Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 12, 2014

500th Blog Posting!
November 12, 2014

Chili for a chilly evening!

Our daughter-in-law, Barbara, texted late this afternoon to say she was making chili for supper on this cold evening and would we like to come.  My answer was, "Yes, yes, yes!"  It was delicious and we had a nice visit.  It is 10:30 in the evening, 45 degrees and a wind chill of 31 degrees.  It is wet and windy.  Brrr...

Who knew when I started this blog that I would still be posting at this point?  The heaviest reader load recently has been on the postings about our son's wedding.  Many of you seemed to be as glad as we are to have joyful things to focus on after some past rough times for us.  We were glad to share about the wedding and glad so many of you rejoiced with us by viewing the events.

As of this evening, there have been 36,657 page views from 77 countries around the world on my blog.  Some readers comment, some just read and never leave a message.  Some stop by to see the bird photos, some to read the information on the Cochlear Implant, and some just happen upon the site.

My original intent was to share about my hearing loss and the road to being approved for and receiving the Cochlear Implant to give me a way to hear many of the sounds around me.  My results have been exceptional in most areas and somewhat disappointing in others.  I still really struggle with the phone.  Even this morning, I was forced to answer the phone at the office, but just asked the caller to hold for a minute, until Ron was available.  Normally he has all calls automatically forwarded to his cell phone, but for some reason this morning he had not done that.

As I mentioned previously, our youngest granddaughter was not talking when I went deaf and I feared I would never know the sound of her voice.  What a joy it is to hear her!  It is an added joy that she has so much to say and to sing about.  She is very dramatic in her singing and I could have watched her actions, but hearing her is a treasured bonus.

In all the things that have gone on, I have tried to be very honest about my feelings and about the medical things that were happening. I remember the audiologist telling me in the beginning that she worried about me telling others about my success because mine was way above normal.  I do want others to know how it is for me and to let them know that each person is different.

There are things besides the telephone that are very hard for me.  I used to enjoy going for a walk alone.  Now I become very apprehensive about doing that - even shopping alone at night.  I am afraid that I may not be able to hear someone coming up behind me.  I don't have adequate warning of someone close to me.  I am even more careful about trying to park near the door of a store and under a light.  I can drop things and not hear that I have lost something.  That had been a problem the last few years even before I went deaf.  I try to be careful to keep things in a tote bag or purse as much as possible, not carrying things where they could easily be dropped.

Being in places like an airport where a PA system is used to make announcements, I can never understand what is being said.  Others say they can't either, but long ago I could hear parts of it.  I avoid the drive up window at fast food restaurants but even at the counter I am faced with a list of questions that are hard to hear with the normal noises in a place like that.

At the Rehearsal Dinner this past Friday evening, I did fairly well.  I think part of it was that the tables were small - seating only 4 people per table, so conversations at the assorted tables didn't get loud.  I went from table to table, visiting with many of the guests.

At the Wedding Reception, the tables were large - 10 or 12 people at a table, so just normal conversation at the tables had to be louder.  Added to that was a DJ playing music - not real loud, but louder than "background" music.  I did not try to go around visiting with people at the various tables because I knew I probably could not carry on a conversation.  Thankfully our table was at the end of the first row so I only had other tables on two sides instead of possibly four.  I did fairly well at my table.  I would have to ask the person to repeat, but could usually catch it when they repeated.  A few times I had to ask those around me to tell me what had been said.

Hearing at the reception was much better than I had expected and I often stood off to the side to converse with individuals.  There was dancing.  Ron and I have done very little dancing over the years, but I didn't try to do any, knowing I could not even discern the beat of the music much of the time.  I did enjoy watching my granddaughters learn some dance steps as they played at the edge of the dance floor.  The youngest just bounced and jumped to the beat.  She had to be exhausted at the end of the event!

The main thing I have experienced that I have not shared is depression.  The depression started this summer and continued to get worse.  I have always believed there are at least two types of depression (probably more).  One is situational (circumstances) and one is medical (imbalance in hormones, etc.)  I think both are involved in my current situation.  I have been to the doctor and started on medication late this summer.  It has helped tremendously.  I guess one reason I put off mentioning it is that there are some people who just do not believe that anyone with depression should take medication.  Many of them have never suffered from depression.  I have had depression in years long passed and it was worse then than now.  I know a lot of mine has had to do with the situations of the last year. 

Much of the first year of the hearing loss, I was busy with appointments, practices on the computer, trips to Houston to see the audiologist, and the situation with my broken elbow and the two surgeries on it, as well as Ron's leg surgery.  Then as things began to slow down, the reality of daily life with hearing limitations set it.  Also some of it was the elbow limitations.  I also believe some is a chemical or hormonal imbalance.  Within 3 days, the medication was making a difference.  I am on the lowest dose possible of my particular medication.  We tried a slightly higher dosage for a little while, but there were problems and I chose to go back to the low dose.

There are those who think Christians should not take medication for depression.  I believe if I have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or any other medical condition and the doctor thinks medication will help, that I should try it.  I believe that depression is often a medical condition.  My doctors all know I do not want to be on any more medications than are absolutely necessary and they try to work with me to meet the needs.  Just some times, as I get ready for bed and take off the Cochlear sound processor and know I will be totally deaf until I put it back on in the morning, I am saddened.  The anxiety involved in doing some things was becoming limiting in my daily activities.  The medication reduces the anxiety significantly.  I was coming home from work and spending the evening reading with no energy to do anything else.  Now I am again active and productive.  For now, I will continue the medication.  I do not expect to stay on it long term, but for now, it is the right choice for me.

The last year and 3/4 have been emotionally draining.  I have learned a lot; experienced a lot; and done a lot.  I know that God has used this blog to touch some lives and to help some people better understand what friends and relatives with hearing limitations could be experiencing.  Others have been touched by other things in the blog.  I appreciate the encouragement many of you have given to me and I hope to continue writing the blog as long as it is being read.


  1. I personally see no reason that you should skip or not take medication for depression. It is a recognized medical condition. It runs in families, some have it & some don't. My sister, brother, & mother have depressive personalities. My dad & I don't. Why? Only God knows. Certainly with all that happened in your life with the deafness, implant surgery, surgery on elbow, etc., I can clearly see the reason for any depression on your part. Take those meds & let them lift you up. Mood lifters do just that & are most helpful when you have a long term injury to deal with on a daily basis!!! I enjoy your blog. It has helped me deal with my mother's hearing loss. I love the sharing of your family events with us, especially since I've known both of you since you were mere children at First Baptist in Brownsville. Keep up the good work. Hands together for you!!

    1. Thanks, Dottie. I know that those who have had it, or had family members who suffer, understand that treatment makes a world of difference. I have the added bonus that this medication also helps on joint pain. That was the first thing I noticed. I woke up and didn't hurt!

  2. YES, depression is a real illness, just like anything else that goes wrong with the human body. And just like any illness or disease, God has given man the know-how to combat it, whether it be medication or counseling. I was so fortunate when I had my lowest time, in 1990, to have a physician who taught me how to use my faith to fight it, but to always remember there is other help, too. Thankfully, I've made it through thes last few years without medication, but I won't hesitate to get back on it if I feel I can't fight it any longer. Each person has to handle it their way and I am so thankful you have had the help you need during the trying times you've had. Love you and miss you.

    1. Yes, the Lord does help. I do not ever feel HOPELESS because I know God is in control and that keeps me from despair. But lack of motivation and waves of sadness made me finally ask for the meds. I have been on different medications for depression two other times in the last 45 years. Never real long, but they helped.