Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The People I Meet - Valerie

Last Saturday I had an opportunity to meet a new CI blogging friend, Valerie! She has a blog at Tales from a CI Gal so go visit her! She and her daughter, Jenna, were in Gatlinburg last weekend for a dance competition. I love meeting new people, especially those that I've met through blogging and the Internet. I had a beautiful drive through the Smoky Mountains on the way there and back and appreciated getting away for a day. It took me just over an hour to get there from my house. We met for lunch at a noisy Cracker Barrel in Pigeon Forge and had a wonderful time.

Valerie has bilateral cochlear implants and is approaching her one year anniversary date on July 19th. The one thing different about Valerie's bilateral implants is that she had them done at the same time. There aren't too many adults that get bilateral implants simultaneously. Her insurance company denied her request for cochlear implants at least seven times before they finally approved them. She said her recovery was rough. I had enough trouble recuperating from cochlear implant surgery on one ear. I cannot imagine what it would be like recovering after having two done at once!

Her hearing loss journey is so similar to mine and we could have talked for hours! She is such a sweet person and I was so glad to have the opportunity to meet her! I felt like I was meeting a friend that I had known for a long time. We couldn't talk long because Jenna wanted to play miniature golf and do some shopping before they went back home to Nashville. I needed to get home, too, because my husband was flying home from a trip and I hadn't seen him for almost three weeks! But, we made the most of our visit and promised to meet again!

Laurie and ValerieJenna and Valerie
I love this picture of Jenna and Valerie. In fact, I loved watching their mother/daughter relationship as we visited and ate lunch together. Jenna is very understanding and supportive of her mom's hearing loss and shares her joy of hearing with her. She makes sure her mom can understand her, isn't lazy with her speech, and articulates her words very well. She'll tap Valerie on the shoulder if she wants to tell her something. It reminded me of how my children thoughtfully communicated with me in their younger years. And how they have always been there for me and supported me when I couldn't hear. I loved talking and interacting with Jenna, too, and think she is such a doll!


Shari/"Whiger" said...

Aww. That's neat. Many bloggers are just too far away for me to visit any of them. I have read Valerie's blog a few times.

I just posted a cute "misunderstanding" that made me freak out. (I used the "scheduled" post thing, but it posted!! Then I fixed it and left it hanging in limbo to post itself another day. I go check my Google reader and saw that it was in there. Oh, no. So I had to go and fix it and have it posted anyway. Oh, well. Imagine seeing "post" and going to a site and it's not there? Oh, well.

I am so glad that you had a wonderful visit with her and her daughter. I find that there are so many bloggers and little time to visit them all online.


Anonymous said...

Shari, we got to get you to HLAA 2009 in TN. Save some more pennies!!!!! I want to meet you someday!!!! HUGS, Molly CC

Bill and Shelly said...

Thank you for visiting our family's blog. It is so neat that I can show our daughter, Allison that even adults have CI's. She is only around children that have them. I enjoyed looking at your blog and will visit it again.

Laurie said...


I love reading other blogs but don't always have time either. But I am thankful for the Internet that connects us!


Yes, I agree that Shari should come to Nashville next year!

HLAA has scholarships for those that cannot afford to go to these conventions. Check into it. I think it is only for first time attendees.

Bill & Shelly,

Thank you for your nice comment on my blog. If you look in my sidebar on the right, you will see other links to adults with CI's.

Nice to meet you!


Abbie said...

I agree with Molly and Laurie that you absolutely have got to go to the HLAA next year! It was a blast!

Molly is an absolute sweetheart :) She looked dropped dead gorgeous at the banquet!

And Laurie, I am so glad that you finally got to meet Valerie and Jenna. I can't wait to meet them myself :)

tammy said...

Thank you for sharing your stories. Being new to this journey with my 4 month old, I love to read deaf/hoh adult blogs to get a good perspective of a world I'm learning all about. Would you mind if I added a link to your site from mine? I'd love for my family to read your story as well.
Take care!

Laurie said...

Hello Tammy! I love meeting new people! Yes, you may add a link from my site to yours. I'd like to do the same. :)


Anonymous said...

Oh, good for you guys! I'm sure it was so much fun! I love that picture of Valerie and Jenna too, very sweet!

Rachel said...

After hearing about you numerous times on other blogs, I finally had the chance to visit your blog. I really enjoyed reading what you have been writing! I see that you've been meeting lots of wonderful CI users. It's always fun to meet other CI users, isn't?

I hope to see your blog on DeafVillage.com whenever you decide to submit it!