Gilda was so right!! It is always something, especially for the hearing impaired

In my everyday life, I occasionally hear a word and wonder, “What was that word?”

This week, the word was uniform, but I didn’t know if the person said uniform or unicorn. Can you tell how that would be confusing? I mean the two words are so similar, right? Just imagine this: A young child comes to you and says, “My mom bought me a uniform.” When you have a hearing loss, you might not actually hear the F in that word because it is an unvoiced sound, and there is no way you can figure it out from context. I just try and remember to ask lots of questions to figure out what the child said.

Then, earlier today my hubster and I were checking out old footage of SNL videos in anticipation of tonight’s 40th anniversary show.

We found two hilarious videos that exemplify what it’s like to have a hearing loss, both involving my favorite SNL star, Gilda Radner. (Loved her!!)

I’ve actually made this myself a few times, because I heard a word, or a phrase, incorrectly:

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/emilys-editorial-reply/n8635

Please be a good guy like Chevy, and help your hearing impaired friends out. Maybe even a little sooner than he did!!

And, this second one just reminds me of life as a Pre-K teacher. It was amusing when I, a hearing impaired teacher, worked with children still in the process of learning to pronounce certain words. (L’s and R’s always seem to be tricky for the little guys.)

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/not-for-ladies-only/n8633

Of course, these ladies are doing this for fun but I’d love to know how many times you need to replay the video to figure out what they are saying!

Enjoy the videos!!

A vacation ……for my ears…ahhhhhh!

Ahhhh….the beach!

Don’t you ever feel visually overstimulated? Too much bright light? Maybe the bright blue glow of your computer monitor starts to irritate? Isn’t sometimes, the sun too bright?

For the hearing impaired it is similar, yet different. For me, sometimes the challenges of listening, deciphering, comprehending what people are saying (let alone responding) can become stressful. I guess for hearing folk that can be such a foreign concept. Especially in busy places, where there are lots of people talking, maybe even music playing in the background, AND I’m trying to figure out what someone is saying…whew!

The best example I can come up with is my Pre-K classroom. When 17 four year old children are all playing and talking at once, it gets a little much for my poor little ears. You realize, of course, we have boys that love pretending to be superheros with strength, excitement, and LOUD voices, while princesses (or artists) are carrying on, some with much quieter voices. So if we have an argument, or an accident, in the midst of the usual buzz, then hearing the children involved in this little sub activity is, well, challenging!

BUT, guess what happened this week? I just got a tad bewildered and muttered, “OH. I think my ears need a vacation!” The children stopped and looked at me, some starring and others giggling. When one of them questioned me, I said, “Well, yeah maybe I could send my ears on an airplane to a nice quiet little island somewhere. Then they could just relax and lay on a blanket and get a suntan.” After more giggles, I explained, “Maybe, my ears just need a break from listening so much, because they get tired. So a vacation for my ears,” in my quietest whisper voice, “would be a place that’s nice …….and…… quiet.”

And guess what they did? THEY ACTUALLY ALL GOT QUIET! Of course, it didn’t last long but I learned finding a way to speak my needs can be easily understood by four year old children!

Happy Anniversary Blog!

This week marks the anniversary of this blog. To be exact, Sept 5th, 2012 was the day I started this blog! Whoa, where did the time fly?

So what has happened in a year?

I bought one new hearing aid….Hallelujah!!!! And I’m hearing much better! You don’t mind, if I say it again, right? Hallelujah!!!! I am hearing SO MUCH BETTER!!

I named her Hortina. I am also benefiting from a loaner hearing aid, in my right ear, with plans to buy a compatible one for Hortina, next January. (I think they might even be able to chat with each other somehow. Isn’t technology amazing?)

See the contrasting stories from A not so typical day to OH MY GOODNESS!!

And, what a delightful surprise it was when I went to the The Movies?

I’ve learned two lessons since last summer:

One: I need to keep getting my hearing evaluated and if necessary (HA!) get newer hearing aids. Whoa! Thank God I have a flexible spending account which covered the cost.This brings up a valid point! I’m sure I delayed this whole process because new hearing aids, are expensive!! Most insurance companies do NOT cover the cost. Perhaps we need to bring this up with “the powers that be.” Many people have vision coverage. I think its time we get folks some auditory coverage. I know, hearing aids are way more expensive than glasses but isn’t that the precise reason why people need it? (Sorry, I not taking the side of the insurance companies).

Two: Keep communicating my needs to others.

See WALK THIS WAY!

To date this blog has received 519 views from 9 countries:

United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Russian Federation, India, Chile, Netherlands, Canada Norway, as well as the good old USA.

