Saturday, August 30, 2008

The deaf fairy tale

Once upon a, no wait, I must change that beginning....okay, Once on a sunny beautiful day a baby was born, oh how the parents loved her. They sang to her and talked to her. They dressed her and did all the wonderful parental things for her. She grew and grew until a deadly disease almost claimed her life. Then the little gal couldn't hear the wonderful mother and father. The mother asked the royal doctors for help and they bashed the baby away. The mother refused the have her baby bashed away and decided to set out on a lifetime journey to educate and help the baby grow a long time after the baby grow up until she was a beautiful Princess.....STOP.....not a beautiful princess......okay changing words again.........Well all gals are princesses, but this one was different, she wore wonderful things on her ears that squeaked when she smiles and laughed.....okay I know let's call her the Princess with ears that squeaky, or Squeaky for short....okay now back to the story..........So now the Princess with ears that squeak when to the Royal ball and met a wonderful Prince Charming.....STOP...first it was not a ball and there is no Prince Charming, Okay, Okay, it was the 80's and she did go to the Zoo, the club, okay now let's settle this Prince Charming stuff, first no guy is a Prince and well he was charming, okay I'll just call him Mr. back to the story......Squeaky went out with her royal friends to the Zoo and met Mr. Charming. Since he did not hear the squeaking he loved her smile and laugh. They fell madly in love and set out in the world to make it a better place. Every time the Princess who squeaked smiled or laughed she squeaked and Mr. Charming just smiled and laughed with her. Many many years later Squeaky and Mr. Charming welcomed a beautiful baby gal into their life. When she was born she cried and screamed. Squeaky couldn't hear anything and instead of smiling and laughing she cried. Squeaky loved that baby with all her heart, but now instead of squeaking she cried more and more and lost her love of words and music. Mr. Charming tried his best to bring her back to the love of words. He tried to find new eary things and more royal doctors. In the end squeaky just faked a smile and loved her baby and Mr. Charming. Then many years after she gave up on hearing the wonderful baby Princess's voice and laugh, she hear from a royal doctor about new ears and the hope of hearing the baby, the Princess with ears that squeak embarked on a journey to get those ears those magical ears. She traveled far and wide, over the mountains and through the valleys. She talked to many royal doctors and many royal helpers and finally got her new ears. When they turned on her new ears she heard the baby Princess and Mr. Charming and tears ran down there faces. Then Squeaky didn't squeak as the tears were replaced with smiles and laughs. The baby princess climbed into Squeaky's lap and told Squeaky that she loved the inside of the heart and now they will find the peace Squeaky wants. Mr. Charming said I might not be charming all the time, but will always love the Princess who squeaks smiles and laughs. The royal mother and father cried as the mother realized her journey to help her daughter has been filled. The Princess' sisters cried and laughed and hugged Squeaky. As Squeaky got us to her new ears the world opened up for her and she enjoyed each day. The family lived happily ever after...STOP, just STOP......if they lived happily ever after then the life was just so boring. who wants to stop living and be happy all the time. Life is boring then, Okay, Okay the new ending. The Princess with ears that don't squeak, Mr. not always Charming, and the baby Princess lived each day with music, laughter, tears, dances, and most of all life.

***When you drive six plus hours, my mind gets stories going. I wanted to write this one before I forgot it. I have a good on dysfunctional and special education. And Abbie what was the other idea I had.....I hope you remember...******

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm thankful for.....

With my dad at home on hospice care, I am so thankful for my cochlear implants.

Why........I can use the phone to talk to mom or my sisters two, three or more times daily. I can tell through the sound of mom's voice how she is feeling. That is a blessing to really hear her! (I spent my life without the phone, each day I feel more and more comfortable on it.) I heard tears yesterday. I'm going home Friday for the long weekend to hug my dad and say goodbye. I'm sure he is waiting to say goodbye to Jenna and myself. He needs to find his peace.

My dad passed away at 3:53 P.M. August 26, 2008. May he watch over us from heaven. I love you dad.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Turn on the lights!

Many moments happen throughout time without giving it a second thought! This time I stopped and realized how grateful I am. Late one evening after a long stressful day back at work, after dinner and just sitting in bed watching the Olympics read the caption without my bilateral cochlear implants. Get the picture! Me in PJs deaf! My husband wanted to ask a question or make a comment, doesn't really matter. The room just glows from the television. We must have had this moment a million times over 20 years together. Times of frustrations and times of lack of communications. What does he do, instead of just stopping and not talking to me or just texting me, he does something so simple and so routine - he turns on the light and talks to me where I can read his lips! Simple and I was able to understand him.

Then my mind pondered, What makes type of partner or parent or even child can accept hearing loss? I came up with one easy answer. A person who sees deep down in your heart and sees the real you! They don't care about turning on a light or translating for you or even removing you from frustration. They learn a new language just to communicate with you. They fight for an appropriate ASL translator, so you know your important enough to have the best. They practice sounds and create time just to help understanding with sounds. They sit in on meetings IEP or others just make sure the best education is available. In short it comes up to two words - LOVE and ACCEPTING. I am thankful for all the times Alex just turns on the light!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

One Year, Tears, and a Belly Laugh!

Taken July 20, 2008, Look how yellow.

One short year ago, I was unable to carry on a conversation without the what....haaa..repeat...go write it down, with my family members. I lost interest in the important "stuff" in life. I sat and just watched TV with caption and forgot to live. Yes, I know, there is no reason why! I just felt helpless. I had been battling my insurance for a year for approval for surgery. After this long frustrating time, I came to a point, either cochlear implants surgery - one, two, or both by summer, or I will have to give up teaching! (Thank you Let Them Hear)
Fast forward a year.......Approval June 3th, Surgery July 19th, and Activation August 8th....
A year!!! wow a year! What a year! I can't believe it has been a year....Does it get any better than this.

So I went to my one year activation anniversary. Got to get the CIs tuned up. Boy, they needed it. 6 months is too long for me to go without a tune up. My dear friend, Vanessa noticed that I have been losing sound discrimination over the last few weeks. Thank goodness for a friend like her, I don't know what I would do without the patient and understanding. All people should have at least one person like Vanessa. Okay, I'll save it for another day....I'll get a picture of her too! Well I went to Vandy to get these fantastic hanging tools of dynamic sounds adjusted. I feel so much better.

BEST NEWS - I got my dream program....the one that filters out squeaky sneakers. My audie adjusted something to -3 and adjusted the high frequency down. So bring on those squeaky sneakers...I'm ready!!!!!
Tears - My dad has been moved to Emory in Atlanta. He is having every test to find the reason behind the jaundice. Mom is right by his side and staying at the hospital. So far no worst and no better. I am so blessed to have parents like them. The love they have shines though the cloud of yellow. I hope I am blessed with a caretaker as strong, compassed, and loving like my mom.
Belly Laugh - I need a good laugh. It's back to school time for us, tomorrow the big day. As an educator, I am going in circles. I can't get anything done. Nothing!!!! I want that the other night my loving family decided to watch "I survived a Japanese Gameshow." Oh, my we laughed all evening. Those people are insane. Jenna's laugh infected the whole room. She starts we can't stop. So finally, the tears are replaced with laughter. I also remembered, Dad is in a safe place being taken care of and he won't want tears, but laughter. See Dad knows what is important in life - a good steak, grandchildren, a hug, grandchildren, his girls, and most importantly Dad, I love you and in my heart I remember the real you!!! Get well.