Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

Frustrations, Perfectionism, and Reality
Monday,  August 12, 2013

When I look around my office at work, or around my house, I see things I love, but also clutter and jobs undone.  I never thought of myself as a perfectionist since I didn't kept things spotlessly clean or perfectly organized.  Over the years, I have come to understand that in many ways I am a perfectionist.  I think the audiologist even tried to point that out to me on our last visit when I told her about the areas in the practice exercises where I struggle. She sees the whole picture.  She sees the other Cochlear Implant recipients.  She knows how well I am doing compared to them.  She knows how far I have come in the time I have known her.  I see where I am compared to where I once was (long ago) or where I want to be.

When one of our sons was in Middle School, he brought home a bad grade one day (probably a B-).  It just so happened that there was an open house that night and when we went to meet that teacher, as soon as we told her who our child was, her face lit up and she began to sing his praises.  I let her go on until she stopped for a breath and then I jumped in to ask what he needed to do, to do better in her class.  She looked shocked.  I mentioned the grade he brought home that day.  She brushed it off and told me he was a wonderful kid and that he was so happy and friendly and that she loved his long eyelashes.  Oh, my!  Here I was, wanting perfection out of my son in his work and yet he was loved by all and doing so well compared to the majority of the kids in her classes, that she saw the whole picture and I saw the ONE bad grade.  My poor kids.  They had to grow up with their perfectionist mom who probably brought home similar grades.  (Understand, most of his grades were A's, so the B- was a shock to me.  We knew he could do better.)

Fast forward to current times.  I WANT to be able to hear everything.  I want to hear it all perfectly.  Yet the truth is my hearing is artificial.  Without the external hardware I wear, I am deaf.  I have almost no natural hearing (10% in the ear without the Cochlear Implant).  Hearing aids, Cochlear Implants, assorted other mechanical means to create hearing, are man-made.  They will never measure up to what God gave us when He created us.  I am VERY thankful for men and women of science and engineering who have spent years doing research and perfecting ways to allow people with hearing loss to be able to hear sounds that have been lost for any number of reasons. 

My reality is that without the help of these devices, I would be DEAF!  I must be patient and take the time to learn all I can to be able to get the most out of my device.  I need to keep trying different settings on the sound processor.  I need to experiment with different settings in restaurants, at church, in crowded places, and outside with only the sounds of nature that God created.  It is going to take time.  I need to be patient and to remember that no matter how frustrated I get, that these devices are there to help me not live in a world of silence. 

Several times this weekend, when my oldest grand daughter would want something that she expected me to say, "No" about, she would use the sign language she learned a few months ago in order to communicate with me.  She seemed to know that it would take me a little longer to figure out what she was asking and maybe, just maybe, I would say, "Yes."  Does she have her Grandma pegged?  Yes. When she was eating Hershey kisses, and I had told her she could have 6, she gave the sign for "more?".  It worked the first time.  When I told her it was time to go to bed, she would again sign "more" hoping to have a few more minutes at the sewing machine.  There were other signs she used, but what those signs really did, was remind me where I would be without the Cochlear Implant.  I could be facing a future of sign language, or a future of note reading as family and friends wrote things out for me when I couldn't hear.  Her signs reminded me how far I have come and that it is worth the work to keep learning and keep working to be able to communicate as much as possible with this device.
It is hard to explain, but there are times I forget I am wearing the device.  The hearing of sounds in general, is close to natural, keeping in mind that I had been very hard of hearing for many years.  If I had possessed perfect hearing back in January when I suffered the Sudden Hearing Loss, the difference would have been much more dramatic and devastating.  Instead, it seemed just a progression of where I had been headed.   Ron reminds me and others that I am hearing better now than I was a year ago (prior to the Sudden Hearing Loss).  Maybe it is the fact that I am getting "a taste" of what I once had, of what I have lost, that makes me crave more.  I want it all.  I want it now.


  1. You are perfectly normal!!! This is just one of the steps you have to go thru so you can move forward with more self satisfaction. My heart hurts to "hear" the pain & frustration in your blog, but you have to go thru some of it to progress to the next step. Please don't give up; keep striving to make progress & find other ways to do things. Necessity is the mother of invention, I've heard from my parents all my life. So I took lemons & learned to make lemonade with my life. Remember you never know whose life you are touching with your blog. God is always there helping you on your project to learn to hear as well as you can. Don't give up on Him. I learned that the tap you feel on your shoulder when you are all alone is only God reminding you He is there for you!!! Hugs, prayers & continuing hands together!!!

    1. I can't remember the last time someone told my I am "perfectly normal!" Yea, Dottie! You have made my day. Seriously, I hope the blog will touch others in whatever way they need. But I want to be totally honest in it. There are good days and bad days. All in all, things are better, but that doesn't mean I don't long for the best. Thanks for the continued prayers.

  2. Hmmmm--this sounds like somebody I know very well. I want this eye thing over with! As I told my doctor: I want my life back! God willing, we'll get there, sometime, somehow! Love you.

    1. Tiny, it is almost as if to say, "this time out from life has been long enough. Time to get going again." But you have kept going all the way through - like the work you are doing on the quilt you are making now. Looking forward to spending time with you soon.