Monday, April 21, 2008

The movie...

...was great! For those of you that missed it, it was announced at the end of last night's movie that it will be released on DVD on May 15th (I plan to have my own copy!). I don't have ordering information but I know that a lot of the Hallmark Gold Crown stores sell those movies. I still haven't seen the first half hour of it...we had dinner last night at my mom and dad's and we missed a little of it. I recorded it at home, though, and plan to watch the first bit of it tonight.
I thought it was very educational and explained both sides of the debate fairly. A decision was not reached at the conclusion of the movie whether to implant or no...the parents, who had separated over the stress of the difficult decision, got back together and agreed to work things out together, as a family. In my opinion, a child that age (the boy was what, seven or eight?) should have some say in the matter...perhaps not be the one that makes the final decision, but at that age, their wishes should certainly be considered. If he wanted to hear...or if he didn't...would carry a significant amount of weight. Babies are an entirely different matter...their parents have the very weighty responsibility of making that decision entirely on their own.
As an adult CI user, I have the best of both worlds! I can finally hear...and hear well...and that's awesome, except for days like yesterday. Yesterday I was already a bit overloaded from a loud lunch and went to the Goodwill for some browsing time. No sooner had we started to shop than I realized that there was a particularly loud little girl exercising full lung capacity as her father wheeled her around the store. He would occasionally shush her, but it seemed to have absolutely no effect whatsoever. I gave it about five minutes, and was near the point of coming unglued from the sound, when the thought belatedly occurred to me to just take my ear off. And I did, and I shopped in total, complete silence...ah, bliss.
When I lost my hearing at age 4, my parents gave me everything I might possibly need...a hearing aid, sign language classes, a teacher's aide in school. They gave me the opportunity to have good speech, fair hearing, and sign language. As an adult, I'm now in the position to hear...or not...it's my decision. The computers inside my head don't mean anything without the processors I wear on my ears...without them my world is completely silent. I am in a position to decide for myself whether or not I want to hear...and I'm grateful that it's my decision...I'm grateful that my parents gave me the opportunities. I love hearing, and I love being able to have total quiet. My speech is fairly normal...I have deaf and hearing friends...I can work, listen to music, talk on the phone. I feel like I have the whole world available to me...and I can choose which path to take on any given day. I love that :)
I was tickled to see that Bionic Buddy, the Advanced Bionics mascot, was prominently featured in the movie...Buddy is one of my very favorite monkeys. One of my friends sent him to me after my bilateral surgery, and he is sitting here in the bedroom on top of the bookcase!! Word has it that the poster on the audiologist's wall featured my buddy Mike Royer, and that is WAY cool...I can't wait to see that part again and see for myself!
In unrelated news, I turned in my notice at work last Friday...May 2nd will be my last day to work. I might go back later on, in the fall perhaps, but we have family vacations, I have the Reno convention, and we have doctor appointments, end-of-school-year events, and just plain old being outside in the sunshine dates to keep :). I can't possibly get a tan standing at the register at the store! The kids miss me, I miss them, I hate how disorganized I've become, and am ready to be home for a while. I like that I am leaving on great terms, and have already been told that I'm very re-hirable...so I'm excited about the time off :)
OK...enough rambling for one night...my mom and Laurie both have been telling me how good "August Rush" is and I want to watch that before bed! Love y'all.... :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Two things:

This will be on tonight at 9 Eastern, 8 Central: Hallmark Hall of Fame's Sweet Nothing in My Ear. Marlee Matlin and Jeff Daniels co-star as parents embroiled in a debate over whether or not to implant their deaf child. This story may be hypothetical, but the debate is real and has gone on for years. The movie looks like it will be very good...check it out!


Also, another video can be found here (I wish I could embed it!!). Here is a bit of information on it:

Tune in to ParentsTV to watch Advanced Bionics' Bionic Buddy in his broadcast debut! The "Can My Baby Hear?" video, which aired yesterday (April 16), spotlights Buddy along with Advanced Bionics' customer New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and 18-month-old bilateral Harmony user Caitlyn in a powerful piece about the importance of early detection and intervention, and the value of cochlear implant technology in maximizing the hearing potential of children around the world.

"Can My Baby Hear?" is part of Parents' recently launched ParentsTV Reports, a broadcast portal dedicated to providing parents information on topics and issues related to raising healthy children. The video can also be viewed on the Web sites of Child and American Baby, and will also air on DirectTV.


If you look over the audie's shoulder while she's talking, you'll see a monkey with a CI sitting on her desk...his name is Buddy and he has a CI of his own. I have my very own Buddy (anyone surprised?) and my girls are crazy about him...his CI is velcroed on and they love playing with it!

Will return to your regularly scheduled blogging soon...but wanted to share these two videos with you and give you time to plan to watch (or tape) the movie tonight!
Love y'all! :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tagged!!

I've been so SLOW getting around to this...I'm sorry!! I've been tagged by four of my sweet readers...David, Abbie, MomToToes, and Melissa. I saw it first on David's blog, then it has spread like wildfire among the CI bloggers!! I have had so much fun reading everyone else's answers!!

