Tag Archives: technology

Accommodations For Normal Living

I did something yesterday that I have not done in a while years! I ordered to go…DRIVE THRU!! A big deal considering every time I want to grab and go–I have to park, walk in, order, wait, then go. When I am with family, things are pretty normal (minus a missed ordered fries or no sauce); or if I am driving and my sister is in the passenger seat, she yells past me and then I just pay and pick up at the window. But me alone…ordering drive thru most often is like talking on the telephone (even with my internet captel)–lots of communication problems. I think most people would say ordering drive thru is hard for anyone, but it makes it even harder with profound hearing loss. Thankfully, most now have big screens so you can see your order.

The most common misconception I have about my hearing loss is that I cannot hear anything. True…when I have no hearing aids in. My new hearing aids give me a lot more power and range to pick up on sound, but even still I think my hearing is slightly decreasing. I have a hearing test next week with my MRI/doctor appointments to see how things are going.  People at work ask me if I hear voices. I do, but if I am not reading lips, then I have no idea what you are saying. SO, I have to give credit…it was like a “cheat sheet” drive thru. I got off work around noon, aka, lunch hour. I was exhausted but had a coupon for a free Chic-fil-A hand spun milkshake. They seemed to have a really busy noon hour and since I could not find a parking spot, I ventured in the drive-thru lane. They had long lines so they had set different workers at certain points to take your order and punch it in, so by the time you got to the window, you had already paid and just got your order. Brilliant! 🙂 But I still count it as official drive thru…because I never left my car!

Friday, I had an appointment to discuss different options for my phone upgrade. I am not interested in an iPhone or anything big with touch screens, because it is hard for me to hold and text. In discussing my needs, we are focusing on phones for seniors. Most common are flip phones with big T9 text keys. There are also ones that have ICE buttons on the top of the key pads, which for safety factor might not be a bad idea. We still have a bit of research to do with different things, but I think that type of phone is what I will possibly get. With my fingers getting so numb and loosing function…I am not looking for anything fancy but that covers my need. We also talked about getting a captel landline phone. That was a big factor for me in my apartment. My phone service was not always the best, and if I had an emergency, I just can’t call people. I have to turn on my computer, start my internet, load the address, log on, set my phone numbers, then hope the website runs smoothly and does not cut off my conversations (which seems to happen on my most important calls). It takes a lot of time. With the landline, I just have to pick up the phone and dial out. I think that might be an important investment–especially when I want to call grandparents. 🙂

We also discussed a lot of different options for helping me maintain my independence. It is my hopes to get into an apartment of my own again soon. It was a big shift going from living with roommates at all times to living on my own. I saw concerns that could have been problematic. Thankfully, my apartment accommodated for a lot of them, such as a strobe light on the fire alarm. But I think there are more concerns than just my hearing. I also fall a lot. I fell out of the shower a few times in college and in the apartments in Denver. Not that it will happen again, but I also think of when the blood clot hit. I was also in the shower. That event was actually very scary for me. It leaves me with doubts of being able to safely live on my own again. And that is why the appointment Friday was such a huge encouragement for me to understand that there are resources, accommodations and technologies that help make independent living (for as long as I am able) a safer experience. I am so thankful for that.

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2

February 2012

Today is February 29th! Happy Leap Year Day! (And happy birthday to all those who have the coolest birthday date!) 😀 Today seemed to be a typical day considering that it is a unique date. Got up late, Muffy followed me around while I was trying to get ready quickly, went to get my finger poked to check my blood count, went to work, went to Children’s Hospital at the Liberty campus (about 40 south from Dayton) to fix my ear molds for my hearing aids. The new molds were like Dumbo ears, just huge and it feels like they are expanding the inside of my ear! So, after trying to fix them, we just ended up ordering new ones. We left and came home, I wrestled with my computer all evening until my Dad came home…somehow things always work for him. Checked my email and Shutterfly had sent me a coupon to receive 101 free prints! So, now I sit and blog while my pictures are being uploaded. Today was a typical day–minus the surprise free prints coupon. Thank you Shutterfly!

While I was waiting for my computer to unfreeze, I remembered a quote about Leap Year that I read a few weeks ago in my Mom’s magazine, Better Homes and Gardens. Although I cannot claim a “green thumb”..serious I kill any plant I try to grow…I really like the magazines. They have fun fashion tips, how to’s for decorating different rooms of your house, easy recipes and of course garden knowledge. This February issue they have a page about things to do for the rest of winter since the groundhog saw his shadow–thing number 2 reads,

TAKE THE LEAP

Save February 29 to check in with yourself. Write down what you hope to accomplish over the next four years and put your list someplace safe, to revisit in 2016. (BHG, February 2012, pg. 14)

This made me think of the past four years. I had some major achievements and life changing events: Two different types of chemo. Graduated from college. Trip to Greece. Started painting. Moved 8 times (HA! Bet your mouth dropped! 6 times were to different apartments); one big move across the states from CO to OH. Transferred jobs. And even a blood clot. Pretty big events for my planner. How am I even supposed to write down things for the next four years coming from that resume? 😀 I don’t even make New Year’s Resolutions.

I think the quote makes me realize one important thing that could sum up my feelings: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. One would assume that in these past ten years with this disease that I would fully understand this statement. Folks, I SO DO NOT!!! I am a planner. I plan ahead, and when my life takes abrupt twists and turns, I get upset. I get frustrated when I have to change my plans. My biggest unknown at the moment is whether or not I can go back to my apartment that I just moved into in November. I have been out of my apartment more than in it between work, a family reunion at Thanksgiving, Christmas, plus chemo every other weekend so I would sleep here at my parent’s place, and my sister’s wedding in Colorado right after the New Year. Then the blood clot hit January 22. In the hospital I figured I would get better pretty quickly and be back to normal in a few weeks. My plans= out the window. (I had not even thought of the fact that I would have to wear a compression stocking.) Present day: My mom drives me to work (I am cash office so I sit for 2 hours), appointments, and church; I can’t lift heavy things and need someone to go up and down the stairs with me. I am gaining strength, just taking a lot longer than I thought.

So why do I have a problem with change? Maybe it is my pride? My expectations? I am not sure to be honest. I seem like I am a big oxymoron in the flesh. You know, my health changes all the time and yet I hate change. 🙂 But not all change is bad! The move out to Ohio deserves a post in itself. It was God planned, timed and detail oriented. I had three things I was not sure of when I started praying about the move: job, moving out of my apartment and leaving my roommates in a financial bind, and obviously my health. All in one week shortly after I started thinking and praying and brainstorming, they were answered in better ways imaginable! It is these sort of memories that I wish I could think of more often when I have days like today when I feel like I have hit a wall. These past four years have been one thing after another and yet I saw God in it all, especially the timing of it all.

So, since I lose paper and I am not at my apartment to put a note in my special box of what I hope to see in the next four years, I will just tell you. I hope to see more of God’s perfect timing in my life. I have seen it before, and I want to see it again. Best part is, I won’t be disappointed when the next February 29th comes by again. 😀 What do you hope to see?

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