Monday, June 23, 2008

10 Wonderful Summer Activities

Each summer I pull my hair out to find something fun, cheap, and enjoyable to do with Jenna. With gas prices so high, we are trying to find activities to do close to home. Here is a great list.

10. Take a picnic to the neighborhood, get water guns and get wet!

9. Our local library has a wonderful summer program. They can go twice a week for crafts and reading fun. Then on Thursday night is PJ reading night. An hour long activity to bring the day to the end. Check your local library to see if they have a great program.

8. Our local museum has "Free Sunday." We can go Sunday and tour the museum for free. It is a great way to practice sounds and names. Jenna and I play "I Spy" and the day just flies by. Many museum will have a day of free or reduced cost, it is a great way to spend a day.

7. Great Escape movies has a free daytime movie three days a week. The movies are not current, but oh so much fun to watch. We buy a small popcorn and drink and enjoy the booming sound. Ours runs until August and the movie changes weekly.

6. My favorite activity is to window shop. Since I am the CI user, Jenna or Alex will stop me and say I hear a bell, can you tell me the location? It is a great place to work on visual communications as well as auditory communications. I use it to see if I can focus on a conversation and tune out the background noise. Who knows you might get a good deal on a pair of shoes!

5. Read! We pick up handfuls of books from the library and create a tent in the living room and read for the day. I can't spend too much time outside because of my lupus, so we just create our camping indoors. Make some hot dogs and sing songs. Jenna will dance the day away.

4. Visit a local river or steam. We cover ourselves in sunscreen and hats and make a trip of it. It builds communications and environmental noises. I'm happy unless I see a snake.

3. Join the YMCA! Our Y is income base, so if you take your tax forms, the cost is adjusted on income. Jenna goes to her hang time and rock climbing and I work out. Then we go into the pool for a nice swim. A great indoor pool which means I don't have to worry about getting sick from the sun. The Y is a great investment. I'm hoping the walking, machines and bike will pay off soon.

2. A playland - we will eat lunch at home and then go to McDonalds or ChickFila for ice cream and a few hours of playland. I invite several of her friends and we make an afternoon of it.

1. My daily and favorite activity to do year round. Hug and kiss my daughter. We just spend time each day talking and giggling. I always find time to just watch her favorite show with her and we might do nails or hair. You can't go wrong with just spending time with your children.

Sure there are great and costly things to do, but you know what children remember, the time you spend with them. My favorite memory is when we plugged in the 8 track tape and sang as we cleaned up the kitchen with mom. We laughed, danced, and giggled! My favorite dad memory is going to eat at IHOP and how he always had to eat 3/4 of my meal. Just time! Talk to your children not at them. Excuse me as I go pick up my gal from her "tiger girl" sleepover and tickle a little gal! Enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Here is my x-ray!

It is still in! Went to a general surgeon today and he is sending me to Nashville. At least I am not crazy and yes it is really in. You can see it in all four x-rays.
So to quote one of my favorite books - It is has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!!
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Valerie, You have a foreign body in your foot!

Well, the continuing drama of my left foot! I was told to call the doctor back yesterday to discuss my x-rays. I went to the Internet to my friendly neighborhood and called my doctor.
Val: I'm calling to check my x-rays!
Nurse: You have a foreign body in your foot!
Val: WTF, what do you mean?
Nurse: It is about 2 inches long and you need to go to the ER and have it removed.
Val: Is this like a wood? How did this happen?
Nurse: It is metal and about 2 inches, it is showing it could have been there a long time. Did you ever hurt yourself?
Val: I'm sure I have, but wouldn't I know if I had a piece of metal in my foot?
Nurse: Just go to the ER and have it removed, go today.
Val: How is my foot???
Nurse: Oh, you might have a hairline break, but ER can tell you!
Oh my goodness, I freak out and text Alex to get off work and come home. Alex can be strange. This is what I get from him.
Alex: Did you ask if it is an alien probe?
Val: What???
Alex: You know like X-Files.
Val: This is not X-Files it is my foot, and for I know you most likely put it in there.
Alex: No the aliens did!
So I heard all about aliens the whole trip to the ER.
So between the driving and visit, I am on the phone texting Abbie, Jennifer, Billie, and Vanessa. Each try to get my focus back on task. The foreign body in the foot. Of course I am upset.
One thing I did find out is when stressed, I don't hear well. My hearing is gone....not there...forgotten. So after waiting for an hour with screaming babies, Jenna telling me the aliens did not take her mom, and Alex driving me bananas; I get called back!
So alone in the room, peace and quiet- wrong. Little beeps, loud beeps, running, screaming, yelling, crying, and of course the bring the chart noise. So I focused at the task at hand, I called mom....
Val: Mom, did you put a foreign body in my foot?
Mom: No, but who knows with you. Did you see the x-rays?
Val: Alex said it is an alien probe. What do you think?
Mom: Val, you need to focus, first I told you a long time ago Alex is an alien. But wait for the doctor. Call me later.
Val: (hung up) Wait, I'm alone in the room...
Finally the doctor comes in. He explains there is metal in my foot and most likely a needle. It is not in the place I thought it was. It is on the side of the foot. He states unless it causes pain, he suggest leaving it in. WTF, I want this metal out, OUT of my foot. He thinks it could have been in there for up to 20 years and no it is not an alien probe. And oh yes, you have a hairline break in the top of your foot so a soft boot for 2 weeks. He asked if I was in pain from a scale of 1 to 10. I said a about a 3. Are you sure? I looked at him and said, I had bilateral cochlear implant surgery, I know what a ten is. So after a tetanus shot. Got up and walked out boot and all.
So as I leave the noisy ER and wonder, how am I going to get this foreign body out of my foot?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Attack of A1

