Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Houston and Back Home Again
Wednesday,  July 31, 2013

Today was a long, but good day!  We spent last night south of Houston and had a relaxing morning.  Ron went out and found a Shipley's Donut shop for me!  He is so thoughtful!  We stayed at the motel until about 10:00 and then headed on into Houston.  We shopped at a Wal-Mart (along with all the parents and kids selecting school supplies!), then the Lifeway Bookstore (formerly Baptist Bookstore), near the place we were going for my appointment, and finally to a Walgreen's, before heading to my 12:30 appointment at the Houston Ear Research Foundation.  My audiologist, Sherri Taxman, was delighted with my continued progress in my adapting to the Cochlear Implant. 

We discussed a variety of issues from assorted sounds I do and don't hear, to the correct equipment usage.  She explained a lot about the challenges in hearing music with an implant.  I have 22 channels in the implant for hearing sounds (we thought it was 16).  These replace the 30,000 tiny hairs that transmit sound in a healthy ear.  Consequently, many tones sound the same.  She explained that if you sit at a keyboard and play each key, with the implant, several in a row, will sound the same, then one will sound different and the next few following it will sound the same.  Does that make sense?  She had some suggestions on how to improve the ability to enjoy music again, but it will take a lot of work and a lot of time.  She said one thing is to listen to only one instrument or one soloist singing a song.  After I can get that, add additional sounds.  There is a program developed by one of her patients (a professional musician who lost his hearing and received an implant) that Cochlear sells to help people improve the music listening skills.  She said these skills also help in noisy situations where there are various sounds all at once. 

She did some tone testing in her office and reprogrammed the sound processor.  Now I have different programs: one for everyday use, another for noisy situations, the third for focusing on one speaker in a noisy room, and last, one that is called a music program, but actually deals with multiple sounds, keeping them from becoming overwhelming.  I will switch between these programs with the remote control.  She had suggestions for dealing with certain difficult listening situations.  We also talked about wearing the sound processor to the beach (I had done that with fear and trembling).  She said, by all means, do it.  She even showed is a special Zip-Lock bag to put the whole thing in, while still wearing it, when I think it might get wet.  These bags come by the box, but she let me buy one piece to try it out (at $5 per baggie, I am not sure how many I want!).

Then she took me to the sound proof booth for testing.   Here I sit as Sherri prepares for the testing.  Below, you see her through the window.  Today I was not "wired for sound", I was only being tested with what I could hear with the sound processor I wear every day, through a normal speaker in the corner of the room.
She explained that since I had done so well on the test last month, that she had to come up with a much harder one to check the level of ability today.  When you take a test and get everything correct, it doesn't let them know the limits of your ability.  Only when you start missing some, can they evaluate that.  Today I listened to many sentences read by four different readers: 2 men and 2 women.  They would take turns reading.  She warned me that the sentences might sound peculiar and not really make sense, because they don't want me to be able to "guess" at what was said.  After the test, she said she was delighted and that I was still her star patient with 95% on this test.  She said she has patients who have had the implant for 10 years who can't do that well on this test.  I laughed and told her the only strange sentence was the one that said: "He seemed to drink excessively following the hamster's death." (Or something like that!) 
I was able to show her how the Kindle Fire works for the Immersion Reading and she brought in a couple of other audiologists to see a brief demo on it and they all thought it has great potential for some other patients.  I hope others can get help using it.  I am enjoying mine.  Sherri thinks it can especially be helpful to implant patients who live alone and don't have a lot of vocal input each day.  I think she is right!
We finished up with a few more questions and then scheduled the next appointment for the end of September.  Sherri is a pleasure to work with and we could have stayed all afternoon, but I think we already had her behind schedule for her next appointment.  (oops!) 
The plant nursery nearby had marked all their stock down more and we found a nice variety of plants for the yard; we got about 11 plants for under $20.  Now if I can just find time to transplant them! 
This is one we paid $2 for a couple of months ago!  We have had great success with their items.  Of course Ron has really been taking good care of them for me every morning and I am afraid when I take back over this chore they may all die!

With the plants in the car and the temperatures soaring, we needed to head home and not make stops leaving the plants to sizzle in the car.  We made a couple of quick stops on the way back and arrived home just after 9:30 this evening.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

Time To Travel
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Today was the first time we have traveled out of town since the Cochlear Implant was activated July 2 & 3.  I have a Wednesday appointment at the Houston Ear Research Foundation at 12:30.  We are both tired and decided it would be best to drive up Tuesday and home Wednesday after the appointment instead of trying to do up and back all in one day.  Naturally, we did not get away as early as planned, so we decided not to go all the way to Houston, but rather to go most of the way, so we will have an easy drive in the morning. 

On the way, we discussed some of the reasons we might be tired.  We got to talking about what all had gone on in just these last two months.  Let me back up one week further though to include Memorial Day weekend when we were out of town for five days, going to see our son David and his family in San Antonio, and then from there we traveled to Dallas to see our son Stephen and meet his girlfriend, Kristina.  Next we went to Houston to pre-register at Memorial-Hermann Hospital for my Cochlear Surgery scheduled for June 10. 

Tomorrow is the last day of July.  On the first day of June I fell and broke my left elbow - badly.  There were several broken bones and dislocations.  I spent four days in the hospital.  The surgery to put in a plate, pins, and screws was done on June 3, a Monday.  I came home from the hospital with my arm in a cast for the next two weeks, and in a sling following that. The Monday after I had that surgery, I had surgery in Houston for a Cochlear Implant to take care of the deafness I suffered in January.  Of course, that meant a trip to Houston for the surgery.  We left home on Sunday, June 9 and we returned home on Tuesday, June 11.  Stephen, Kristina, and David met us in Houston to be there for the surgery.

June 11, we picked up our daughter-in-law, Vickey, in Houston and she came home with us for 8 days.  After dropping her off at the airport to fly home, June 18, we headed to the orthopedic surgeon for a check-up and removal of the cast.  That came off, but lots of restrictions went on: don't lift so much as a spoon, don't push or pull with that arm.  Several of you brought food during that time and it really helped. 

Early July, Ron's brother Don and his wife, and Ron's Aunt Viva, came for a visit for several days.  They did not stay with us, but we got together for several meals.

