Tag Archives: living with no hearing

Hearing All into One Ear

You have most likely heard the expression, “In one ear, out the other.” It may not be official living proof, but soon I will get to¬†say that literally speaking (not figurative)…with a more emphasis, “In one ear, transfer to another.” ūüôā

Last Friday I went to get my right hearing aid adjusted. Because it is now my only ear I hear from, I needed a bit higher frequency for normal routine living. We did not go overboard on volume, but enough to where I hear voices better, including my own. The minute I started talking in a normal tone of voice was when we knew the volume was just right.

There was also exciting news! Instead of a cochlear implant on the left side, I am now anticipating the arrival of my new Phonak Cros. Phonak is the brand name of my hearing aids as well as other products such as the Cros. The Phonak Cros is a device that looks similar to a hearing aid, but smaller and has a completely different function. cros_bte_single

hearingadvisor.co.uk

This is the Phonak Cros. However, I opted for a light mocha brown instead of blue. It is relatively smaller in size than my hearing aid. There won’t be any need for an ear mold as what you see here goes in my ear. How does it work? Well, since I have no hearing on the left side, I miss cues–mostly dealing with people talking or someone approaching me. The Cros has nothing in part on my left hearing. I will still hear nothing out of this ear even though I wear the device. What happens is that the microphone picks up on the sound (like someone saying “Hello”) and will transfer the noise to my right hearing aid.

If this does not make sense, just know that my right ear will have double time work! It will take time to get accustomed to the direction in which the sound comes; however, I¬†am excited! I am excited to see how it works at the dinner table, in my shopping trips, listening to music in my car, Muffy meowing…it will be interesting!

When you depend on technology for physical needs, it can get frustrating. It is never a surprise to me anymore when in the middle of an important conversation, my hearing aid battery just dies leaving me to transition to full lip-reading. But for all the times of tears, hearing aid appointments, and cost of batteries (I might add), there are blessings. Not only will this new arrangement (in time) help me maintain a bit of social grace, but also the Cros will be linked to my right hearing aid, as was my left hearing aid before, so where I can switch the settings and volume with my left hand as it is my stronger hand.

God is my¬†stronger hand. As I learn to depend on Him daily, I see there is still so much to learn. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known,” Jeremiah 33:3. Like the¬†Phonak Cros, God links together the¬†my disabilities with His¬†abilities and¬†carries them all in¬†His hand. It does not¬†stop my life from¬†tears, doctor appointments, and the cost of following God into the unknown but when I do, there are blessings.

I am still learning this dependency–

…It’s amazing
How I forget
Can’t live my life
For lack of it
But the Light of day
I’ve always known
It’s in my heart
I’m not alone

Speak to me
Tell me all the things I need to know
I want to hear You now
Can You speak to me
I’ve opened up Your Word to free me
I want to hear You now

Make Your wisdom clear
The words I hold so dear
Bring the light into my dark
I hide them inside my heart…

*Audio Adrenaline. “Speak to Me.” Lift. 2001.

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Muffy

Little Joys!

Have you ever stopped for a moment to listen to the water as it drips out of the faucet? What about the sound your sheets make when you ruffle them as you make your bed in the morning? The sound your fork or spoon makes against the dish; the taps your fingers make on the keys when you type; the brushstrokes when you paint on a canvas; the click of your eye shadow case as you finish getting reading in the morning; or the sound of pages turning as you read a book? Little joys!

Yesterday I got my hearing aids fixed! ūüėÄ Funny is perception. It has only been a mere three weeks since they went from usable to unusable overnight. It seems much longer than that! The hearing aids currently are back to where I had them set before–I have them turned up all the way though, as we did not adjust any of the settings due to my last hearing¬†test being in February.¬†At that point in time, my¬†left ear had¬†gunky-dark fluid behind the ear drum and¬†I¬†received some¬†medicine to see if¬†that¬†would¬†clear out. I had my ears checked once and it seemed to be helping¬†slowly. It was not until after the spring break that the tinnitus¬†(insane ringing in both ears) became increasingly¬†loud.¬†So there¬†is much difference in my hearing since February.

Changing the levels now seemed¬†in wrong timing, because¬†I have my MRI/hearing test next Thursday the 23rd. My¬†regular doctor appointments are the following Thursday the 30th. As far as my hearing test goes, I am thinking my left ear has not improved any even if the gunky¬†fluid is out¬†from behind the ear drum. Even with my hearing aid in, I am not hearing much (though I placed it in first this morning and then shut the lid to the case and heard it clear as day…guess that is a good thing!) I do know, however, that I depend on my right ear/hearing aid the most. It used to be the opposite, but I can¬†tell already¬†that my hearing aids are helping…maybe n0t improving¬†my balance but I have not run into as many walls today as I round the corner–little joys!¬†And, after going three weeks with no hearing, I think I did¬†improve my lip-reading and¬†we started incorporating more sign¬†language at home.

My dad is sneaky. He¬†found this¬†website where you can look¬†up words you need and they give you¬†a¬†video¬†of the¬†sign.¬†Last weekend, we had company and at Sunday’s lunch we had the typical tuna sandwiches, chips and salsa, carrots and grapes and cookies for dessert. I see my dad pull out his phone¬†as the others at the table are in conversation. Not thinking anything of it, I return my attention back to lip-reading but sort of just sit in a daze. (I get bad at that. I stare like I am lip-reading but I am not paying attention at all in my mind! I need to work on staying focused!) Anyway, dad never waved for my attention or anything, he just moved his hands. I knew it was a sign, but since he did not mouth the word, I had no idea what it was. Instead of guessing or pointing aimlessly at the table, I just said, “I don’t know what that sign is.” It was grapes!!!

I should have remembered. I learned it in ASL I. Although dad was trying to be sneaky and not ruin the conversation at hand (I think I did ūüôā ), our table then erupted in sign–from discussion of ASL vs. ESL or SEE to guessing¬†the¬†word being signed¬†(as my dad passed on his phone to my sister who put the website and¬†my memory to good use!) Sometimes these conversations are awkward for me as I feel I should be the one to know all the signs (I don’t), but because our guests¬†both¬†had reference¬†and previous experience to sign language, we¬†were able to¬†work through and remember words with sign together.

During these past three weeks,¬†I now¬†have experienced both sides of the spectrum in terms of hearing and hearing loss.¬†Just the other day I read this quote. I think¬†it sums up my thoughts the best way possible:¬†“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard, are sweeter.”¬†~J0hn Keats.

I am happy to hear, thankful to hear, liking¬†to hear…and¬†I think it¬†is because¬†I had none–that¬†I appreciate it more!¬†Little J0ys!!

PS. This s0ng came to mind this morning:

Carolyn Arends, “I Can Hear You”

Leaky faucet dripping in the kitchen
Rubber squealing — watch out in the alley
Mr. Marley’s probably late for work again.
Birdie singing — telling me to get up
Such a soothing sound floating on the wind
I just keep listening

Funny how You speak to me
In such mysterious ways

Chorus:
I can hear You
I can hear You
It’s so amazing how Your voice keeps breaking through
I can hear You

There’s a church bell ringing out the hour
Like an old friend calling through my window
With the laughter of the children playing down below
You’ve got a way of getting my attention
In the rhythm of life, everywhere I go
Somehow You let me know

If I’ll only stop to listen
You’re in everything

I can hear You
I can hear You
I can hear You
I can hear You

Music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtsWtNS-3Og

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