I never thought their would be any world wide interest. That blows me away!

However its only since March 2012, that I know about the countries b/c WordPress added a new feature to our blogs at that time:

You can see how many views you’ve received per country by day, week, month, quarter and all time, but keep in mind this feature was introduced in March 2012 and prior data is not available.

This past summer I updated this blog, added new posts, learned how to add tags, all to generate more site traffic. By late August I started receiving a few comments. That’s exciting. Please feel free to include your thoughts as well.

Another development: I’ve linked my jewelry business Heaven Sent Gems to this site.

http://heavensentgems.wordpress.com/

(The link is on the left of my home page, if you are interested.)

That site has received 1567 views from 6 countries. (US, Canada, Australia, Norway, Italy and Greece) Cool, huh? Maybe I should make Hearing Impairment Awareness earrings? Hhhmmm…consider that a note to self!

So, how do I celebrate?

Should buy a headband with “cat ears” on it? or cook some “ears of corn”? or become nostalgic for “rabbit ears”?   (You know we used to put them on top of our TVs before cable TV came along.)

Remember, I work in a preschool, so my silly personality slips out occasionally.

I know I WILL (constantly) thank God for the opportunity to buy new hearing aids, and more importantly, to share my experiences so someone else can benefit!
Happy hearing everyone!! Thanks for reading, and please share this blog with anyone you know who might benefit!!

WALK THIS WAY!

Wasn’t there a song years ago with these lyrics? Okay, that’s right by Aerosmith. (I just love Google search, don’t you?)

Anyway, whenever I go to the grocery store and I need help finding something, they WALK AWAY FROM ME ….. WHILE THEY TALK TO ME!! OY!

So, I’ll ask, “Hi, do you know where I can find ……….canned cranberry sauce?”
I get! They are eager to help, “Oh yeah, its in aisle 47, I’ll show you where it is….”

I know they don’t understand that I probably haven’t heard a word they’ve said, as they walked away having this conversation with me for 47 aisles!

It happens to me all the time in the public library, too.

“I’m looking for books on…..jewelry making…..”  (*)

Again, in their eager beaver style, they leave me standing (Okay, walking) in the dust…to try and capture those words floating behind them over to my ears. Sadly, many of them fall to the ground before they even reach my ears.

This past week, I went for a few routine doctor visits.

After the usual greetings, “Right this way,” and they are off to the races!

WHAT TO DO?

The reverse situation happens, also.

I drove over to a friend’s job, to deliver a small package. (*)

Once we were done chatting, I turned away to exit and return to my car. That’s when she kept talking. Oh boy!!

I feel the need to produce some creative “Help me. I’m deaf” name tag type cards. One for the front of my shirt and one to wear on my back.

Before I ask you to help me

DON’T TURN AROUND TO HELP!!!!!

Or maybe TALK THEN TURN? It should probably be short, right?

What about:

MY EYES NEED TO SEE YOUR LIPS!

Maybe I should make a few, get them laminated and stick them in my car, or my purse!!

Sometimes, it gets hard to continue being patient with folks, ya know. I know I need to educate, educate, educate…about my struggle and help people understand my needs.

What do you guys think? Any creative situations?

(*) By the way, did you know I make and sell jewelry?

Interested?

There is a link from this blog under BLOGS I FOLLOW

(This is my second wordpress blog.)

Heaven Sent Gems

On that blog, there is also a link to my ETSY shop. Happy browsing!

Confessions and confusions

My girlfriend returned my phone call a week or so ago. I grabbed the phone, hit the speaker button and ran up to my bedroom. With the door shut and the TV off, it afforded us both a chance to have an adult conversation as well as increasing my chances of hearing her. I lover her, dearly, but her voice, in particular, is a challenge to hear on the phone. It does this sing songy kind of thing. Even her hello..starts of high pitched, then the second syllable is almost of out my range because it is so low.

So there I was sitting on my bed as she started describing how she spent her birthday with her family. My phone was perched on my night stand as I heard her talking about a beautiful garden they went to north of Baltimore. And then it happened. I knocked the phone down to the floor, where it fell speaker side down. In my panic, I started shouting, “Wait, GF! I knocked the phone down. I can’t hear you!”

Can anyone explain to me how these voice activated phones work? Sheesh! It was like it recognized her voice, but not mine! And, how do you …you know…..wait for that pregnant pause…so you can ever so politely…butt in?

Confession: I HATE talking on the phone, and don’t get me started about cell phones! (bad reception, poor sound quality, and dead zones, yada, yada)

Then she described this yummy chocolate pastry delicacy. And I said, “Oh, I didn’t her THAT!” Of course, what I meant was, “Please don’t tempt me I’m having such a hard time on Weight Watchers loosing these extra pounds.”