Ron had a skin cancer removed during early June, and another spot removed a couple of weeks later.  I had a dental appointment for a broken tooth.  We returned to Houston for 3 days, in order to have the Cochlear Implant activated.  We had 5 house guests from Denmark for 3 days.  I had another appointment with the orthopedic surgeon.  Our son Stephen and his girlfriend came for 8 days to visit.  I started physical therapy.  During this time we had countless family dinners so everyone could have time with the out of town guests.

I returned to work, trying to catch up on weeks, if not months, of half done jobs.  My return to work allowed Ron to go on jobs he had been putting off.  Ron continued to teach his Sunday School class, serve as Chairman of the Deacons, serve on the church school board (which met several times over the summer), and serve on the church building committee, which had some projects to consider.  The
church started a revival this week.

Besides my physical therapy sessions, I have exercises to do at home.  I have training sessions on the computer for the Cochlear Implant, and books to read with instructions for the care and operation of the implant and sound processor.  I am practicing listening (hearing) skills with Immersion Reading on my Kindle Fire.  I have sewed a couple of quilt pieces together.  I have loaded my dish washer more times than I can count.

Maybe it isn't our age that is making us tired!!!  We would not have missed a minute of the visits with those so dear to us.  What precious times we have had these past few weeks.  But, we are tired.  So tonight I am writing from a nice motel a little way from Houston.  We had a nice, relaxing dinner at Olive Garden.  We enjoyed the good food and Ron is delighted that I can hear him again.  Of course that sometimes gets him in trouble. 

God is good.  I told Ron I didn't think I could have coped during this time if I had not adapted as well as I did to the Implant.   I am so blessed to be experiencing such great success with it.  Don't get me wrong.  The hearing is not perfect.  I can't hear the melody in a song.  I misunderstand many words.  Crowd noises are overwhelming, but this is so far ahead of the last few years.   I do mean YEARS, not months.  My hearing had been very bad for a long time.  We thank God for blessing us in this way with the improved hearing and with a summer we will never forget!  And we still have August to go!

I almost forgot: I started this out to tell you that this was the first time to travel with the implant and I did not do well about getting all the supplies together that I should have brought.  I got off with out my phone charger.  I forgot one to the batteries for the sound processor, and a couple of other minor things.  That is what started our discussion of how tired we are.  :)

July 29, 2013

Listening to People
Monday,  July 29, 2013

The day started with Physical Therapy on my elbow.  The arm will not extend all the way, or fold in all the way.  Also, the rotation is limited.  The therapist is trying to change that.  The exercises are boring, uncomfortable, but necessary.  The therapy room is nice, bright, and the view is excellent.  One complete wall is windows, floor to ceiling, overlooking a resaca (body of water that used to be a part of the river and was left when the river changed course).  There are palm trees and assorted ducks and birds to keep the patients distracted. 

In my last blog, I mentioned that we often hear someone say something, but we are focused on something else, and don't hear the hurt in their voice.  The man who seems to be the main therapist in always cheerful.  Yesterday he asked how I was doing and I said that I was doing fine.  I asked how he was doing and he said that he was always fine.  He is always busy and pleasant to all the patients and I may have mentioned earlier that I am impressed that he is great with all ages. 

At the end of my session, he spent time massaging a couple of creams all over my damaged arm, so I had time to talk to him.  I complimented him on his care of all the patients and asked where he got his training.  Suddenly that hurt and pain inside showed all over his face as he said it started when he was nine years old and his older brother was in a serious accident and became paralyzed from the neck down.  He would go to the hospital to visit and the staff would teach him how to care for his brother.  He eventually went into the military service and became a medic and many encouraged him to go into physical therapy.  Maybe he learned that he had much to be thankful for as he grew up caring for that brother who could not care for himself.   Whatever happened along the way, he focuses on the good and not the bad and sad.  I am hoping for more time to talk to him, but most mornings he is on the move all the time I am there.

That conversation reminded me of how, many years ago, I would have conversations like that with the people who crossed my path.  The years of limited hearing made me uncomfortable chatting with strangers.  There were just too many things I didn't hear or I misunderstood.  I became withdrawn and interacted very little with people outside my family and small group of close friends.  I would greet strangers, but rarely tried to engage them in conversation.  Things are changing!  Things will never be "the same", but they are so much better and will continue to improve.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Blessings and Everyday Encouragements

Sunday Blessings and
Everyday Encouragements
Sunday,  July 28, 2013

Sundays for us always center around our church and family.  What better way to spend any day, but in our family, Sunday is set apart first for the Lord, and second, whenever possible, for family.  Today was one of those that included a lot of family.  Stephen and Kristina were still here and joined us for the Sunday School class where we were studying God's Word together with a great group of friends.  Then during the worship service we started a series of Revival meetings with a young man preaching who grew up here and graduated the same year our oldest son did. 
Following church, we went to lunch at Luby's Cafeteria with my mom and Jeff's family as well as Stephen and Kristina.  They were planning to leave after lunch.  We took a bunch of photos after we ate and I guess this next one is one of my favorites.  You know how kids want to make goofy faces when you pull out a camera?  I just told them to all do a goofy face and get it over with.  We do like to have fun!  Here are Stephen and Kristina with Jeff's children.
It was hard to say good bye to Stephen and Kristina.  Stephen usually only gets to visit us a couple of times a year and so Christmas is the next chance to see him.  Even that visit will be in question since he is now the Assistant Manager at the bookstore where he works and Christmas sales and after Christmas sales are busy at the store.  The past few years they have let him have that time off, but we aren't sure if it will work this year.  Stephen is probably in his last semester at the seminary and Kristina is starting at a different school and different grade level this coming year as a teacher of pre-kindergarten students.  They will both be very busy this fall, learning new jobs and working hard.
During the time when I first lost my hearing, those family gatherings were very difficult.  The grand kids at first didn't know how to handle my deafness.   Neither did my mom, or our kids and their spouses.  It was "uncharted waters" for all of us.  It took a little while but each found ways to communicate and helped in every way they could to make my life easier.  The same thing at church.  People wanted to help but didn't know how.

