touch souls." - Mother Teresa

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