What a week!!!! It has been one of those weeks that I want to take off my cochlear implants and sleep the days away!
I am recovering from the giant A1 steak sauce bottle. It jumped out of the refrigerator and landed right on the top of my left foot. Not the land on the side, no full force on the top of my foot. Needless to say I had x-rays today and loads of pain pills. I find out tomorrow if I broke anything. On the pain scale it is about a 5, CI surgery was a big ole 10. It did keep me out to the YMCA today.
Guess what, that A1 bottle did not even break.....Abbie, are you sending your omen to me! I need Good Karma...Good Karma......
I did have a great CI moment, That bottle landed with a BAM....After a bunch of &^%) and #@!& and of course the &^%$, I stopped and said wow I heard that.
So people send your good karma to me, I need it - up next moving to a new home and taking Jenna to the mountains, hope Smokey the Bear is sleeping..

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What have Cochlear Implants given me?

You would think the first thing cochlear implants have give me is hearing! Right!

Wrong, dead wrong.

It has given me something greater,

Self-Esteem and being independent

All my life I have felt a dependence to others, to hear, to alert, to protect, and of course to be there. Now I feel I can do this myself.

I have adventured to the world wide web. I created this blog and made great friends in this world. Most importantly I accepted my deafness. I don't feel that loneliness of being the only deaf person in my family. I found that kinship with others. The wordless moments of understanding. I found the clues and the hints on how to be independent. No longer are my cochlear implants about sound. They are about becoming ME. I no longer take those looks from others when I ask them to repeat. I don't allow others to limit me! I asked for a new reading program in our school and volunteered to teach it. My supervisor asked, can I do it, since it requires more phonics. I turned to him and said, I have an audiological report that says I can. If you give me this assignment, I will do my best and those students will get a caring teacher.(side note these students can't read, this program teaches them, really teaches them). I'm going to class on Tuesday for inservices.

I walk with a spring in my step. I care about things I forgot were important, music, dancing, movies, and conversation. I own technology that I never in my life thought I could use - an Itouch. I download songs all the time and enjoy it so much now.

Now if I can attack this Discord lupus and Sjogren's Syndrome that has invaded my system. But don't underestimate me, I'm a fighter.

I downloaded four songs this morning. Check these out on youtube:


If you click the name it should take you to the youtube video. Enjoy
Come visit

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dear DeafRead Editors:

Dear DeafRead Human Editors, JJ, Elizabeth, Amy, Carrie, Jared, and Tayler,

I am in discord. I'm frustrated and disappointed with this turn of events. As a deaf person, you have violated my trust and my respect. JJ left a comment on Ben's blog. I have not heard anything from any other of the Human Editors. Here is my comment from Ben's site:

"What is interesting is most of us CI bloggers don’t agree either. We have different opinions on CI, AVT, ASL and all, but we seem to be united in our support for Rachel.
At least you have this inside view from your friendship. That is great! I don’t have that. I have to go by what is posted.
Is this a plot to remove CI blogs from DeafRead? Since DeafSide has not happen. I don’t know. All I know is that it validates how my family and I were treated 37 years ago when my mom reached out to the Deaf Community and was turned away. Same views different times."

I am asking each of you your answer to my comment. Thank you, Valerie

Civilization is a method of living and an attitude of equal respect for all people
Jane Addams, first woman Nobel Peace Prize Winner 1931

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mom was right! I'm not deaf enough!

This afternoon what a shock when I was doing my pre-dinner blogging, that Cochlear Implant Online has been removed from DeafRead site. I decided to read CI Online and other bloggers. I'm flabbergasted since when is volunteering with an organization a commerical site.

We can sugar coat it anyway you want, plain and simple, Rachel's views are viewed as not d/Deaf enough.

What this is, is censorship. Instead of DeafRead being a resource for all hard of hearing, deaf, and Deaf persons; it is now a place that limits ideas and information. Where else did I find out about how important unity is? Where else did I learn that you should fingerspell parsley and other spices? Where else did I learn how outspoken and interesting Jodi is? Where else can I go to find out what happens on Hell's Kitchen? Or even lessons in transplants and implants? It is more than just a site to me, it is a place to learn more about my life.

To remove Rachel's site is just wrong. Don't sugar coat it! We are intelligent enough to read between the lines.

Mom was right,
To others I will never be d/Deaf enough
Guess others aren't either!
Civilization is a method of living and an attitude of equal respect for all people
Jane Addams, first woman Nobel Peace Prize Winner 1931
So DeafRead reflect and review your decision. DeafRead should be a site that encourages all parts of d/Deaf Life.
"Suppose you have tried and failed again and again. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
-Mary Pickford
Good Luck Rachel, Elizabeth, and Cochlear Implant Online. Your site is bookmarked.