When I first lost the hearing, going to church was very difficult.  I would know that people were trying to talk to me, but had no idea what they were saying.  I remember the first Sunday, I walked into the auditorium before going to our Sunday school class.  There were three people there that I had only known a couple of months, and one of them tried to tell me something.  I told her I was sorry, but I couldn't understand what she was saying because I had lost my hearing that week.  She put one hand one each side of my face and yelled in my face.  I still couldn't hear, but did read her lips enough to know she was asking how my husband was.  He had just had a very bad case of the flu.  Looking back I just have to laugh.  She didn't mean to hurt my feelings, but she did.  She had her mind set on asking about my husband when she saw me, and didn't listen to my answer. 

There are times we all do that.  We don't listen to the hurt in the answer that someone gives us.  We don't encourage them when for any number of reasons, they are carrying a load of hurt inside, and crying out for someone to care.  They may even be telling us exactly what is wrong, "I have lost my hearing," but because we were talking to them about something else, we just let that answer go with no response; we push on with our train of thought.  Thankfully, most of the people I know, did not do as that lady did, that first Sunday.  So many of my friends have gone out of their way to show their concern and reached out to encourage me.
These are most, but not all of the cards I have received over these months.  Cards have been the best form of communication.  For months I could not talk on the phone (and still have difficulty with it).  One of the things I have always liked about receiving cards is that I can enjoy them again and again.  You can see that I have saved them.  I have them in a special little mesh zipper bag that someone gave me during this time.  It is just perfect for storing these cards.  One out of town friend has sent many cards and some of them are homemade.  That is great!  It doesn't matter.  Cards and postage have gotten expensive, so we often hesitate on the investment.  I am glad these friends all invested some time and money in my life. 

This morning in our Sunday School class one lady was talking about how when God lays someone on her heart, she sends a card.  At least one in this batch is from her and it came at a time when I really needed it.  Some of you know exactly what she meant when she said "God lays someone on her heart".  For me, I have often had a name pop into my mind for the first time in a while, and I have found that when I call or send a card, very often they tell me they really needed to hear from a caring friend.  If you have never done that, may I encourage you to give it a try.  If someone comes to mind, at least pray for them, but if possible, let them know in some way that you were thinking of them.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Don't you love those commercials where they talk about material things and what they cost, and then they get to the relationships and they say: Priceless!  That is how today was.  I had a laid back morning while my housekeeper was here.  Then I made a trip to the grocery store for lunch and supper items.  Lunch was wonderfully grilled fajitas, Mexican rice and re-fried beans. 

Then we got ready to go to Boca Chica Beach for the evening.  Ron and Stephen had chopped up some dead wood to use at the beach to build a bonfire.  Our son Jeff's family joined us and it was: Priceless!  Hearing the sounds of the beach alone was great - the waves, the sea gulls, the wind.  But hearing the squeals of laughter and delight from the grand children is: Priceless! 
From the youngest who had no fear of the water...
To the oldest of the grandchildren, who worked on a sandcastle...
To some of them in between watching the bonfire Grandpa built...
To our youngest son Stephen and his girlfriend, who helped the little kids with a big sandcastle...
To my husband showing our Boy Scout grandson how to start a bonfire with one match...
I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of the love, laughter, and giggles.  Without the Cochlear Implant, I would have heard nothing today at the beach.  I was hesitant to wear it to the beach, but they encouraged me to use it ALL the time, so I did.  I used the ear hook that has the bendable wire to hook under the ear as well as above.  I only waded in shallow water, and most of the time I wore a bandanna over it and my hair, just to be safe. 
 The squeals,
 The quiet conversations,
The splashes,
The constant counting of seven youngsters,
The gentle waves rolling in...
When it was time for supper, the requests for hot dogs, the instructions about what I should put on their hot dog buns, the excited, enthusiastic requests for marshmallows, graham crackers, and Hershey squares to make S'mores... I could have missed all that.  I might have been there, but would not have heard all of it.  I would have missed the "Thank you, Grandma" and "Thank you, Mom" that I heard over and over.
As the night air got damper and the wind picked up, I took the sound processor off when we were starting the clean-up and load-up activities, and my oldest grand daughter came and used the sign language she had learned so she could communicate with me while I wasn't hearing, and thanked me.  PRICELESS!!! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cochlear Implant Training DVD
Friday,  July 26, 2013

Where did this week go?  Did anyone else have their week disappear as quickly as mine did?  Maybe it just seems short because our youngest son is home and he will be going back to Dallas too soon. 

This morning I had to ride to work with my husband since Stephen was using my car while he was having a little work done on his.  That made for a long day for me, since I don't usually go to the office that early.  Our grandson Isaac came to the office for much of the day.  I kept him busy with some cleaning, as well as unpacking and pricing merchandise, and preparing invoices.  During the morning while he was working cleaning in the showroom, I spent some time with my Kindle Fire and the Immersion Reading.  That is working well.
After Isaac left, I closed myself in my office and started work with the DVD of practice exercises that came with my Cochlear Implant.  There are many different types of listening exercises and tests so that you can chart your progress.  I should have started this sooner, but there just has not been time.

As I have mentioned before, with the implant, it is very hard to be able to enjoy music.  There are just not enough different tones recognizable from the 16 channels in the implant.  It would take a lot more explaining than I can do in this blog to tell you how that all works, but let me just say that several notes close to one another on the piano, all sound the same with the implant, so the ability to enjoy music is not easily achieved.  A few people say that with a lot of intense practice, they have been able to do it. 
The limited variety of tones available affects not only music appreciation, but also voice identification.  It is hard to identify voices that once were very familiar to me.  The program deals with pure tones, consonant recognition and vowel recognition, environmental sounds, male & female voice identification, word discrimination, every day sentences, and music appreciation.  There are exercises in each category and in most cases an assessment test to take in the beginning to later use to check improvement. 
After taking the assessment tests, they tell you what level you need to start on to practice.  They often feel I have mastered an area in which I don't feel at all comfortable.  For example, in the every day sentences, on Level 1, they will read a sentence and you will see four sentences on the computer screen and you select the one you just heard.  I don't have any trouble with that.  I was blessed to be able to understand clear, simple speech from the start (unlike most of the patients).  When you get to Level 3, they start adding background noise and you just select one of four words on the screen that was in the sentence.  I did fairly well on that, but not perfect.  The computer told me to advance to the next level.  Level 4 adds a LOT of background noise and I could only guess at those.  That is an area where I really struggle as I have mentioned when I have talked about us going out to eat, or when people are visiting before and after the church services on Sundays.

