Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's Raining!

It's raining, it's pouring!
I can't wait to start snoring!

Finally, we are getting some much needed rain.
Thank You Lord!

I hope it continues thru the night,
as I love to sleep during a rain storm!

Blessings everyone!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Blogger is having problems!

I apologize for the last post. I fixed it but blogger isn't correcting the post for me. In fact it will not even let me look at my post without going through someone elses blog to get here. I think it is a plot to drive us all insane!

The Computer Swallowed Grandma

The Computer swallowed Grandma,

yes, honestly it's true.

She pressed "control" and "enter"

and disappeared from view.

It devoured her completely,

The thought just makes me squirm.

She must have caught a virus,

or been eaten by a worm.

I've searched through the recycle bin,

and files of every kind;

I've even used the Internet,

But nothing did I find.

In desperation, I asked "Jeeves",

my searches to refine.

The reply from him was negative,

not a thing was found "online".

So if, inside your "inbox",

My grandma you should see.

Please "copy," "scan" and "paste" her

and send her back to me!

My Mom sent this to me, don't know the author or where she got it but thought it was funny and wanted to pass it on.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Hearing History

Two people commented on my last post that they wanted to know more about how I lost my hearing and what got me to this point. I think I have covered it somewhat before on this blog but will try to give a synopsis of it.

I lost my hearing when I was 5 years old and caught the mumps from my brother. At the time, about one in every 200 cases of the mumps causes an infection in the inner ear. I was one of those lucky cases. I developed virus like symptoms and my Mom called the Doctor. He felt that it was just a virus and not related to the mumps so he did not have her bring me in. About two or three months later, my parents noticed that if I was not looking at them I could not hear them. Children adapt and I had learned to lipread.

My parents took me to the Speech and Hearing Center in Houston (about a 2 hour drive) every day for two weeks. My Dad would work the graveyard shift, get up and drive us to Houston, we would spend most of the day at the center. They were testing my hearing, fitting me with a hearing aid and counseling my parents regarding my hearing loss. Then they would drive us home and Daddy would go to work that night, only to do it all over the next day.

My hearing loss was such that the hair like nerves that line the cochlea looked like someone had taken a lawn mower and mowed out patches. The doctors recommended that they place me in the School for the Deaf in Austin. My parents refused. I was fitted with a hearing aid in one ear, the other was considered un-aid able because there was no speech recognition. I could (and still can) hear sound in my right ear but can't understand words.

So my parents sent me to a private Kindergarten (they had already planned to do this, as my brother had attended this school 5 years earlier) I did well in kindergarten and even skipped the 1st grade completely. I was mainstreamed into public school. I took some speech classes because of problems with the S and SH sounds, but I speak remarkably well for someone with such a profound hearing loss. I sound like I have an accent but I do not sound hollow like profoundly deaf people often do. I was a very verbal child and that helped me retain my speech.

School was hard for me, I was teased a lot for the hearing loss and because of my weight, some of which I am sure is genetic but a good portion I am sure was a coping mechanism too. I passed everything in school but only excelled in the subjects that I was really interested in. Everything changed during my Jr. year in high school.

The Aggies For Christ came to our church that Fall. I loved everything about it and decided come $#&& or high water I was going to A&M. Everyone told me it could not be done. My grades were not good enough, I would not score high enough on the SAT, my Dad even tried to bribe me into going to a local college (with a car and a phone in my room) but I was determined. In the end I was accepted into A&M University.

I did not recieve any special help while I was at A&M. I went to class just like everyone else, I tried to sit in the front so I could understand better and I made sure my professors knew that I might have to ask more questions than most students. It took me a little longer than most to graduate (I changed my major a few times and took a year or so off right in the middle)

While I was at A&M I became interested in learning Sign Language. I had never learned to sign before, but the A&M Church of Christ was developing a deaf ministry and offered classes. My husband and I both took classes while we were there.

We have been involved in deaf ministry ever since, with the Clear Lake Church of Christ in Houston and then later (after a job transfer) with the Fairfax Church of Christ in Fairfax, VA. I know sign language well now but have never relied on it for my sole communication.

Last Fall, I was at church and my hearing aid quit working(or so I thought). The next day I became really sick, virus type symptoms again. After many doctor appt with specialists, they still do not know what happened or why. But the end result was that my "good" ear(the one I wore the hearing aid in and could understand speech with) was gone.

The doctor told me that my only hope for hearing was with a cochlear implant. I had always resisted an implant because they often destroy what is left of your hearing when they put in the implant and I never wanted to give up what I had for fear it might not work. I had the surgery done on Dec. 29th and it was turned on in Jan.

You can go back in my blog and pick up the story there if you want to. The progress with the CI has been really slow but seems to be picking up recently. Maybe my brain has finally clicked on and is understanding the signals a little better. Hope this is what you wanted to know, feel free to ask questions. I might even answer them for you! :)

Implant Update

Several folks have asked me to update what is going on with the Cochlear Implant, so for those of you who care I will fill you in (for those of you who don't care, GO AWAY, why are you here anyhow?)

I have been doing Auditory Therapy for a few months now and had a session yesterday. The Therapist is quite pleased with my progress. She put me through a series of exercises (verbal, not physical!) to test how much I was hearing with the implant. I would guess that I was getting 75 to 80% correct.

She would cover her face and read things off to me or ask me questions from a prepared list. I am also quite surprised that I was able to understand so much. You have to take into consideration that this was a controlled environment, it was a quiet office and she was speaking very distinctly. She also tried reading newpaper headlines and that was harder for me, I had a much lower success rate with that.

