If I had cable, I would only want it for two things: football and ABC’s The Middle. If you have not seen The Middle, I suggest you rent season 1 from Best Buy and start at the beginning. Season 1 is hilarious! The show is about an ordinary family in Indiana–hence “the middle of nowhere”. ๐Ÿ˜€ Mike and Frankie Heck have three kids: Axl, who would rather play sports than study; Sue, extremely optimistic and tries out for everything but never makes any teams due to some funny issue or lack of talent (until cross-country made the team a “no cut” team); and Brick, six-year-old bookworm with extreme knowledge who whispers to himself. Every episode presents the family in a real life situation…but ends as a family sticking together.

Some of the best quotes come from Sue. She is quite the character!

Sue sees a possibility in every situation. Most often–although her family tries to tell her simple truths she is missing–Sue’s naive and energetic personality does not get the message. For example: Leap Year. Sue’s birthday is on Leap Year and she is ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that she is going to have a surprise birthday party, even though the family tells her that she is not. At one scene, Sue comes in the kitchen where Axl is eating a bowl of cereal. She starts asking Axl if he knows any details of the surprise party. Getting annoyed, Axl takes Sue by the arm and leads her to the basement, telling her to wait there and not to come out–Sue’s not understanding he is playing a big joke, thinks it is real. Axl leaves and there is no one in the house. All you see is an empty kitchen and then Sue says from the basement…”This is so exciting!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ HA! Best part–they DID forget her birthday and woke her up at 4am singing happy birthday. Thus, she was surprised and thought they were planning it that way the whole time. Her family let her assume so. ๐Ÿ˜€

I have a surprise for you..no joke! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Tomorrow is a big day; a “THIS IS SO EXCITING!” sort of day!! ๐Ÿ˜€


The hearing aids I have now are 7 years and 3 months old and let me tell you–that is like dog years in comparison to human years…these things are OLD! Every new audiologist that I meet is shocked at the model of my hearing aids, let alone the fact that they work so well. My hearing aids have been maxed out (meaning the highest possible they can go) since spring of 2008 when my right ear collapsed at a chapel. Before that, we had discussed the possibility of getting new hearing aids, but we were not sure how long my hearing would remain after that incident. To be honest, I thought I would be completely Deaf by now. God had other plans as I still have a little hearing left.

Currently, my hearing loss in my left ear is considered severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss and my right ear is considered moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association defines sensorineural hearing loss:

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when there is damage to the inner earย (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Most of the time, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.

(All Contents Copyright 1997-2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). All Rights Reserved.ย http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/sensorineural-hearing-loss/)

My hearing loss obviously comes from the tumors on the Auditory nerves. For the most part, the hearing loss has been gradual–except that spring of 2008. MRI results did not show any growth in the right tumor, so it was assumed that the tumor hardened on the inside. This is why doctor appointments can get frustrating, because I can have new physical symptoms but nothing shows on the scans. I have an MRI and hearing test every 3 months. I have been relatively stable since July 2010. A little prayer goes a long way. ๐Ÿ™‚

The only time in these past ten years of NF2 that my hearing ever improved was when I was on the Tarceva chemotherapy pills. That was a happy hearing test!!! Ask my family, I am not a fan of hearing tests. I have to sit and punch the button when I hear the noise. I have such high pitch ringing in my ears that most often I just sit there knowing that I am supposed to be hearing things, but I have difficulty discerning the noises from the ever-present ringing. But most of all, I very much dislike the “word recognition” part of the test. I get asked often if I can hear. Yes, I can hear (with my hearing aids on); however, if I am not reading your lips then you sound Japanese. Words have no meaning if I cannot read your lips. Simple fact: I am fluent in English AND in lip-reading (also American Sign Language, but I lip read so well that I only use ASL and interpreters for church and doctor appointments..or if I chat with a Deaf individual that I meet at stores, etc.)

My current hearing aids have three different settings: Setting 1, I hear everything. Yes, everything. Maybe not quiet things, but there is a constant background murmur! I also hear everything in LOUD proportions. Setting 2 focuses on people who I am talking to and helps to minimize the background noise. Setting 3 is supposed to be for the phone, but when I do call people on http://www.sprintcaptel.com (like a free TTY service), I usually leave my right hearing aid on setting 2. I cannot hear well enough out of my left ear to carry a phone conversation.

If you are a hearing person, what things would you miss hearing the most if you had sudden hearing loss?? Just curious. I miss listening and following along with music; hearing frogs, crickets and birds–even Muffy’s meow!! There are other things: communication with little kids or just my family in general, especially in night car rides or star-gazing chats on the grass. Watching TV or movies with no captions; my grandparents calling me at 7am on Saturday mornings to chat about life and current events; listening to the radio (we grew up on Adventures in Odyssey!!) and hearing sirens, such as police cars, firefighters or smoke detectors. Thankfully, modern technology allows me to have an amazing alarm clock that uses a flashing light and vibrator to coordinate with fire alarms and door bells. I do not use the alarm sound anymore, but the vibrator and light work just fine for me! ๐Ÿ˜€ Here it is:

See the yellow button? There is a connection at the back for a lamp. So when you have the lamp plugged into the alarm, you turn the light on by pressing the yellow button. The volume and tune knobs are if you want the alarm sound adjusted. On the right side where there are words: the top is “outlets”, which allows you to choose your wake up preferences. I set the combo of vibrator and light. The bottom is for the vibrator. You can choose steady or pulse. My favorite is pulse, because otherwise it feels like a steady head massage. ๐Ÿ˜€

I will say one quick note on having hearing aides…whenever my ears get tired of hearing, I just take them out. Instant silence. I realize that I have come to a place in life where I actually enjoy a few hours of silence. In silence, I like observing; I like focusing without being distracted by other noises; I like singing songs in my head or have a conversation with God. Sometimes God seems silent. Like Elijah, I expect to see or hear God in big ways (Elijah looked for God in the wind, earthquake and fire); He came in “A still small voice” (I Kings 19:11-12.) God has done incredible things in my life right down to the little details. Even today, another specific prayer was answered. When I tune into God–not distracted by the noises of the world–even in my deafness, I can hear His still small voice–the voice of Truth–say, “This one’s mine.”



Leave a comment

Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Funny Stories, Muffy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s