Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1, 2013

Back to Physical Therapy and
A Bear Story From my Son
Thursday,  August 1, 2013

This morning it was hard to get going after the long day yesterday.  I did get most of the things unpacked and put away before heading to the office.  I spent the rest of the morning working on gathering information for the end-of-the-month billing and reports.  It will take me a day or so more to finish the assorted end-of-the-month chores and get statements sent to our customers.  We were fairly busy with walk-in customers today.

Shortly after 2:00 I headed to the Physical Therapy office.  Today a different therapist helped me.  Again I started with the bike that I operate with my hands instead of my feet.  Next it was back to the assorted exercises that I do for three minutes each.  They seem to add a new one each time.  Today he added that after I squeezed the stuff (for three minutes) that looks and feels like neon pink Silly Putty, I was to put it on the table and "pinch" it all over (for three minutes).  When you do that, you can feel certain areas in the wrist that really get a workout. 

After all the exercises they do what I call "Shake and Bake", where they attach the electrode pads to the elbow area and vibrate the muscles while heating the area with cushioned heated pads.  Following that, the new therapist spent a good bit of time massaging the arm and rubbing creams on it.  He commented that there is still a significant section that is very swollen in the elbow area.  I could really tell some areas of improvement when I started doing things around the house this morning.  It is so much easier to do the therapy when you see progress.  So I thank God and the physical therapy team for helping me improve.  There is still a long way to go, but it is getting better.

I was at the PT office until about 4:00 and then returned to my office where I started again on the monthly report.  A friend from grade school who is a doctor here, came in to have some work done and I spent some time talking to him.  He was delighted to see the success from the Cochlear Implant.  He thinks it is amazing how well I am doing.  So do we!  One of his comments had to do with the softer volume at which I now speak.  When you can't hear other people, you also can't hear yourself, so you have no idea how loud you are talking.  My family and friends have had to put up with me being very loud at times and until they would mention it, I would have no idea I was not speaking in a normal tone of voice.  Sorry.

We had supper with my mom and tried out some of the new settings that had been programmed into the sound processor.  The audiologist thought that in a restaurant setting I might do best with what is called the Focus setting.  That takes down the noise behind me and focuses on the person in front.  I did not find that to help a lot, but the setting called Noise worked better.   Sherri, the audiologist, said most people who are hearing impaired choose to sit in the corner or a restaurant with their back to the wall.  She said I need to have my back to the noise.  I did fairly well, but had to have a lot of things repeated.

From there I went to Wal-Mart to return a couple of items - ALONE!  That is the first time I have tried something like that this year.  I did have trouble yesterday placing an order at Chick-fil-A on the way home.  The young man was soft spoken and I think he asked the questions out of the order I am used to here at the Chick-fil-A we use in town.  Poor guy had to keep asking me questions.  I had to really listen to what he was saying and not think about what I expected him to ask. 

Once I got home, I did an assortment of chores and then talked to our oldest son and his wife in New Mexico.  They live on the north side of Albuquerque and their house almost backs up to the Sandia Mountains.  When you look out the back of their house, you see no other houses, only the mountains.  It is a lovely view!  Bob loves to photograph the changing weather patterns on the mountains.  But there is usually a "price" to pay for that kind of view.  I don't mean a price in dollars, but  rather a price in uninvited guests.  One evening as Bob sat in his study, he looked out the window to see a Bobcat relaxing on the patio, licking his paws and yawning.  He hung around for a while, not bothered by the humans that live there. 

Today, when Bob and his wife were leaving for work, a BEAR was passing through the neighborhood!  Bob had suspected one had been in the yard a couple of times lately, but this morning he got his proof as the bear took off  heading toward their home, away from where they had started driving down the street .  Bob had jumped out to take a photo of the retreating bear and his wife was turning the car around when she saw people out walking some small dogs.  She drove over to warn them about the bear, leaving Bob out in the open!  Oops!  Thankfully, I think the bear was eager to "head for the hills."  Bob didn't get the photo, but had a good story to tell when he got to work.  I asked how big the bear was and he said it was bigger than he is.  I keep telling him to wear "bear bells."  If you don't know what those are, you can find them in the gift shops in several of the National Parks, normally large jingle-type bells on a strip of leather that you attach to yourself or your backpack so you make noise as you hike.  The bears don't really want to run into you, so you are just warning them that you are in the area by wearing the bells.  (Of course, some people say they are actually dinner bells, calling the bears to a good meal.)  Bob said the bear this morning looked very well fed; it has been raiding trash cans in the area recently. 

I hated to keep having Bob repeat sections of the story over and over, but I still don't have much success with the telephone.  We did talk to the audiologist about telephone usage while in her office yesterday, and in the end she suggested using Skype for now.  The new Kindle Fire I bought for the Immersion Reading came equipped with Skype, so this weekend we hope to try that out.  Sherri, the audiologist said that using Skype also gives me visual clues when I am listening on the phone calls.  I can see facial expressions, and do some lip reading.   So I am eager to give that a try.  Check back in a few days to see what we found out on the Skype experiment.


  1. I love that you are sharing all of this with us as you learn & re-learn. When I see a new posting, I'm so excited to read of your progress!! My heart is full of joy for you!! Hands together for your continued improvement!! Hugs!!

    1. We are never too old to learn, are we, Dottie? I hope we can all be of help to others.