Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sorry about that!

My friend TMK just emailed me that she hasn't been able to leave comments on my blog. My husband changed the settings for me a week or so ago so I could delete someone's email address from my comments and I guess he changed something else too because she could not leave any comments. So if any of you have tried to leave me a comment and it did not get posted, please go back and try again. Whew I am glad to know that there was a problem, I thought maybe I had committed some type of BLOGGER Faux Paux or something. Some type of unpardonable sin and no one was talking to me anymore!

I think Blogger has some weird quirks to it because ever so often I find that I can't get to my friends' blogs. I will get the same one for two weeks and then all the sudden I will get the two weeks worth on one day! Guess that is just to keep me on my toes and keep life interesting.

So A thousand apologies if you left me a comment and it did not show up. Please leave it for me again, I want to hear from you!

Friday, January 27, 2006

"Marley and Me"

Just finished reading this book, "Marley and Me" by John Grogan. If you are a dog lover, this is a great book for you. This dog, "Marley" was something else but his family loved him. It is an easy read and will tug at your heartstrings. It will play on all your emotions but does not require any deep analytical thoughts to enjoy it.

Hubby and I have a babysitter all lined up and we are going out tonight! Yeah, we find that life just goes a little smoother if we carve out time for each other away from the house and child. Last night we took K and a friend of hers to a hamburger place with a patio and a little playscape. I am not going to tell you the name of it, (we might be disowned by our Aggie friends!) but it is well known in our area. It was great, food was good (not great but good) and Hubby and I sat inside by big window and watched girls play outside on the patio. It was all enclosed and they were perfectly safe. Adult conversation for us and the girls had a blast! What more could we ask for? Free Meals? I don't want to get greedy! Yeah, it is friday! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just Say No to Predisone!

Predisone and me just don't mix! I saw my Allergist last week and she put me on predisone for a week. ( This is the third round of the stuff I have had since I started all this business with my sudden hearing loss in Nov.) I feel like I did not sleep for 5 days. I know I laid down and shut my eyes but there was no rest or real sleep involved. I had the weirdest dreams. One night I dreamed that an emanciated dark brown cow was wandering thru my house knocking over stuff while singing a single phrase from a song off the Zoe Group CD Desperate (not the whole song mind you but just one phrase over and over!) I understand where the song came from, as part of the training of my brain to use the Cochlear implant I am supposed to listen to CD's and that is the one I have been listening to the most lately. Where the cow fits in I don't know? Maybe I am feeling like a washed up old cow? Who knows?

No more predisone for me! I am swearing off the stuff! Anyone who knows me will tell you, I am interesting enough without adding drugs to the mix! Here's hoping for a good night sleep and no COW DREAMS!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Insurance companies drive me crazy!

I just got off the TTY with my insurance company, only took me 35 minutes or so to actually get someone to answer my questions. I got a reimbursement check for an overpayment on a co-pay today. Two things that I wanted to talk with them about. One was that they made the check out to my 8 year old because it was her doctor visit and secondly, they reimbursted us for exactly the amount that they raised the co-pay this year! Apparently in Tx, it is illegal to charge a co-pay that is more than the amount that the insurance company has to pay. For example this bill was for $50 and our new copay is for $30. So under TX law the insurance has to pay at least 1/2, so everytime my daughter has to see this doctor then she will get a $5 check back, unless the doctor raises the fee to $60 instead of $50.

I ask them to send the check to me or my husband so that we could cash it, nope they can't do that but said most banks would cash it no problem. Then I asked if I could just pay $25 copay at that particular doctor and save us all the hassel of reimburstment checks. Nope, I have to overpay and then be reimbursted. Well, I tried and so now the silly insurance company can just be out the postage and cost that the check cutting cost!

It never ceases to amaze me the stupid stuff that goes on in businesses and especially gov't offices. Some of the stuff that my husband has to do because of gov't contracts just flies in the face of common sense. It is no wonder we have to pay so much in taxes! Okay I will get off my soapbox now! Darling daughter will be getting off the bus soon so I better go meet her. Hope you are all having a great day, it is beautiful weather here. Sunny and not too warm, it is January after all!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

TTY Lesson

I had an unfortunate experience with a TTY call on Friday and it was mostly due to the person I was calling being unfamiliar with the a Relay assisted call, so if you will bear with me I would like to explain how it works!

