Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Spooky CI Moment...

Here is a question for you:

If a car alarm goes off in the garage and no one is around, does it make a sound?

The other day I was working in my office upstairs (I work at home for our consulting business) and heard a car alarm go off. I had my window cracked a little bit so I could hear the birds and thought that maybe it was my neighbor's car going off but didn't see anything or anyone. Then it stopped a few seconds later.

I continued working for a few more minutes.....then I heard it AGAIN. Before I could get up from my chair to investigate, it stopped. Now, whenever I hear an unusual sound or one that confuses me, I find someone to tell me what it is. But this time I was alone in the house and had to figure out for myself this time. I thought that maybe Chris had come home for something and was in the driveway messing around, teasing me. (As a mother of boys I've had my share of "pranks" and "jokes" played on me before!)

Then, I heard the car alarm go off AGAIN! And this time it stayed on (and Riga was going crazy barking and pacing in the kitchen). So, I got up and went downstairs because it sounded like it was coming from the garage. Sure enough, it was coming from MY CAR and the lights were flashing on and off, all by itself. No one was around, nothing was touching the car or had bumped it, and I was pretty sure the keys were in the house. I just stared at it for a few minutes with my jaw open trying to figure out what to do. As I started to turn around to go back inside to locate my keys, the darn thing shut off by itself.....RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

By now I was really starting to get confused (and a little spooked) because this had never happened to me before and I was alone in the house. I sent Chris a text message to his phone and told him what was going on. He said that maybe my door alarm system was going bad and that maybe I should call the dealership to get it fixed. I found my keys on the hook in the kitchen where I usually hang them and I heard the car alarm go off AGAIN! And it shut itself off about 30 seconds later. I took my keys out to the garage, pointed my keys at the car, and pressed the buttons a few times to see if I could deactivate the alarm. The car stayed quiet after that so I went back upstairs to continue working.

But, later, I transferred Steve's laundry from the washer to the dryer and found my EXTRA car key in the bottom of the washer! He must have left it in one of his pockets! He is usually good about emptying his pockets and almost always puts the car keys in the same place in his office. So, while the key was being "washed" it must have set off the sensors to activate my car alarm! I just had to laugh and realized that was why the car alarm was being set off. I immediately took the key and put it in my cochlear implant dryer to dry it out and keep it from being damaged any further. We had just gotten new keys for my car and they were not cheap. I've used my Dry-N-Store for my CI to dry cell phones before. If it can "dry" a $7,000 cochlear implant processor, it can certainly dry an electronic key or cell phone which costs a lot less!

I was relieved that I was able to figure out why my car alarm was going off. I was afraid it had gone off in the middle of the night, waking my neighbors, when I wouldn't be able to hear it at all. And no one would have been able to get a hold of me to tell me to shut it off. There are times when I don't have my processors on and do not hear a thing, like when I'm alone, in hotel rooms, fixing my hair, etc. Which brings me to another post later regarding my thoughts about considering a hearing service dog in the next few years for my next dog....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Four Years Ago Today...

Four years ago today my first cochlear implant was activated...

Four years ago I heard the sound of a little boy's voice as he talked to his mom....sounds I had missed when our children were little...

Four years ago my four children surprised me with my very first iPod.... (I'm on my second one now!)

Four years ago I heard the beautiful sound of 19,000 women singing in acapella, the faint sounds of 19,000 Bible pages turning in complete silence, and 19,000 women worshipping together at a Beth Moore Conference in Knoxville...

It is hard to believe that I've been on this wonderful "Dance with Sound" for the last four years. I never dreamed it would be possible to hear this well in my lifetime, going from a severe/profound hearing loss to normal hearing in both ears. (I went bilateral with my second ear in January of 2007.) I still continue to discover "new" sounds in different environments but not as frequently as I did in the beginning. Getting a cochlear implant (or two) is not a "quick fix" to a hearing loss and it took much hard work and perseverance on my part to get to where I am today. I spent over a year in therapy just learning to hear all over again because I never heard those high pitched sounds that are such an important parts of speech. I had family members read to me and practiced listening to books on tape. I practiced on the phone even though I dreaded it. But it has all been worth it worth it and I'm still "practicing" today.

My cochlear implants have given me a new lease on life and connected me to another world of deaf and hard of hearing friends from all over the U.S. and the world, through the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and through this blog.

One of the best parts of this journey is being able to hear the precious & sweet "little voice" of our grandson! And it has increased my faith....for NOTHING is impossible with God! He always has a His timing...if we only ask...

And I couldn't help but smile and say "Thank you, Lord" as I listened to the sound of the rain above me in church this morning as we sang "Grace Like Rain...falls down on me.....Alleluia!"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Cochlear Implant Journey Video

This is a must see video! It describes the hearing loss journey of Josh and Sam Swiller, their cochlear implant surgery, activation, therapy, and life afterwards perfectly....and is almost identical to my hearing loss experience and results. It is captioned, too!

What a gift technology has given to the deaf and hard of hearing....Enjoy!

Soundproof Trailer created by filmmaker Rebecca Haimowitz.