Dealing with the vowel recognition, there will be two or four words on the screen (depending on the level you are working with) and you will hear a word and must select the corresponding one on the screen.  Sounds easy?  These are words that sound very similar and can be a real challenge for someone with the Cochlear Implant.  I did well on Level 3 out of 4 levels, but Level 4 is very challenging. 

I probably spent an hour and a half or more working with the program and it showed the areas where I already know I am having trouble.  I am not sure how this will help, but I hope it does make things better.  After the assessment tests, you go to the training sessions and in them, when you miss something, it immediately shows you what you missed and repeats the words that you confused so that you reinforce what the correct answer is.  Still, I am not sure how that retrains my old brain.  I will let you know if my scores improve. 
The pure tone section was in many ways discouraging because they would play three tones and you were to mark the one that was different.  In listening to some of the tones, it was easy to select the correct answer, but in other cases, even after I had been told I was wrong, and it would replay the three tones again, all three would sound exactly alike to me.   This is to a person with 4 years of piano, 10 years of band, and many, many years of church choirs and singing.  So I don't know how, when there are just the limited channels to replicate the sounds, I can learn to discern them.  The audiologist says she has one patient who was a professional musician and that after lengthy, hard work, he can now return to playing in the band that he was in before losing his hearing and then getting the Cochlear Implant.  So, it can be done.  I just don't know how it works in the brain.  God gave us an amazing brain and it can still learn new things all the time, so I will keep trying to teach it some new tricks.

My brain was exhausted by the end of the work day.  Ron and I ran a couple of errands after work and then went to Chick-fil-A for supper.  We were in separate cars and I got there first.  I was inside waiting for him and "the cow" came over and gave me a hug.  It was nice to get that after all my hard work all day on the listening activities.  There is still so much to learn!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25, 2013

First Full Physical Therapy Session
Thursday,  July 25, 2013

Yesterday I did not post a blog entry.  Very little medically eventful happened.  I had a busy day of working at the office in the morning, paying bills, making up a deposit, and fun, exciting things like that.  I left after lunch and went to the bank, the post office, P.U.B., and Wal-Mart.  Then I headed home to fix a supper consisting of several of Stephen's favorite foods. 

Homemade rolls started off my preparations, and I quickly found out that kneading dough works best with two strong hands.  Later rolling out the dough after it had risen, was a one-handed challenge.  After the dough started to rise, I rested a few minutes before starting the Swiss steak.  Again, cutting thin slices of onions is hard without two strong hands.  I am allowed to use the left hand, but it is very weak, and many actions cause pain, so I don't push when that happens.  The planned scalloped potatoes gave way to baked potatoes as I thought of trying to peal and slice all those potatoes.  There were a few more things on the menu, but the rolls and Swiss steak were the main requests from Stephen.

As full as we were, Stephen still wanted homemade ice cream after supper, so we made that and I cleaned the kitchen while it was getting ready.  I was tired by the time I finished, but we had a good time and enjoyed visiting.

Today I spent much of the day at the office and most of my time was spent sorting report forms from Medicare, my supplemental insurance, and my prescription drug coverage plan.  I am so very thankful for those plans and the coverage they are providing.  I am amazed at how fast all the bills have been submitted, but things for the most part are being paid quickly.  My Medicare coverage has already sent a payment to Memorial-Hermann Hospital for over $86,000.   Without this coverage, there is no way we could have afforded to have the surgery to restore my hearing. 

Middle of the afternoon, I headed to the physical therapy session (the one the lady told me would be about an hour and fifteen minutes).  She was wrong.  It was an hour and forty-five minutes.  I did get a pretty good workout on the stiff arm.  We started with an exercise bike.  (For a broken elbow, you ask?)  This one is powered by hands, not feet.  Ten minutes of bike time.  Then my therapist, Carlos, moved me to the table where I did five, three-minute sessions on wrist exercises.  I felt like I was training to be the Queen.  First I put my lower arm and wrist on an inclined wedge and did what looked like an up and down "wave".  Then there were two, three-minute exercises of making the hand rotate in one direction and then the other.  Next came a side to side motion and last, turning the hand from "palm down to palm up".  That was the most painful.  I don't have good rotation in that exercise or in usage.

Next I was given a hand exerciser and was to do three minutes of pressing it, followed by three minutes of squeezing a firm foam egg shaped object.  Then came what looked like neon orange silly putty.  I was to squeeze it, turn it, squeeze it, turn it, and on and on.  The next event in the hand sport competition was one where I would extend the arm as much as possible with the wrist turned at a 90 degree angle upward and with the other hand, press it toward my body and hold.  I did that for a while and then repeated it with the hand pointed down.

About 20 minutes of "shake and bake" with the heating things above and below the arm and the electrodes attached to my elbow area and set to stimulate the muscles was next on the agenda.  That was followed by an arm massage with a couple of creams rubbed all over the arm.  (I liked that.)  We are making a little progress on the inward range of motion, but I am not sure yet on the outward extension of the arm - maybe a little bit.

I returned to the office for a while and then Ron and I closed up and met my mom, Stephen and Kristina at Antonio's for supper.  Good food and conversation followed.  It was loud in there and before long the loud noise in my head began.  By the time we left I could hear little else except that noise.  Conversation was very difficult.  I am beginning to think the noise is a response to noises around me.  I am hoping after the re-programing next week, that things will get better.

Today and yesterday I was able to do a little of the Immersion Reading, but not too much.  Yesterday I guess I did more, but tonight it is putting me to sleep!  I have downloaded several books with both the printed Kindle version and the Whispersync audio version.  I don't know if I mentioned, as you read along, the passage being read is highlighted in case you get lost.  This would be good for someone who has learned a second language and the listening would help with the flow of the language.

Once we got home, Kristina had Stephen show us some videos on the computer, of the school where she will teach this coming year.  The school is the West Dallas Community School.  I was able to follow 95% or so of what was said on the video! 

The current hearing challenge seems to be dealing with surrounding noise.  I do pretty well in conversation with 2 or 3 people in a quiet setting, but add a lot of background noise and I am in serious trouble.  The pain in the arm is easing.  So, all in all, things are going well.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 23, 2013

Physical Therapy Evaluation
Tuesday,  July 23, 2013

Somehow it seems appropriate that I start my first ever physical therapy on the birthday of my sister, Janet, who is a physical therapist.  (Happy Birthday, Janet!)