Because I can't hear on the phone anymore (although hopefully that will change soon), I have to use my TTY and a service called Relay to make my phone calls. I am going to assume that no one knows what these things are so that I can educate a few people. A TTY is like a small typewriter that hooks to my phone line and instead of talking, I type into it. Relay is a service provided by most ( if not all) states and is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or verbally impaired.

When I want to make a call, I turn on the TTY and type in a phone number for Relay Texas. An agent at Relay Texas answers the phone and asks me for the phone number I wish to call. The agent then dials the number and when a person answers the agent tells them, "you are recieving a relay call, have you ever recieved a relay call before?" If you tell them "No" then they will explain the service to you. You speak to the operator who types in your words, verbatim ( as well as anything else they hear in the background) and then the operator reads the TTY users response back to the hearing person recieving the call.

If you recieve a relay call, the correct way to respond is to simply ignore the agent/operator and just speak to the person. In other words, you should say "hello, how is it going?" not "tell her that I said hello, how is it going?" There are only a couple of things that you really need to do differently than a regular phone call, one is at the end of your phrase or question, when you are ready for the TTY user to respond, you should say "go ahead" and the operator will type in "GA" which tells me/TTY user that you are finished with whatever you were saying and I can respond. At the end of the phone call, you would say "bye bye go ahead or sign off" and that way I know the conversation is over on your part. I would reply "Bye SK" or if I had something else to say or ask could do so before signing off (SK)

This service is a real lifesaver for me and it gives me a lot more independence than I would have if I had to rely on others to make all my calls. I still rely on my husband quite a bit just because people sometimes freak out when they get a TTY call. The agents at relay are all bound by a confidentiality clause so it is no big deal that they are listening to your call. I would imagine most of them are not really paying that much attention to what is being said but rather making sure they type it correctly. I am reading this to my husband to get the hearing persons opinion and he said to share with you that if you are going to be saying a long phrase then you might want to pause just a second to let the agent catch up. Like anything else some agents are more experienced than others and some type better and faster than others. He also said to let you know that the TTY users phone number will show up if you have caller id so you will know who you are talking to.

Some people are just really uncomfortable using Relay, even my Mom does not like it, preferring that I send her e-mails. So sometimes I call her with relay to tell her to send me an email or to check her email because I need a response. Most people are patient and willing to work with me on TTY and I really appreciate their patience. It makes up for those who are rude and impatient with me because a TTY call takes longer.

It is possible to call relay TX and ask them to call me. You would just call 1-800-relay-vv ( this number may only work if you live in TX) and give them my number and then the process would be the same as if I called you. However, because I have two hearing people in my house and no one ever calls me with a tty I do not answer the phone anyway ( I let the answering machine pick up or someone else answer it). The best way to reach me personally is to call and leave a message on my home phone or call my cell phone number and I will call you back at the number you called from. I need to have caller id put on my home phone so I know who calls but if you call the cell phone then I have the number to call you back.

Thanks for reading this long blog and hopefully it will make it easier for you if you should ever recieve a TTY call. Hope you are all having a lovely weekend and make some time tomorrow to worship the Lord who makes all thing possible! Blessings!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

All downloaded and ready to learn!

The doctor visit went fine this morning. No concerns about the incision or surgery. I worked with the audiologist and a lady from Cochlear. The sound was not exactly what I was expecting but the ladies seemed to think everything was working correctly. It sounds like a bunch of bells going off everytime I turn it on and then as I wear it awhile it only sounds like bells when someone speaks. The tinkling or bells follow the words as the people are talking so I know it is working. Right now it still does not sound like anything, I still feel deaf and like I am in a box trying to hear people a long way off. It will get better as my brain adapts to the program. I am supposed to listen to books on tape and watch TV with the closed captioning on. Anything that simulates my brain to make the connection between what it is hearing and the words the sounds represent. It is going to be a long haul but hopefully with time and work it will pay off in the end. Thank you all for the support and prayers!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tomorrow Is The Big Day!