Yeah, I know I didn’t say it out loud….so o/c she repeats the details of that yummy dessert. oH nO!!

Yeah, I’ll confess, I confuse people, too. Not trying to do so. I guess I just have a creative brain, through and through, so I communicate creatively.

May I Vie for your attention?

Today’s subject? Closed captions

Seriously, that is the only intention of this post!!!

I thank God for those words along the bottom of my TV, because otherwise I wouldn’t know what’s being said. I know I could never do the job, since it requires being able to hear what people are saying. And, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to type those words during a live TV show such as the nightly news.

The context of this post is the abduction of Vi Ripken. (You know, the mother of Cal Ripken, Jr.) Have you heard about this terrifying ordeal the family just experienced? My understanding is that the poor woman was grabbed, tied up and driven away, in her own car. Horrifying! And to be one of her children getting a phone call about it, and then confirmation that indeed, she was missing! Scarey!!

To cut to the chase, if you don’t already know, she is okay, thank God!!

So last night Cal Ripken, Jr was talking about the incident on my local news, during the 5 o’clock hour. He gave the basic summary I just did. (Hopefully I got the story right).

Remember, I said this post was about closed captioning and how I love them?

But, sometimes the closed captioners…….well…….they just……

So here what it read……(paraphrasing)..

.Here now is Cal Ripken discussing the adoption of his mother……WHAT?

Okay, they retyped it abduction, thank-you…but then later ..

While Cal spoke, they referred to it as an auction…HUH?

Just before 6 o’clock, they referred to it as her deduction……okay this is cRaZy!!

I guess I may need to do some research to really understand how this process works. I don’t really want these negative feelings towards these folks I so heavily rely on.

BUT, how on earth, can you mess up the same word three different ways?

Talk about confusion!!!

I’m so glad she was found, and that she has resumed normal activities, even though she is still shaken. I’m with Cal, if anyone has any information please step forward. Please, Lord, help the authorities find this guy!

Of course, I don’t know this family personally. I don’t know anything about this woman’s health, or her hearing.

I just pray she wasn’t more shaken or dazed by the closed captions I saw!

Meow?

GG

If you haven’t met her yet, this is my three year old GG. Someone just yesterday called me “the cat lady.” Yes, that’s me! I’ve had cats for forever and I have quite a few cat stories. In What CAN you Hear, Barb? you’ll see a reference (at the end of the post), of the situation where I couldn’t her her voice when she had that teeny tiny kitten voice.

Here is the rest of the story:

We adopted this little girl a few summers ago, when we had another kitty. They couldn’t be more different. Simba was the scaredy cat, hiding under our bed for weeks before he would come close to us. The night I brought GG home, he hissed at her, and she rapidly jumped on his face. We are talking FIESTY!!

Simba, unfortunately, had some health issues and was only allowed to eat prescription cat food. GG thought, “Hey, you put food down? YUM, thanks!! What a nice new mommy!” I caught on to that and stuck her in the bathroom so Simba could eat in peace, even though she ate like a barracuda. The problem, for her, is that she’d be stuck behind a closed door, with a hearing impaired and distracted mommy. She mew, but well…..even with a megaphone…I wasn’t gonna hear that!!

I also didn’t anticipate just how speedy she was. I mean watch out Road Runner! When I did let her out of the bathroom, she could turn that corner faster than a speeding bullet, so she could finish whatever Simba left behind. (Eventually, I learned to put his food up on the counter.)

However, the vet really did need to use an ugly, ugly word with me one day while GG was there. Obese….talk about the shame of a mom!! Anyway, now GG needed prescription weight loss food. (And I am a member of Weight Watchers. Is this like when you see photos of people with their dogs, and there is a physical resemblance? Okay, don’t answer that!)

The thing is, honestly I’ll admit it, I’ve become a tad codependent with my cat. I mean who could resist such an adorable whisker face, looking pitiful like she is absolutely starving to death as she sits so patiently near her food tray? But, I am recovering. I mean we both need to keep our girlish figures. Overall, she isn’t very vocal like another cat I had but there are some meows to get my attention. And, I can hear them!

BUT, a few nights ago, she pulled a fast one. “Meow”, she said, but I didn’t hear it, with both hearing aids working. My husband was sitting right there in the kitchen. When I said, “That was weird. Did you hear her?”

“Oh no, sometimes she does that silent meow thing. I’ve seen her do that before.”

WHAT? Now, that ain’t right!!!