Even though I was up late Monday night, I got up early so I would have time to make breakfast for Stephen and Kristina before I went to Physical Therapy.  Much to my delight, while I was working in the kitchen, I looked out to see Stephen mowing my backyard!  What a blessing!  After he finished and cleaned up, I joined them for breakfast and then headed to the building that is shared by my orthopedic surgeon and the physical therapy group he sent me to.

I arrived at the Brownsville Rehabilitation Services office and had an assortment of papers to fill out.  I was very impressed with one set of questions that were used to start evaluating my need for physical therapy.  The first question had to do with how hard it was for me to open a jar with a tight lid.  At this point, there is no way that I can do that.  I do well to open one with a loose lid.  The other questions dealt with the degree of difficulty in doing every day tasks at home and the office.  I felt it was a good over view of the areas where I have trouble.

A physical therapist named Sol (I think) did the initial interview going over an assortment of questions and reviewing the form I had filled out about the degree of difficulty in performing assorted tasks.  Then he had me try to squeeze some device to test grip strength in both hands.  The injured one tested at 8 pounds while the uninjured one was 50 pounds.  That  kind of sums it up.  That 8 pound grip had my hand shaking badly - it was a real strain.

Next he took me out to the workout room and I was seated at a table where a therapist named Carlos, connected electrodes to the injured area around the elbow and set those to vibrating.  Meanwhile there were heat packs above and below the arm.  I felt like it was "shake and bake" time.  I do have to say, the following 12 hours or so were almost pain free for the first time in a long time. 

I was given 2 exercises to do twice a day (10 times each time) for the next couple of days before I start the actual physical therapy on Thursday afternoon.  Most of my sessions will be at 8:00 a.m. (by my choice) but a couple will be in the afternoons.  There will be 9 actual therapy sessions and then an evaluation session at the end, besides the one today.  They said to allow an hour and fifteen minutes per session. 

It was 11:30 by the time I got to the office.  Ron left to do a job at the island and later Stephen and Kristina arrived to have lunch with me.  They stayed for most of the afternoon.  We had a nice visit and Stephen showed Kristina around the shop and the warehouse.

During the afternoon at the shop I had one episode with the Cochlear Implant that really threw me.  I had one of those times when I get a real loud noise in my head.  These have happened a few times in the past, but this one turned my head into a loud echo chamber to where I could not stand the noise.  I took the sound processor off, and that helped some but it did not quiet the noise, it only eliminated the addition of external noises.  I will talk to the professionals in Houston  about this next week, but it seems to just be a part of tinnitus that is often associated with hearing loss.  The spell lasted about 30-45 minutes.  This episode was the hardest on my nerves of any I have had.

In the evening we all went to Jeff and Barbara's for supper.  It was the first time they had met Kristina and I think they had a great visit.  The grand children are always delighted to have their uncles visit and they gave Stephen a workout. 

Barb fixed a salad and tortilla soup for supper and a great peach cobbler for dessert that had everyone wanting to lick the pan.  I was exhausted and was the first to leave last night.  I think the afternoon "noise episode" may be one reason that I was so tired last night.  I talked very little in the group during the evening; the noise was just too much.  One on one conversations were fine.  I spent some time visiting with Barb while she fixed supper and some time enjoying chats with the grand children.   I started this blog when I got home, but didn't get far before heading to bed.

There are a few times that Cochlear Implant patients have chosen after a time to have the device removed because all the sounds are just too overwhelming.  I am no where near that, but I think I can see how that happens.  I had been deaf for a relatively short period of time, but if someone has been deaf for many years, the adjustment must be major to go from silence to being bombarded with sound.  I continue to adapt, but there are times I just need to step away from the crowd and have some quiet time.  Last night I found a few minutes of quiet by leaving the crowd and picking up hundreds if not thousands of tiny LEGO pieces that my two youngest grandsons had scattered in another room.

In one of those "one on one" conversations last night, Rebecca and I chatted as she explained a picture she had done for me in her art class that several of the grand children have been taking this summer.  Rebecca wanted to do a picture of a Tufted Titmouse.  They are mostly gray, black, and white with a little color under the wing.  The art teacher told Rebecca that black and gray are not real colors, so here is the Tufted Titmouse the way she felt she had to do it.  But you may note the arrows with patches of shading beside them, pointing to areas on the bird where those "non-colors" need to be.  I love this kid!!!  She is so much like me in that her rebellious streak will always come through!  Great job, Rebecca!

I guess I will also include part of an art project Nathan was working on, too.  He was working with 3-diminsional objects.  This was when I had some quiet time with him.  I know these art projects don't really have to do with either my implant or my broken elbow, except that I with my Cochlear Implant, I could hear my grand children explain their projects to me.  As a TV commercial likes to proclaim: "Priceless!"

Monday, July 22, 2013

More Amazing Technology!

More Amazing Technology! 
Monday,  July 22, 2013

It is always good to have our sons visiting and I usually press them into service where technological expertise is needed.  Ron is extremely capable of many things but when it comes to computers and newer gadgets, he is normally willing to step aside and let the boys help.  Stephen picked up in the research on a particular need for me at the point where David had left off recently studying what I needed.  Even though Stephen is here visiting with his girlfriend, Kristina, he took time to help me with this project.

One of the things that is important for Cochlear Implant patients to do is to listen to spoken words while reading those same written words.  In the past they have suggested listening to recorded children's books while reading them to get used to what the words sound like.  One reason for the children's books is that they are usually read more slowly.  As I have mentioned, I am so far ahead of most of the implant patients, that my experiences can't really be compared to theirs.  I had read before my implant was activated, that some implant patients use a system developed and marketed by called Whispersync.  Amazon has eBooks for Kindles and Audible has audio books that match the eBooks on Amazon. 

If you have ever listened to an audio book, you may have found that it omitted some of the text.  With the Whispersync system, the two are word for word the same.  Originally Whispersync was developed for people who wanted to listen to their books while jogging, working, cleaning, or any number of other activities.  Then later at home if they wanted to sit down and read the book, they would have to find their spot in the printed or eBook and then start reading it that way.  With Whispersync, the eBook and the Audible (audio book) are synchronized so that one knows where you stopped in the other.  You do have to buy both the eBook and the audio book, but the audio book is discounted after you buy the eBook.

