Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Amazing Test Results Today!

Amazing Test Results Today!
Part 1
Wednesday,  July 3, 2013

What a day!  It is almost 10:00 and we just got home from Houston!  I don't know if there is a word for the condition that is just past exhaustion.  If so, that is where I am and Ron probably is there also.  I am mentally, emotionally, and physically worn out!  But it is a "good" tired.  So much has gone on during the last 2 days.

It was midnight last night before I put away the laptop, finally having fished last night's blog posting and reading lots of your postings and words of praise for what God had done for us.  We believe that Dr. Chang has amazing abilities and is an outstanding surgeon.  The medical people who cared for me along the way were super.  At each step, we felt a peace that God had led us in that direction.  We felt that Dr. Chang was the answer to our prayers.  Once we actually met him, both of us were extremely impressed with his professional manner, but also with his humble, kind, friendly personality.  His skill was used to bring me to the point of progress where I am today.

This morning we were to be at The Houston Ear Research Foundation at 9:00.  When in Houston, Ron gets us to appointments very early.  He wants to allow for every possible situation.  This morning we were early, but not as early as usual.  When we arrived, he told the receptionist that it was their fault that we were almost late.  It was because we were talking, actually carrying on a two-sided conversation, and he missed a turn.  He told them usually our drives in Houston are silent and he can concentrate on his driving.  The receptionist nearly fell out of her chair laughing!  Ron also told me this evening he was losing his voice from talking to me so much since he could, and I could hear him.

When we started working with Sherri Taxman (the audiologist) this morning, first she wanted to know how things had gone since the previous morning.  We told her that the evening before we had dinner with our friends and that for the first time in at least 5 years, the four of us sat at the table having a delightful conversation.  She made some adjustments to the program for my sound processor after doing some testing to see what had changed in the previous 24 hours as I adjusted to the device.  She asked about our visit to Dr.Chang and we told her the story about him not realizing I had only had the device activated 3 hours before seeing him and that he was delighted with the progress.  She reminded us that she would be faxing him the results of my hearing tests later that afternoon.  We told her that Dr.Chang asked if he could refer patients to me so that I could share my experience.

Then she had me compare the loudness of two different tones.  That was tricky since they were not the same pitch, but rather different pitches and different volumes.  She worked to adjust the processor using those results so that I could hear all pitches at approximately the same volume.  After checking those modifications, she and I headed to the room with the sound proof booth, leaving Ron in her office. 

Once in the booth, she tested my hearing on some tones.  I had asked her if I was hearing the low tones because everything sounded high to me.  She just laughed and said, "You are hearing everything just fine!"  Next I was to listen to a man read some sentences and then repeat back what I had heard.  I had been given this test as a part of the evaluation a few months ago when they made the decision that I did qualify for the Cochlear Implant.  At that time, with a strong hearing aid, I got 10% of them right.  To qualify, I had to be under 40%.  Today, when I finished, Sherri popped into the booth grinning from ear to ear.  She said, "In the 22 years I have been working with Cochlear Implant patients, you are the first person to score 100% on the test the first day after activation!"   I said, "It didn't sound like a man."  She just laughed and laughed.  She was so delighted with my results. 

Sherri was so excited about those results that she said she wanted to do another test that she doesn't do on other patients the first day after the activation, but wanted to see how I would do.  This test is very hard.  The man would say a single word of one syllable.  The word is one that could easily sound very close to 4 or 5 other words in the English language.  There is no clue as to what they are.  In the sentences, if you can't hear a word, you may be able to guess it by the context in the sentence.  With the single words, you don't have a clue.  On that test, I scored a 64%.  Again she hurried in and said that I was doing GREAT!  I did better than any patient she had ever had. 

Sherri's biggest concern was that if Dr. Chang referred other patients to me to share how I had done, that it could raise their hopes unrealistically.  She said I was so far off the Bell curve that my results were no where close to normal.  She cautioned me to not raise their expectations too much.  I told her she had no idea how many people had been praying for me.  She said she did not want to discount the power of prayer, but that many of her patients had been praying and did not have the same results.  That is true.  That is true in many situations where we diligently pray for something and God does not say, "Yes."  For the first time in this whole process, I asked myself and God, "Why me?"  I mentioned in a previous blog that when I lost the hearing, I never asked God, "Why me?"  So why now?  Why do I feel unworthy of such amazing blessings?  All I know is that God has chosen to give me this amazing gift and He must have a purpose in doing it.  I will continue to seek His leadership in the steps ahead.

When Sherri and I returned to her office she shared the wonderful results with Ron.  She made additional adjustments and reprogrammed the sound processor.  She then asked if we had questions.  We had compiled a list of a few and went over those with her.  She then said she would be in her office doing paperwork for a while and did not have another appointment immediately, so she suggested that we go to the hospital coffee shop next door and have a snack or take a walk and see how I felt about the changes she had made in the program.  Then if I wanted any changes made, I could come back before we headed home and let her make any needed adjustments.

We took Sherri's advice and walked around taking a few photos and then went to the coffee shop.  I noticed that traffic noise was very annoying and that noise in the coffee shop was significant.  We returned to the office and she quickly made some additional adjustments and recorded those changes.  Before we left I told her that when we got to the coffee shop I engaged the man behind the counter in a conversation.  For years now I have avoided doing that knowing if the person asked me a question, I probably would not be able to hear the question well enough to answer them.  Sherri understands how hearing loss leads to isolation.  She was again delighted that I could hear well enough to have the confidence to try talking to a stranger.  Again, she said to come back in the next hour or so if I felt I needed changes made.

We drove about a quarter mile down the road to the LifeWay Christian Store and did some shopping.  I was comfortable with the results of the adjustments Sherri had made and when we finished our shopping there, we headed south!

At this point, I am going to close this blog and get some rest.  Tomorrow, I hope to tell you about the rest of our day.  So look for Amazing Test Results Today! Part 2 coming soon.

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