Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mornin', all...

Wow, what a sleep...felt like Rip Van Winkle when I woke up this morning ;)I didn't go to sleep until nearly 2 AM Wednesday night/Thursday morning, then got up at 6:30 to get the girls off to school, and never got any more sleep. I felt pretty good yesterday, but apparently, when I'm tired, I'm tired :) I was going to watch Gray's Anatomy for the first time (I've never been a fan, but my sis-in-law Kim says it's a great show) but I conked out about halfway through it (the last time I looked at the clock, it was 8:30). I woke up and it was around 11:15 PM. I was afraid to stay awake too long, for fear that I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, so I just did the bare essentials...threw some PJs on, checked e-mail, checked on the kids, and was out like a light about 20 minutes later. I'm not going to say that I was wide awake and raring to go at 6:30 this morning (that just doesn't happen) but I didn't have as much trouble waking up as I usually do :) It's really unlike me to go to bed that early. I'm usually up until at least midnight...a lot of nights, even later than that.
I'm headed out to Vanderbilt for a implant tune-up in a couple of hours. I'm not looking forward to it. I do not like my implant. I know that sounds awful, after all the whining about not getting it fast enough, but I haven't bonded with it at all. I hate the way it feels. Not wearing it, per se...that's not the big issue (although keeping it on has been one...I think I'm getting the hang of that, though). I still "feel" the majority of my sounds, rather than "hear" them. I am kind of sensitive about the way things feel anyway (I'm all about comfort...comfortable shoes, clothes, etc) and this implant really, really rubs me the wrong way. I don't know how to describe it. Sounds just jar my whole head, rather than making any sense. It's a very uncomfortable feeling. The surgeon warned me that it might be this way, but we went into it hoping for the best. I know that if I were to really work with it, I could probably overcome it, but I dread putting it on every single time, without fail. I have thought seriously about just going ahead with the implant for the other ear. Once I can't hear at all, I will be forced to wear the implant I have now, or nothing, and if it still doesn't work, I have been told by the surgeon that he thinks I'll have much better luck in the "good" ear. I go back and forth. Part of me just wants to enjoy what I have left in this ear while I have it, but then again, what if I lose it all overnight (a very real possibility these days) and have to wait months and months to get it implanted? *sigh* I have about decided that I'm going to go ahead and start the insurance battle, anyhow. That should take a while. If that all goes as planned, perhaps I can have the surgery this summer...first of July or so...and be back in the saddle in time for the fall semester (I would definitely have to have a transcriptionist for my classes, though!!) Decisions, decisions. I would love input from anyone and everyone (even if you don't have any experience with implants, I would still love to hear your thoughts).
Hubby told me the other day that he doesn't mind if I take another trip this summer. This one will be to Oklahoma City :) The Hearing Loss of America Association has a convention every summer somewhere and that's where it is this year...third weekend in June, I think. I am hoping to meet my dear friend Tallahassee Lassie this year (if she isn't too sick...she is expecting a wee little one in September and is very, very unwell right now!!) I have talked to Laurie a little about it, and she is interested...I hope she can go, too...I love her dearly and would love to see her again!! I have never been around deaf people very much. I have met more deaf people in the past year than I have met my entire life (by far)! I think it would be a fun weekend, and I know I'd get a lot of information and support from others with cochlear implants. I might work on my sign language a little between now and then :) I plan to drive out there...I love having my car with me when I go somewhere new. It gives me a chance to get out and see the sights a little wherever I am!
I hope everyone's having a good weekend. I have been told that it's pretty cold just about everywhere...I hope y'all are staying warm!! Love to all...<3

Went to Vanderbilt today...

*WARNING: beginning of less than cheery post*
...the first thing they did was put me in the sound room for tests. I scored a zero on the speech comprehension with just the implant, and my scores for the hearing aid AND the implant (together) were LOWER than my scores with the hearing aid alone (I have to really concentrate to be able to hear at all because the vibrations take over the hearing in my "good" ear). The audiologist was dismayed by this and we spent nearly two hours tweaking things. I told her that the vibrating sensation is just too much for me. I gave it a shot for the first few weeks, but when the sound didn't improve much at all, and the vibrations not at all, I got really discouraged really fast. I haven't been wearing the processor as much as I should, because it has been a hindrance to communication, not any help at all. I am much too social to not be able to understand folks :( I should wear it all the time when I'm at home, but I kid you not...I turn the TV off in the bedroom when I put it on, make it as quiet as possible, and still literally cringe every single time..it's almost painful, it's that uncomfortable. The audiologist lowered the sensitivity still more and changed the frequencies yet again. When I left, the vibrations were not as uncomfortable as when I came in...I can still feel them, no question about it, but it's much better. I am going to give it my best shot for the next few months (I don't go back to see the audiologist again until April). She said that if it's not any better, we'll have the Advanced Bionics rep come in then and work with me and see if they can do anything.
I hesitate to post the negatives here. I don't want to discourage anyone who might be looking into an implant of their own. There are far more success stories than failures. I have a list of cochlear blogs in my sideline, and you can visit them...they're generally all happy with their implants. They all went through their own periods of adjustment and came out on the other side in pretty good shape. If I could just get rid of these annoying vibrations I would be thrilled...I could handle any kind of noise if I just didn't have the buzz in my head. But I've been told repeatedly that this doesn't happen every time...that I am one of the exceptions rather than the rule. I was prepared for it, but still hoping for the best. I am not giving up...I do think that over time it will continue to get better, but boy, is it frustrating sometimes!!
*end of said post*
In other news....when I came home, we went out for Mexican. I had planned to go to the store and pick up some stuff for dinner, but got home much later than I'd planned, so we just ran out for dinner instead :) Then we went over to my mother-in-law's house and played cards with her and one of hubby's cousins (well, actually, cousin napped on the couch while his wife played with us ;) ). His wife had such a great time that she wants us to play again next weekend...fine by me...I love playing cards and being sociable :)
Came home, watched Monk, am working on the grocery list. I'll probably have to go to Wal-Mart tomorrow...we're out of a ton of stuff (including coffee and bread, so, you know, I'll have to go). There is a possibility we'll get a little snow tomorrow night (the salt trucks have already been out salting the roads, just in case...can you tell that we don't handle snow well in Middle Tennessee?). I kinda hope we do. It will make the freezing cold almost worth it ;) The highs are supposed to be in the THIRTIES next week! *sob* I think I'm buying LONG JOHNS to wear to school!!! Yeah, I'll look stupid, but I'll be warm(er)!
Catch y'all later...grab a cup of coffee and stay warm... <3