Saturday, April 20, 2013

Some Things Stay The Same,  Some Don't
April, 20, 2013

When a person can't hear, some things stay the same, but some don't.  While sleeping, the only problems with not hearing are a phone call in the middle of the night, a call from a family member from a bedroom down the hall, and not hearing an alarm clock to announce time to get up.  Today was another Saturday morning when I had to get up early since Ron wasn't going to be at the house and my housekeeper was coming.  (She won't be here next Saturday, so maybe I can sleep late, or go birding.) 

My morning was spent mostly working in the yard, pulling weeds, transplanting some grass that was growing very well in the flower bed, cleaning the bird baths, and digging in the flower beds.  It was a beautiful day here.  As a friend posted this evening that Brownsville hit a high of 96 earlier this week and then a couple of days later we tied a 129 year record low by hitting  48 degrees early in the morning.  The weather the last couple of days has been outstanding.  All day yesterday at the office I wished I was home working in the yard, so I did it today.  Yard work done alone does not require hearing.  In fact it was a very peaceful, relaxing morning.

Early this afternoon Ron went with me to the grocery store.  I have done it alone and do pretty well.  Grocery shopping requires very little conversation.  When you get to the checkout the clerk usually asks if you found everything you needed and in Brownsville, they ask if you brought your own bags.  They give you a total on your bill, but normally you can see the screen and know how much to pay.  In fact, grocery shopping in Brownsville and not hearing is not too bad.  There are no screaming kids, no parents saying, "No, you can't have that!"  But it is helpful to have Ron with me in case I can't find something.  He can ask and hear the answer.  It helps if we run into someone we know, as we did this afternoon.  At least this lady knew of my hearing loss; some don't and it is hard to explain because they immediately start to ask questions.

We came home and put away the groceries, and that requires no hearing.  We ran another errand and then came back to have lunch.  Later after reading for a while, I went back outside and mowed the back yard.  Not hearing is fine for that chore.  The ducks kept flying into the yard, and then flying away as I would turn the mower back their direction.  I couldn't hear them "fuss" at me.

I worked on a quilt for while.  This is one that I worked on several years ago and set aside.  Now I am putting the rows together.  Sewing is a silent activity for me, so that was fine.

This evening about the time we started to eat supper, our youngest son called.  That is when the hearing loss matters - A LOT!  I have an amplified phone provided by the state of Texas for the hearing impaired.  I had gotten this one just before my additional hearing loss in January.  With it turned all the way up, I can struggle to hear some people.  The pitch of a person's voice determines if I can hear them enough to carry on a conversation.  On my cell phone, I have no idea if a call I placed went through, or if the person answered at all; I only hear silence.  But on the amplified phone, I can tell someone is there, I just can't always tell what they are saying.  At this time (it has changed over the weeks) I can hear our oldest son fairly well.  I only have to have him repeat about every 3rd or 4th sentence.  When I talk to his wife, I struggle more, having to have her slow down and speak as low as possible and I still miss a lot.  Prior to this loss, she and I would chat for about an hour almost every evening.  I miss those chats A LOT!  But with our youngest son, he and I have basically given up trying.  I was having to have him repeat so much that both of us were getting frustrated.  So now he talks to his dad.  He is moving to a different apartment this week, he is preparing for finals, he has a sermon to deliver, a presentation to give, and a couple of papers to finish.  I would love to talk to him about all of those things, (and about the lovely young lady who is so special to him) but at this time, it just doesn't work.  That makes me very sad.  Our other two sons are very difficult for me to hear also.

Technology helps.  There is email.  There is texting.  There are amplified phones.  There are letters.  But none of them are the same as a regular phone call.  I have been told that with the Cochlear implant, I may not be able to use the phone.  Some people can, some can't.  The lady we met with at the Houston Ear Research Foundation a couple of weeks ago said she doubted that I could ever take back the responsibility of answering the phone at our office.  She said that familiar voices (like family) and people who are willing to talk slowly, and distinctly, may work, but unfamiliar voices like at the office would be very hard.  I have heard from some people who have the implants that they can manage on the phone.  That would be great, but I at least want to be able to talk to my family members on the phone.

For many years I have watched TV with the Closed Caption option turned on.  I would look to it when I didn't understand something.  Now if I have the TV on, I must give it my full attention to read the captioning.  These last few days with the news of the Bombings in Boston and the eventual resolution of that situation, and with the explosion in West, Texas, it has been very hard to follow all the news on those stories.  Often they don't caption those live interviews or "on the spot" reports.  I have always been a "news junkie" and it is hard to not be able to keep up with what is going on in the world. 

I can't hear my husband whisper sweet things in my ear.  He may forget about my hearing and about half way through his loving remarks as I have a totally blank expression on my face, we will both start laughing as it dawns on him I don't have a clue as to what he said.  He often will use a dry marker board, but it is just not the same. 

As I mentioned in a testimony at church on Easter Sunday, "I may have lost my hearing, but God never loses His.  He promises to hear me each time I call out to Him."  In the first half of the Bible verse in Jeremiah 33:3, God says, "Call unto me, and I will answer..."  God always hears me!  That stays the same!


  1. Have you checked out the phones? They type what the caller is saying. I have looked at them briefly for Mama as she has lots of trouble hearing on the phone.

    Looks to me like it might work for Mama. Some of the places who carry the amplified phones for the hearing impaired for free also have these I'm told.

    Between being blind & hearing loss, I think that I would prefer to lose the hearing. Some who are blind tho do wonderful things like one of the ladies in our park. She makes the most beautiful knitted items!! She has just recently left to pick up her new seeing eye dog. She is just amazing!!!

    Hands together for you & the frustration I know must follow you thru the days. God never closes a door without opening another door for you. Love & hugs!!!


    1. Dottie, I may get the Captel at some point, but there are a few reasons we have avoided it. If I can't use the phone comfortably after the surgery, we will consider it. Thanks.

  2. Love reading your blogs. It's "almost" like sitting down and visiting with you--something I miss so much.

  3. Tiny, there are so many times I want to pick up the phone and call you for a chat. Maybe some day.