Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Afternoon at the Office
Tuesday,  June 25, 2013
One week from today is when I have the appointment to have the Cochlear Implant activated and programmed!  One week!  I can't say that the end is in sight, because this will just be the start of the next phase.  But the next phase will allow me to return to some normal activities. 
This morning my husband had an emergency job for a customer.  Normally when that happens before opening time, I will go to the office and open it for business.  Then he would come when he finished his job.  Today he said, "NO."  He wasn't comfortable leaving me at the office alone.  I understand, but it reminded me how much my assorted problems are affecting our business.  We have had to close many days for the trips to Houston and for my elbow surgery.  Many other days we have closed for several hours at a time for doctor appointments.  As I have mentioned before, we own a small business that has been in my family since 1939.  It is hard for me to just put up the closed sign and walk away during regular business hours, but sometimes we have no choice.  God keeps providing for our needs.
Today, I needed to go to the office to make up a deposit and pay a couple of bills.  I needed to go through a stack of mail and see what needed my attention.  I keep some of my personal files at the office since I am normally there so many hours each day.  A lot of things had stacked up at home that needed to go to the office to be filed.  Mom picked me up about 1:30 and took me to the shop.  I spent the rest of the afternoon on assorted office chores. 

Late in the afternoon a salesman we buy from, who has become a friend over the years, came in for a while.  As he left, he reminded me that he was thinking of me during this time and checking my blog for updates.  That again brought to mind the many of you are are thinking of me and praying for me during this difficult time.  I think in some way, everyone thinks, "Wow, what I do if that was me?"  Most of you understand that this Sudden Hearing Loss just SUDDENLY  happened (probably why it is called Sudden Hearing Loss).  No illness brought it on.  No accident caused it.  One Friday, I could hear at lunch and couldn't hear at supper. 
So what do we do when we are hit with the unexpected?  We turn to those who have been there for us in the past.  We look to the familiar.  For me, my family has always been there for me.  My husband was still very sick with a bad case of the flu when I lost my hearing, but he immediately picked up pen and paper to communicate.  My parents made sure we kids knew they would always be there.  Dad has been gone many years, but Mom was ready to do anything she could to help.  Our children quickly sought out ways to keep the lines of communication flowing.  Each person helped in whatever way they could.  We often think doctors can "fix" things and give us answers.  That is not always the case.
In my life, the one constant source of strength, comfort, and courage, is God.  If we barely know Him, and a crisis hits, we may know we should turn to Him, but don't know where to find His answers.  For me, those answers are in scriptures I have read and learned all my life.  I didn't have to find a Bible and start searching to know the truth of a favorite verse that means a lot to our family: Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  I had no doubt that the verse was true.
Don't think I just sat back and said, "OK, God.  Handle it."  I had to go to the doctors and seek answers.  I spent countless nights (when I was unable to sleep due to the medications I was given in hopes of restoring the hearing) doing research on line.  Looking for answers.  But all the time trusting that God had plans for my good. 
When I look back at photos of me during the first couple of months, I know I was to some extent both in a state of shock and in a state of withdrawal as I sought ways to function in a world where I was deaf.  Holding a precious grandchild sure helps.

Through all that time, though, I never wondered, "Why me?"  If I think that, then am I saying I think it should happen to someone else, but not me?  No, it was more a feeling that somehow God was going to work all of this to His glory and my good.  I just had to keep taking each new step that He gave me peace about.  I don't think I ever thought I would remain deaf for the rest of my life, but I didn't know how God was going to change my situation.  I thought I was not a candidate for the Cochlear Implant, so in the beginning, I didn't consider that an option.  Plus even if it was possible, it was way out of my price range.  God used a high school friend on Facebook (who also sleeps very few hours each night), to show me that I was a candidate and through those long, late night hours on the computer, searching, I found that Medicare would cover a Cochlear Implant.  So I was prepared with information when a doctor asked me if I would consider a Cochlear Implant.  I quickly said that I would.
Have these last five and a half months been easy?  NO!  Have I seen God meeting our needs?  YES!  Have I seen our sons, their wives (and the girlfriend of our single son), and our grandchildren rally around in amazing ways to keep me involved?  YES!  Have I seen my husband step up and take excellent care of me, always putting my needs before his own?  YES!  Am I tired of being treated like an invalid?  YES!  I am eager to return fully to the activities I have not enjoyed for a long time.  I am eagerly counting the days until my implant is activated.  That does not mean that I will hear perfectly the first day, but it will be better than what I have now, and if I practice and work hard, I should be hearing well before too long.

Your prayers are still important.  Your encouragement has been great and I still need it.  I may still have trouble understanding you for a while, but bear with me, please.  Things will get better!  I plan to continue the blog to share my progress.  I want to help more people learn about the Cochlear Implant.  As we go through life, we may each someday know someone else who will go through a similar situation, and each of us will be better prepared to help them.  I am thankful for the Facebook friend who offered me so much insight during those early days after I lost my hearing. 

Before I close tonight, I  promised an updated photo to show the healing of my scar from the surgery three weeks ago for my broken elbow.  It is getting better - both the scar and the elbow.  I slept pretty well last night and it has given me very little discomfort today.  I am also feeling much better, in general.  At no extra charge, you also get to see the scar from the Cochlear Implant which is healing nicely from the surgery to weeks ago.



  1. Praise God! Both incisions look so good. You have taken good care of yourself, lady!