Some Cochlear Implant patients were buying the two items and listening and reading at the same time.  They would download the eBook to their Kindle and the Audible book to an MP3 player or iPod.  Now Amazon has what is called Immersion Reading.  It does exactly what the patients had been seeking - a way to hear someone reading a book while they follow along in written format at the same time.  It took a lot of research and the help of my sons, to put it all together for me, (to help me know what I was needing), but today I got it all figured out and purchased a Kindle Fire HD 8.9" which comes equipped for Immersion Reading.  There are three models of the Kindle Fire that meet those needs.  The Kindle Fire 2nd Generation, the Kindle Fire HD 7" and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" all come ready for the Immersion Reading.

After work Ron and I went to Best Buy and purchased the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" which was on sale for $50 off and I am ready to read!  Stephen helped by setting it up for me and then helped after I selected a book to download.  Another nice thing is that all books I had purchased for my other Kindle transferred to the new one.  I don't have the audio books for them, but I can read them on either device.  Stephen also reminded me that one of those cables I showed in a recent set of photos about all my Cochlear equipment, was just right to attach to the Kindle Fire and to my sound processor.  Doing that, makes for much clearer sound and no one else hears what I am listening to.

When my implant was activated, I asked the audiologist about this system, but she was not familiar with it.  She said if I found out it would work, she would be delighted to know.  Well, IT WORKS!  One of her concerns was the speed of the reading.  She said not all her patients could follow it at the speed most audio books are read.  The Kindle Fire has speed control!  You have your choice of half speed, normal, double, and triple speeds.  I am eager to do some listening/reading! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Good Sunday and Family Fun
Sunday,  July 21, 2013

This morning the worship service and Sunday School times were very good.  It was good to see friends and to worship together.  There was a visitor sitting in front of me in church who had been here before, a few years ago, from up near Dallas.  He introduced himself and said a mutual friend had told him about my Cochlear Implant and he was so glad I was making good progress.  He is here for a week doing mission projects.  Another couple had been on vacation since I had the device activated and they were delighted that I could hear them (me, too!).

I could hear much of the sermon, but not all of it.  I did hear a little bit from the music director including when he honored the pastor for being here 11 years!  Oh, my!  The years are sailing by!  I visited with one of the men after the service and couldn't get all he said - he is very soft spoken, but it was good to visit. 

My husband and son Jeff had a Deacon's meeting and lunch after church, so the rest of the family came to our house to work on leftovers.  The grand kids had a friend with them and we all had a great visit.  Our youngest grand daughter entertained us all, but trying to get a photo was a challenge - she was never still!  She had a wonderful time.  I did find it hard to distinguish some of her sounds.  At one point I heard a rhythmic sound I could not figure out.  I asked and Barbara told me Sarah was hollering.  It did not sound at all like that.  The audiologist had told me to ask when I can't identify a sound so that I can learn what it is.  It is strange not to be able to identify fairly common sounds.

The family stayed for a long time, allowing the kids plenty of time to play and enjoy the toys at Grandma's house.  They have their favorite activities when they are here.  One grandson likes to watch some videos that my husband records.  A couple of them like the Legos.  I noticed when my grandson turned on the video that I asked him to turn it down.  I usually was unaware that it was on. 

The rest of the day included a nap, a little work in the backyard, and a shopping trip to the grocery store to get ready for the next set of guests - our son Stephen and his girlfriend, Kristina, who will be arriving any minute.  I have had very limited hearing since meeting his Kristina, and it will be nice to be able to converse with her.  I will let you know how it goes!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Assorted Saturday Activities

Assorted Saturday Activities
Saturday,  July 20, 2013

On Saturdays, I don't get to sleep late.  My housekeeper comes early.  But it is definitely worth getting up to let her in.  She got a lot done today, as she put clean sheets on the beds in the guest room and Stephen's room, to be ready for Stephen and his girlfriend to arrive tomorrow.  It is nice to be able to verbally communicate with my housekeeper again after months of notes and sign language (our own made up style).

While she was here, I spent about an hour working in the yard.  I had one hibiscus bush that had died on one side and so I cut out the dead section.  I managed to do that one-handed and even used the cart to haul my trimmings.  It was hot and humid while I worked out there.  Hearing the birds was a treat and it is nice to be able to hear a car coming up behind me while I push the cart down the street.

Hummingbirds have discovered that I have hung a feeder up again after not having one out for a couple of months.  There is one bird call that is very loud but so far I have not figured out which bird is making the sound. 

After cleaning up and having some lunch, I dressed to attend a bridal shower.  I first went shopping for the gift, but got to feeling bad while shopping, so I paid for the gift and had them wrap it, and then delivered it to the shower and came home.  Hated to miss the shower.  It was unique in that the bride-to-be was not able to attend and she was there by way of Skype.  What a world!  But several told me I probably would have had trouble hearing.  It would have been interesting to try.  This was my first solo shopping trip.  Ron offered to go but I said I would be ok.  Well, it was a challenge.  I got to the car with purse, and large (but not heavy) wrapped gift.  That left no hand to open the car unless I put too much weight in the left hand that can take very little weight.  So I balanced the package, bracing it against the car.  Would have made an interesting video...

As soon as I got home, I curled up in the recliner and slept the afternoon away.  When I woke up, Ron reminded me that there was a memorial service at the church at 6:00.  It was for Carmelo Garcia, a friend from church and an uncle to our daughter-in-law, Barbara.  Carmelo and his wife Lita have lived in the house next to Barb and Jeff since before Jeff and Barb moved there.  Ron and I stayed in the Cry Room with our five youngest grandchildren during the service.  Part way through the service, our oldest grand daughter left the Cry Room to go sit with her mother in the service.  I had taken things to occupy them, but part of the time they were watching the service through the window.  There is a loud speaker in there, so we could hear the service.  I was able to hear very well on that speaker.  Maybe I need to borrow a baby each Sunday and sit in there.

After the service we visited with a few people.  It was good to hear from some who are following my progress on this blog.  At this point I think I have had over 5,800 views and they come from 42 countries.  If you are checking the map on the blog, the numbers won't match since the map just started counting recently. 

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home for some fresh fruit and veggies.  Shortly after we got home, I had a call from my daughter-in-law, Vickey, and we had a long chat, but it was a struggle.  I need to try a cable that came with my equipment that I think can attach to the phone and to my sound processor.  I will see if that works any better.  Vickey thought she had broken her toe, but turned out she sprained it and pulled some muscles and ligaments.  She is in pain and wearing a boot while also using a cane.  Her family will be visiting them this week.