My appointment with the ENT is at 8:30 tomorrow morning. He will check out the incision and give me an "all clear" to go ahead with the processor. Then I will sit down with the Audiologist and she will "hook me up"! The processor looks like a hearing aid except that there is nothing going into my ear canal (no earmold) and there is a button like piece that attaches by way of magnet to my head. If you want more info check out www.cochlear.com

Anyway, she will begin by attatching her computer to my magnet in my head and download the program into the little computer that is implanted in my skull. Then she can turn different programs on and off and adjust the volume to a comfortable level. I am not sure how much I will be able to hear. Some people recognize speech right off and others have to work a little harder at understanding it.

I will try to update you all on it tomorrow but it might be Thursday before I get around to it. Please pray that this works and there are no complications from the surgery. My hubby is taking the day off work to go with me and I hope that his voice is the first thing I hear! I am hopeful that I will be able to talk on the phone but don't think it will be immediate. My Mom is really hoping that I will be able to talk to her on the phone on Weds. but it isn't very likely to happen. I am nervous and excited all at once, sure hope I can get some sleep tonight. Blessings to all of you!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ho Hum Weekend!

Nothing too amazing happening this weekend. Did get to have dinner out with my hubby on Friday, while K was at brownie sleepover. Nothing too exciting on Sat. just shopping (hubby did that) and a little housecleaning while K and friend played. Today I have felt so yucky. I have bad headache (allergy related I think ) and a good bit of dizziness (guess still related to surgery) I hope that the two dr. visits this week will help with these things. I am excited about the appt with the ENT and audiologist, it will be good to see what I can hear. I have read so much stuff both good and bad on the internet, now I just want to see how it affects me! K is off from school tomorrow so I guess we will try to do something fun together, any ideas? Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Our Chrstmas Present Arrived!

The laptop that we ordered for our Christmas present to each other arrived this week. We are having fun and frustration getting it set up. I am glad we were able to get this laptop as our other computer is 7 years old and runs windows 98. Hubby is in the computer field so I imagine that was frustrating to him to have such an old, out of date computer at home. We are keeping old computer so daughter can play her games and to have a back up but will probably put most stuff on the laptop.

I took it yesterday when I had to wait to pick up daughter from school. I watched Veggie Tales DVD in the carpool lane. The picture was great and by turning on subtitles I had captioning. This is going to be nice for long car rides. We have portable DVD player (christmas present from grandparents last year) but that screen is only 7 in, the laptop is 17 inches!

Hubby bought a new game last night ("just to make sure the graphics card is working" Yeah right, baby!) By the time he got the wireless installed and all the other stuff it was 9:30 so I talked him out of playing it last night. He would have been crabby today after spending all night playing! So I think I know what my hubby will be doing this weekend!

I think it is going to take a lot of self disipline not to spend all my time on the laptop. I need to remind myself that I have other responsibilities and committments. I think I can do it, I am stronger than some computer, I do not need to play computer games, need to connect to blogsites, need to go to internet, pick up laptop, PICK UP LAPTOP......AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Lord's Day!

I woke up with a headache this morning so I sent hubby and daughter off to Sunday School and I joined them later for Church. It is hard to find a place to park if you just come for late service, I did not know that because we are usually in Bible Class. If I ever doubt that the people at Northside love me, I shouldn't . From the time I walked through the door, people were hugging me and asking how I was feeling. I must have repeated the same information 50X but it was sweet that so many people wanted to know what was going one with me. One Elder that I am particularly close to, grabbed me, kissed me and started lifting up my hair to see my scar.

Alot of people did not understand that the implant does not work immediately and that it would be several weeks (possibly) before I can really start hearing things. While it did my heart and my spirits good to be at church, my body was not crazy about the idea. I know that I am still weak physically from the surgery so that is definitely playing a part. It is frightening to be in a crowd when you can't hear. People would walk up and touch me and I would jump. I was constantly looking around me because I felt vulnerable. I finally asked my husband to take me into the auditorium (to our seat) just so I could calm down a little.

