Friday, August 2, 2013

August 2, 2013

An Ordinary Summer Day
Friday,  August 2, 2013

How did it get to be August already?  I guess I slept part of June away so my summer has gone by in a flash.  Following my two surgeries in June, the one for my broken elbow and a week later the Cochlear Implant surgery, I was taking some pain medication that made me sleepy.  The days just flew by.  The only pain medication these days is a Tylenol type generic pill when the arm gets sore. 

On second thought, maybe I am trying to sleep August away, too.  My husband didn't wake me this morning after I turned of my vibrating alarm clock without getting out of bed.  The next thing I knew, it was 8:15 and he was long gone to the office.  Oops!  I got ready quickly and joined him there before long.  Our grandson showed up about 10:00 and worked with me until 2:00.  It is always great to have him there.  Ron went out on several jobs and was gone much of the day.  I was able to hear what the customers needed and take care of them while he was gone.

One older couple came in for some keys and the man remembered that I had lost my hearing in January and asked about it.  I showed him the sound processor behind my ear and the coil attached to my head by a magnet.  His wife joined the conversation shortly and was mostly fussing because he won't get a hearing aid.  I asked if he had ever tried one and he said no, that most people say they don't really help.  What a shame.  He is missing so much.  I told him I had worn one for about 8 years and it helped a lot.  His wife eventually admitted that she talks softly because noise bothers her.  What a pair!  I gave him a print out about the amplifier that I used for several months and suggested he try that to use in the car or at the breakfast table.  I shared with them that while I couldn't hear, I talked loudly and now that I was talking in a more normal volume, my husband says he can't hear me. 

There were several very busy times at the office and some slow times.  In the slow times, I managed to finish my end-of-the-month chores and got the statements ready to mail (and forgot to take them to the post office!).  Guess I will make a trip to the office tomorrow. 

During the time our grandson was at the office, I shared with him some of the training exercises on my computer to help me improve my listening skills.  Of course he aced the test I tried him on and for that I am thankful.  I feel that the majority of my hearing loss was inherited from my grandmother and I can only hope that none of my grandchildren inherit mine.  If they do, I would hope that they would not put off getting a hearing aid or whatever help they might need to be able to function to their fullest in a hearing world.

I don't really understand people who refuse to try a hearing aid.  Originally, I put it off because a  doctor I had gone to for hearing tests, told me that he thought if I got one it would be in the drawer (like I had told him my grandmother's was).  He should have encouraged me to give it a try.  Over time, the brain forgets the sounds it doesn't hear and the longer one puts off trying one, the harder it is to adapt.  Over the early years of my gradual loss, three different doctors brushed me off and as one said, "When you can't stand it any longer, come back and we will get you fitted for one."  Even when I did get one, that audiologist did not encourage me to get a second one for the other ear.  I never felt ashamed or embarrassed about having to wear one, I just needed to be sure it was worth it.

Now I wish that Medicare would offer the option of doing implants in both ears.  As some of the advocates for bilateral implants say, "If you lose two legs, they will get you two artificial ones, but they don't think you need two ears."  I think God gave us two ears for lots of reasons, and I would probably be willing to do the second if my insurance providers would cover it.  Without two, you can't tell what direction a sound is coming from.  Wednesday, the audiologist said that with two, your brain can better handle background noise.  One funny thing she shared was that she says people who have two say they sound different and that they always have a favorite - normally the one that was done first.  I expect in my case that would be true because I had them do the ear that had worked the most recently.  That ear had worked better than the other for at least the last 10 years if not more.

During our time Wednesday with the audiologist, we discussed additional optional items that are available from Cochlear.  One is special little "baggies" to put your sound processor and coil in if you are going to be in the water.  I believe I mentioned this earlier in the blog from that day, but decided to show you what it looks like.  The tan strip at the bottom is a peel and stick strip to make it extra water tight and the little hole over on the lower right is so you can tie a string through that and pin the string to your clothing to be sure it doesn't fall off and float away.

In this second photo, I have laid the external pieces that I wear, on top of the baggie, to show how they would fit in the baggie.  It reminds me that I have not shown photos of me wearing it.  I will try to get Ron to take some this weekend. He suggested that I might want to put it in a baggie while I work on the waterfalls and ponds in the yard.  (I would rather that he would work on the waterfalls and ponds, but I guess that isn't an option.)

Our regular Friday night dinner companions are out of town, so we just came home for supper and it has been a very relaxing evening.  I have done some Immersion Reading in the Kindle Fire and even started a new paperback book.  I think I have too many books going at once!

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