It seems to me that people I talk to often, their voices are beginning to sound more normal to me - not as high pitched.  When the pastor started the service, I was sitting where I could not see who was speaking.  Although I could understand all that was said, I could not tell who it was.  I see progress just about every day, but there is still a long way to go.  I am delighted that I am having progress!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Outstanding Visit

Outstanding Visit
Friday,  July 19, 2013

Our entire visit with our former exchange student could not have been any better.  Well, maybe if it had been longer, but we were glad for every minute he and his family were here.  A great compliment came from the kids just before they left.  They were going to visit the family where Henning had lived before he came to us (in case you missed it, he spent part of the year with them and then had to be moved due to the father's health).  When the parents told the kids where they were going, they asked, "Do they have grandchildren.?"  They enjoyed their time with our grandchildren and wanted more of the same.  They stayed until about noon and then left to meet the other family for lunch before going to the island for 3 days.  I think they will have a wonderful time there!

Before heading to the office, I ate my lunch.  Once there, I worked on mail, waited on several customers (and could hear them), and prepared a bank deposit.  The afternoon went by in a hurry.  Ron had to leave for a meeting and he said it was the first time this year that he didn't worry about leaving me at the shop since I am able to hear so much better now.

We joined our friends for our usual Friday night dinner and found a quieter spot for our meal and visit.  They had known Henning when he lived with us and were eager to hear about the visit. 

Back at the house, after supper, it was time to do a little laundry, put the trundle bed back under the day bed, and get ready for our next house guests: our youngest son and his girlfriend will arrive Sunday evening.  I am thankful that our housekeeper will be here tomorrow to work her magic to make the house shine.

One thing I haven't mentioned is that of the two rechargeable batteries I have for the Cochlear sound processor, one seems to last much longer than the other.  I am going to need to make a chart and check on it.  One may have a problem.

For a little while I chatted with Bob (our oldest son) on the phone this evening, but it was very difficult to hear him.  I am not sure why.  It could have been his phone, or any number of other things, but I had to finally just give up because it was too frustrating. 

Now it is time for SLEEP!  We stayed up visiting very late last night and it was an amazing time, but I think I will sleep soundly tonight.

July 18, 2013

Revisiting Old Memories
and Making New Ones
Thursday,  July 18, 2013

Over twenty-five years ago when we opened our home to a foreign exchange student from Denmark, we had no idea how much we would enjoy his stay with us.  He was a junior in the high school where our second son, Jeff, was also a junior.  This young man, Henning, loved history, as did my husband.  Together we explored the history of our local community.  We spent hot, humid afternoons walking around the old downtown area looking at the historical markers on buildings and going through the Brownsville Historical Museum.  That is just what we did during the afternoon today.  At least today was not as hot as some of those afternoons had been many years ago, but it was still warm and humid. 

First, I should back up to the morning.  I had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Olson.  Our daughter-in-law Barbara, prepared a great breakfast for Henning and his family, so Ron and I headed to Dr. Olson's while Henning's family headed to Jeff and Barb's home.  I think they had more fun than I did!  Ron will be delighted to tell you that I have a loose screw. The range of motion in my arm is not near what it should be and Dr. Olson is not completely sure why I am having that problem.  He ordered x-rays and after studying them, he says there has been a shift in the arm and that there is a screw working its way out.  He would rather not have to go back in and take it out.  I agree, but I also told him I have much to do in the years ahead and I want to be able to do those things without limitations.
Dr. Olson's office and the physical therapy office.
To start working on the arm, I will begin physical therapy next Tuesday morning, three times a week for three weeks.  Then in about a month, I will see him again for more x-rays to see what has changed by then.  He put no restrictions on the use of the arm, and he said I could drive, but if I pick up anything over a few ounces, I do have a fair amount of discomfort.  So I will not be using both arms to pick up my youngest grand daughter as I wanted to a couple of times yesterday. 

We left his office and Ron brought me home to get my car so I could join everyone at Jeff and Barb's house and he could go to the office.  I arrived at Jeff's to find a soccer lesson in full swing.  Henning's son is a very good soccer player and he was eagerly giving Jeff's kids a real workout!  They were running from one end of the yard to the other and it had evolved to mainly a one-on one between Jeff's oldest son and Henning's son.  The grass was damp and slippery, so there were numerous falls, but so much laughter!
Inside the house, my mom and the two families were gathered around the dining table enjoying chatting with one another.  Henning's two oldest children have taken English classes in school and with a little effort can communicate with all of us.  His youngest child has had no English lessons, and can't tell us what she wants verbally.  But she and Jeff's girls have no problems enjoying each other's company.  His younger daughter was delighted to find an entire dresser filled with dress-up clothes but chose one outfit for her morning's playtime.
Everyone relaxed and visited.  The kids were all happy "just being kids".  Cameras captured lots of smiles and memories.  The rest of the morning was spent with the adults and off and on, a few kids, gathered around the table while most of the kids stayed outside a good bit of the time, being driven in occasionally  by passing rain showers. 
Henning's oldest spent hours following Jeff's youngest around the yard as they explored the many places to play.  Getting everyone gathered for photos proved impossible, but we had fun trying.
We left around noon and went by Hanna High School where Henning was a student for a year in the late 1980s.  We were able to get in the building and by leaving our driver's licenses with a school secretary, we were able for Henning to take his family on a walk through some of his memories.
From there we headed home to leave my car and combine into his rental van and go for a quick lunch at What-A-Burger.  Then we went to our shop, before going downtown to see some of the sites.  We were able to park a block from the bridge into Mexico and then walked to the border wall that runs through that area and talk about the challenges of living on the border.  We took a walk to the Stillman House, and the old Market Square, passing other buildings with historical markers, and stopping along the way to read them.  We drove by the zoo and around Ringgold Park before heading home.
Once back at the house, we got ready for supper and met my mom and a small part of Jeff's family (6 of the kids were at Vacation Bible School at our church) at Antonio's for a yummy Mexican food supper.  There was a lot of sharing of meals so that everyone could taste a wide variety of the good food.  From there, we returned to our house and had dessert and lots more conversation.  Jeff picked up the rest of the kids from VBS and returned for the kids to get in some more playing.
There came a point where it was made clear to us that at least some of the kids were ready to get some rest.  Jeff's family headed home and the children still at our house were tucked in for the night.  Ron and I enjoyed a very late night visit with Henning and his wife.  There were just too many years to cover in our visit.  Henning was wishing he could have come back sooner, but Ron told him that I was able to hear more in this visit than I could have heard even two, three, or five years ago and we talked about how sometimes, things have to get worse before they can get better. 