Next week I go for remapping of the processor. I am hoping that this will help me enjoy the sound more, as it is quite distracting and irritating to me now. The sound is "echo-y" and very "tinnish". This program seems to amplify certain sounds while dropping others, so I am hoping for more success after the remapping next week.

Thank you to all of you who ask about my progress and encourage me with your support and prayers. Please keep them coming as this is still a very hard task which lays ahead of me. I commented to the Therapist yesterday, that hearing with an implant is hard work, it does not come easily or naturally, you have to focus and really work to understand. She agreed with that statement and said that is what many implant patients struggle with.

I miss having the little one home all day but am enjoying the peace and quiet of having the house to myself. I am able to get more done without hearing "Mama, I am bored, play with me" or "I'm hungry" or "Can I go to ______'s house?" ALL DAY LONG!!!!

Hope you are all having a great week!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Go back two post, do not pass go.....

For some reason, blogger posted my latest post behind my blue mama post. If you want to know how the Hawaii trip ended, go back two post and read all about it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Been In A Blue Funk Lately!

I hurt my neck this past weekend and have just been in a blue funk all week due to the pain and just not feeling up to par! So I decided to change the template of my blog and make it match my mood. Do you like the blue or the rose better?

Oh well, it won't be long til my neck is all better and I am back to my happy self once again. Blessings to you all!

All Good Things Must End!

Thought I should finish up the saga of the Hawaiian vacation since we have been home for almost a month now. So here is the final installment: Our last day in Maui was pretty uneventful. We had breakfast at the hotel and then Hubby went and had a massage on the beach. (I put the censored in because he is a little shy about being topless on the blog!) They had a little cabana set up and he got an hour long massage. He was feeling pretty good for our trip home.

The plane left Maui on time, we had a little mix up with the gate number for our departure and for some reason we had to change seats after the first leg of our flight home but we made it to the plane and we did get First Class seating on the way back. We flew from Maui to Kona and had about an hour layover there. There was a cute statue of two Hawaiian children. That airport is built on top of a lava flow.The picture is hazy due to the airplane windows but the dark strips are lava.
This Lava looks like what you typically see in pictures. Black tar like rocks with deep cracks in them. The airport looks like they just poured the concrete airstrips right over the top of it. It was not tilled up or anything planted on it. The airport is open air with just pavillions to wait for your flight under.

The flight left Kona a little late and was running late getting into Chicago. The seats were okay but not the great beds that we had on the trip from LA to Oahu. I was spoiled after that ride. Some people slept on this flight but we were mostly awake, reading our books or watching the movies. I could watch them but could not understand the dialog, fortunately they were pretty simple movies. Ice Age 2 and The Shaggy Dog, so most of the gags were visual. We were late arriving in Chicago and had to run to a different terminal to catch our connecting flight back to Houston. They said that it would be a 2 1/2 hour flight but in reality it was only about 2 hours from Chicago to Houston. It was a little hopper plane but had the nicest flight attendants of all the flights we flew. That is probably due to the fact they were not United Employees!

We arrive in Houston about 9am and lo and behold one of our bags does not show up. So we hike over to the lost baggage desk and I stay with the other luggage while Hubby goes to the counter. Guess who is behind the desk--Rude Employee #1- the same lady who was at the ticket counter on the flight out 8 days earlier. There was no mistaking it was the same woman, she had a freaky half afro/half corn row hair do! She had not become any friendlier in the last week either. She practically threw a claim ticket at Hubby and said the bag should come in on a 10:30 flight and to call that number to have it delivered to us. So Hubby and I call the hotel to come pick us up (minus one bag) and take us to get the car. Then we decide to go get something to eat and call the airline to try to get the bag delivered to Hubby's brother's house (where we are going to get some sleep because we are both exhausted by this point)

Oh, I should meantion that brother and family are not home, they are already in Dallas waiting on us to get there to have family birthday party for Hubby's grandmother and for us to pick up darling daughter. So we stop to eat and call airline about lost bag. There was no one intelligent enough to even take the address down and tell us when the bag might be delivered to us. So hubby was getting a little hot under the collar (BTW--hubby is the calm one in the family!)He finally told them to just forget about it, we would return to the airport and pick up the bag ourself. So hubby drops me off and I go into the baggage claim area to get the bag. Now, I have my ID, my claim ticket, and my luggage stubs all ready because I figure it is going to be a hassle to get this bag. I walk up to the baggage carousel and Rude Employee #1 is pulling bags off the conveyor belt. I see my bag, walk up to her and say "that is my bag, may I have it?" She says "I guess" and I walked off with the bag. She did not ask me for any ID or Claim tags, nothing! I don't believe she knew who I was because I had not gone up with Hubby to the lost bag counter. She just let me walk off with the bag. Once I got the bag in my hand though, I high tailed it out of there before she could change her mind.

We went to BIL house and took a shower and crashed for about 4 hours. Then we went out to dinner and came back and crashed again. We got up at 5 am the next morning and drove 6 hours to hubby's grandparents home (on the TX/OK border) and surprised his grandmother at her birthday party! Darling Daughter was happy to see us and waited a whole 90 seconds before asking "what did you bring me"? We enjoyed spending time with hubby's extended family before heading back to the Dallas area to hubby's parents house.

The next day was Sunday, so after going to church with his family (13 of us) we had a nice lunch at his parents before returning home (5 hour drive) Boy was it good to be back home and sleep in our own beds.