Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 18, 2014

One Year Ago...
January 18, 2014

One year ago today, I went deaf.  Thanks to my Cochlear Implant, I am able to hear now as long as I wear my sound processor.  The hearing is not perfect, but it is much better than being deaf.  Some people are easier to hear than others.  Some situations and settings make hearing easier, but I continue to learn how to adjust the processor to give me the best chance of hearing.

Hearing speakers in auditorium settings is a major challenge.  Hearing in crowded rooms where lots of people are talking to each other is very hard.  But in small groups and one-on-one, I do very well.  In those small settings, I can almost forget that I am deaf and dependant on technology to hear.

Today, I spent much of the day with a friend.  It had been many years since we had been able to spend time together.  She is a little soft spoken and talks fast, so it took me a little time for me to adjust to her.  I used my remote control to find the best setting for our converations.  She is a widow and her hsuband had been very hard-of-hearing, so she was curious about my Cochlear Implant.
We had so much to talk about, we just didn't have enough hours to really make up for lost time, but we did our best.  I arrieved mid morning and stayed until mid afternoon.  Her daughter joined us for lunch and for the afternoon of visiting.  We have shared some similar experiences in the time we have been apart and some very different experiences.  A major difference is that she and her husband had retired a few years ago.  What a blessing for them.  There is nothing like a nice long visit with a good friend.  Without my Cochlear implant, I never would have gone to visit her.  I can write notes with my family and get by.  But to just sit and talk for hours with a good friend, a dry marker board just doesn't cut it.

I don't think my family remembered that the day was a memorable date for me.  But what better way to celebrate it than spending time talking to a friend.  Don't misunderstand, I am not critizing my family, because I actually didn't think of it until late in the day.  I had thought of it often in the days leading up the January 18, but with my focus on the visit to my friend, I forgot all about it being one year ago that I had gone deaf.
An added bonus to the visit was an abudance of birds in the backyard at her home.  After lunch the three of us sat out on the back patio and chatted.  I took a few bird photos while we talked.  At one point I asked what kind of bird was making a very loud chatter, and they both agreed it was a male cardinal up in one of the huge oak trees.  What a delight to be able to hear that!  The squirrels played in the yard and I enjoyed watching them. 

There were goldfinches, house finches, bluebirds, sparrows, a painted bunting, cardinals, and an assortment of other birds I didn't have time to identify.  What a special day I had.  And I heard so much!

When I got back, we went to a quilt shop for a brief visit before they closed and picked up Bar-B-Que for supper.  It was a great day. 

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