That hearing test that was done on me the first day after the activation of the Cochlear Implant, where I had scored 100% was not the first time I had taken a test like that.  Five years ago, on a similar test, I scored a 75% (in my good ear).  At that level, I was not a candidate for the implant.  I had to suffer the Sudden Hearing Loss this past January, before I could be a candidate for the Cochlear Implant.  Without that loss, I would probably be hearing at around 60% now.  Instead I am hearing much better. 

Remember that those tests are in a sound proof booth with someone clearly speaking directly to me and I promise you that when we were all talking at once in the living room last night, it did not compare to the sound proof booth!  As the talking got louder and the laughter of the kids increased, so did the volume of the music in my head and I finally had to leave the room for a few minutes to relax a little.  Rachel and I took a break in my sewing room where she curled up in my recliner with some blankets and did some relaxing of her own.  The sounds can be overwhelming.  But as Ron, Henning, Charlotte, and I talked till the wee hours of the morning, I got almost all that was being said and rejoiced in our time of sharing our lives.  They came to see God's plan in my life in how God is answering "Rachel's Prayer" and we could see how God had been working in their lives as their family had gone through assorted events over the years. 

It may be almost as hard to say good-bye this time as it was the last time Henning left, but I am so thankful I could hear what was being said!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wonderful Visit
July 17, 2013

The day started with a peek out the window to see if it had rained.  It had!  It rained much of the day and I opened a window to enjoy the sound of the rain in the yard.

Again today, I spent the day at the house.  I had a good day.  I got some cooking done, some cleaning, and some laundry.  Our guests arrived late afternoon and it was so good to see Henning (our former foreign exchange student from Denmark) after all these years.  His wife is delightful and his children are very kind, well behaved, and good looking!

Henning's youngest daughter speaks no English at all, but our grand daughters had no trouble playing with her as they ran through the house making noises to each other that none of us could identify.  They had a great time and there were lots of hugs all around at the end of the evening as Jeff's family headed home following supper and visiting.

My hearing worked pretty well (except when the battery went dead in the middle of supper).  I had some trouble understanding them, but not too much.  Again, I was  more bothered by other surrounding noises, like the air conditioner and the dishwasher.  It occurred to me yesterday that I had bought a special Quiet model dishwasher and it really was quiet - until I had my Cochlear Implant surgery.  So I suspect it was always a little noisy and I just never heard it. 
Henning was sharing some photos with Jeff and Barb.  It was good to hear how well his family is doing in their work and community.
Here, his wife and oldest daughter are enjoying dessert, while his daughter is looking for some photos on their computer to share with us.   
We had a wonderful supper.  The food was great and the visiting was even better.  Henning's wife speaks English very well.  He had not mentioned whether or not she could speak English.  He had said the two older children had taken English in school.  They struggle some, but get by.  As bedtime approached, Henning's wife said they would need another bed for the girls.  I wondered what could be wrong with the ones I had for them.  She took me in their room and the girls had filled the beds with dolls and stuffed animals like my grand daughters do, leaving no room for sleepy girls.  Some things are the same all over the world!  Actually my grand daughters may have helped our visitors get all the dolls and stuffed animals to bed before they went home. 

I am so thankful that the hearing is good enough for me to manage the visit.  I know there were things I missed, but I sure got a lot.  God is good. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bookkeeping, Birds, and Baking

Bookkeeping, Birds, and Baking
Tuesday,  July 16, 2013

This morning I went to the office with my husband.  He is always running late - except when I am going with him and then he is standing around waiting for me.  At the office I paid some bills, took care of the mail, unpacked a shipment, and put the things on display.  By noon I had finished all that I had to do so I had Ron call my mom to see if she could take me home. 

After she brought me home, I started some laundry and then headed to the kitchen.  I love to bake.  I truly believe that you have to practice to be good at baking and then you have to keep practicing.  Sometimes lately, some of my baking had not turned out as great as in the past.  Now I think I have discovered a reason for that.  Now, I can hear the buzzer on the oven when each tray of cookies is done!!!
All of the trays of cookies were baked to perfection, not any were "well done".  If there is a lot of other noise, it is hard for me to hear the buzzer, but in the past, (even before the Sudden Hearing Loss), I could be standing in the kitchen next to the stove and someone would come from the other end of the house to tell me the buzzer was going off.  I just could not hear it.
This is really nice!  All baked the same!  I am impressed!  And at the same time, I was watching a TV show and following the discussion pretty well.  The hearing is not perfect.  When I would be washing dishes with the TV on, the sound of the running water would drown out the TV.  I think that will be corrected with the next adjustment.  Of course, yummy cookies don't help my weight situation!
I baked the cookies, cooked some bacon to go in the baked beans tomorrow, finished the laundry, washed dishes, and went in the yard a while.  Did I mention how loud the birds are?  Oh, my!  They were very loud today.
Yesterday when I was trying to get photos of the Golden -fronted Woodpeckers, they had flown away when I got near the window.  I finally remembered a program I have on my cell phone with bird calls.  In the past, when I tried to use it, I was not impressed.  For one thing, I thought the bird calls on the phone were just too soft for the birds to hear.  One more try.  I pulled up the calls for the Golden-Fronted Woodpecker and played them.  Wow!  They were so loud!  It was no time at all before they were being answered by the woodpeckers in the yard.  They didn't come where I could see them but they kept calling in response to my phone.  Cool!  Technology is amazing!  From recorded bird calls to astounding implants that allow the deaf to hear!  What a world!
Knowing that the woodpeckers are feeding a family, I tried to keep the citrus coming on their serving table.  They kept cleaning them out.  The sparrows kept the birdbath in use and I enjoyed all of their activity.

This evening, I was able to talk to two of my sons on the phone.  One I could understand a little better than the other, but it was good to talk to both of them.  Over and over I am being reminded of Rachel's prayer, asking God to let her grandmother hear.  The faith of a child!