I was surprised at how little I could understand of the service. I am sure some was due to being tired but other parts were undoubtably due to having no hearing on my left side. I could barely hear the sopranos and alto's singing although my husband said they were very loud today. I was having a hard time with the preacher and usually can hear him pretty well. After service was pretty much a repeat of before service with lots of people asking lots of questions. Usually we eat out after Church but today I just wanted to go home, so hubby and little K went and picked up Quizno's. Yummy sandwiches and soup. My tongue is still not working right but soup is one thing that usually taste right.

Read the paper and watched a little TV before Life Group. I always enjoy being with the families in our life group but had so much trouble following "lesson" or discussion talk. Sometimes it is so confusing I just have to take myself out of the picture for awhile and not try to be a participant only an observer. It has been a good day but now I am tired and think I will probably sleep well tonight. Hopefully will not be as restless as usual, I know that I disturb hubby when I am so restless. Counting down the days until the activation, 10 more to go!

Jenny, I am sorry I missed you today. I did see your husband and cute baby ( I asked Tracy if that was them) but he was already out the door and I am in no condition to go chasing down other women's husbands! (Ha Ha) Maybe we can meet up next week. We usually go to second service and sit up in the middle section on the right (if you are looking at the pulpit) One of these days we will meet, I am sure of it!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Things always look brighter in the morning!

I am feeling some better today. The doctor's office finally called back this morning. I got answers to my questions (more or less, some where pretty vague answers) and I got the go ahead to get the incision wet so I could take a true shower and wash my hair (good scrubbing) My husband helped me wash my hair a couple of times but we had to be so careful around the ear that it really did not feel like it was totally clean!

A new day and a clean head and I am in much better spirits! I am going to venture out later and try driving for the first time in a week. My daughter has an appt this afternoon and it is not very far so it should be no problem. I am not feeling dizzy at all today so everything should be fine. Funny, how you lose your confidence after being out of commission for a week.

My hubby is so sweet! He got darling daughter off to school again this morning so I could sleep in (rough night), cleaned the kitchen up and even fixed the coffee pot so I could just turn it on this morning. I feel very blessed and loved right now. God gave me a good guy and I hope they both know how much I appreciate him!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Blue Day!

It has been a hard day today. I guess I am still recovering and it is just starting to get me down. Say a little prayer for me ya'll! I know that things will look better tomorrow so I am not going to harp on everything that went wrong today. I just really wish that Dr. offices would call you back when they say they will!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First Day At Home Alone!

Hello All ( or at least the two or three of you who read my blog on a regular basis),

Well, things are on their way back to normal around here. Darling daughter and hubby went off to school and work this morning as usual. Hubby let me sleep in this morning and got K off to the school bus, I guess everything went okay as I was still in dreamland. I know hubby made it to work as he sent a text message a bit ago and can only assume K made it to school since they have not called wondering where she is!

I am still in a fog and will get dizzy if I stand up too quickly but am not in too much pain from the surgery. Dr. made it sound like I would be fine the day after surgery but was not the case for me. It may be due to being sick the whole week before the surgery. My body was weakened and then the surgery just knocked me down further. Once I feel better I think I will talk with Dr. about not "sugar coating" the recovery information.

When the doctor places the implant into the cochlear, he cuts off whatever hearing is left in the implant ear. I guess it works kind of like lossing a limb and you get phantom pains because I have interesting noises in my left ear. It starts off very quietly, like a train in the far distance and then gets louder and louder until I think my head will explode and then it goes away. The trick is to not lose your mind before it goes away! It is never the same noise and there is no warning that it is coming on. It does seem to be happening less frequently than it did right after the surgery so that is good!

I have an appt on the 18th to be" hooked up" or "turned on" with the processor ( that is the part that is worn outside the body and looks like a hearing aid) Until the processor is added and the program installed, I have no hearing at all in my left ear. I am not sure what I will actually be able to hear once they turn it on. Some people hear right away and others can only hear robotic noises (beeps, chirps, R2D2 sounds). I suspect I will fall somewhere in the middle, being able to hear some things but needing to work on speech.

We ordered a laptop for our Christmas gift to each other and I sure wish it was here so I could stay downstairs and check out my email and blog. Hopefully it will arrive in a few days. My head is spinning and my enegy stores are depleated so I think I will make my way back downstairs to the comfort of my recliner. Hope everyone's new year is off to great start!