Here goes! :)

The Rules-
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.


What was I doing 10 years ago:

Ten years ago I was seven months pregnant with my third child and already had a five year old and three year old. We had recently moved to a big house in a nice neighborhood and were about to find out that it was infested with Brown Recluse spiders *shudder*!.

Five Snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non-fattening world:
1. Blue Bell Ice Cream (I like nearly all flavors, but chocolate-covered strawberry is my favorite)
2. Krispy Kreme donuts
3. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
4. Chocolate anything (and the more, the better!)
5. PayDay candy bars

Five healthy snacks I enjoy:
1. Edamame
2. Bananas
3. Grapefruit
4. Sonic's Diet Cherry limeade (ok, it might not be healthy, but it's not fattening, either)
5. Trail mix

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Travel all over the world. I have a rather extensive mental list of places I want to go...and there are very few places that aren't on that list!
2. Donate money to various organizations and causes
3. Buy myself a "toy" car...something fun to drive besides my big ol' bus (right now I'm leaning towards a Cooper Mini)
4. If we stay in this town, I'd remodel this house...but my dream is to move to the big city somewhere, and we could definitely afford it then :)

Five jobs that I have had:
1. Librarian's assistant in high school
2. Prep cook at Mariano's Restaurant in Lubbock, Texas
3. Bookkeeping/secretarial stuff at my BIL's heating and cooling business here in town
4. Photo lab assistant
5. Cashier at a local department store

Three of my habits:
1. Computer junkie...big time!
2. Coffee...every morning as soon as my eyes open
3. Checking e-mail on my BlackBerry

Five place I have lived:
1. Middle Tennessee
2. Henderson, Tennessee
3. Lubbock, Texas
4. Middle Tennessee
5. Middle Tennessee (*sigh*)

Add one new part:
What do you consider to be your best and worst qualities?
I'm a very outgoing, friendly people-person, and rarely meet a stranger...and being able to hear has just really brought that out even more. However, I'm terribly disorganized and scattered...and that makes me, and a lot of people that know me, absolutely crazy sometimes!

Five People I Want to Get to Know Better: (a nice way of saying TAG!) But don't feel obligated!
I am not gonna tag anyone for this...because so many of the CI bloggers have already been tagged, and something similar to this went around a while back and a lot of my other blogfriends have already done this. However, if you would like to play, I wish you would...and let me know that you've done it, so I can come visit!! :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Home again...and exhausted!

I got home last night around 11:30 PM...whew! I had to be up to get the girls off to school around 6:30, and had to be at work at 10 so today has been a long, tiring day. Tomorrow I have to be at the orthodontist with Will at 9, and I go in to work whenever we're done with that...so I'm trying to get this posted quick and hop into bed!
The walk was AWESOME! I had a bit of a time getting up and moving...I asked Rosemary to wake me up at 6, and we left the house at 7. We got to the walk site about half an hour later, and I had a great time meeting the Florida folks for about two and a half hours (the walk started at 10). I met several other CI users and we had a great time swapping stories. I got to see Molly again...which was a real treat. I met her first online, here on the blog, then I met her in Oklahoma City. She is SUCH a sweetheart! Always smiling and so friendly and encouraging...a real cheerleader...gotta love that! At around 10 Kathy and Judy Martin offered a few opening remarks and then we were led in a rousing workout by a personal trainer. I have to admit that I was just about more tired after the workout than I was after the walk! ;)
We hit the trail around 10. I didn't have any trouble with it at all...in fact, I thought it ended too quickly. I thought it was going to be a 5K (3.1 miles) and it ended up being just two miles, so it was over pretty fast. I did stop about halfway along the route to run my mouth a bit with a fella that will be having CI surgery in a couple of months (wanted to cheer him on a bit, you understand) and then ran to catch up with the crowd. There was lunch for everyone and we stood around and talked for another couple of hours before we headed back to Kathy's house. I enjoyed so much meeting other deaf and hard of hearing folks...they feel almost like family, it seems, because of the common bond we have. There were people that signed, people who wore hearing aids, people with CIs, adorable tiny little ones with CIs (awwww!!), people with service dogs (it was SO hard to "not pet"...some of them were just adorable!), and a few hearing people that showed up to support family and friends. I think there were between 150 and 200 people there, although I'm not positive...and nearly 50,000 was raised for HLAA!! AWESOME!!!
When we got back to Kathy's house I packed up my things, and after saying good-bye to my gracious hostess (and her hubby, Tom) and Rosemary, I hit the road again. Kathy and Rosemary are planning to be at the HLAA convention in June, so I'll be seeing them again VERY soon...can't wait! :)
I headed north from there...up towards Augusta, GA. I spent the night in Statesboro, GA, which is about an hour and a half or so from Augusta. I was so tired that night that I think I was asleep before I hit the bed. The Hampton Inn I stayed at there had just been remodeled...it wasn't too fancy in general but the bedding was so luxurious that I just kinda sank into it and was a goner literally within seconds. It was SO hard to get up and get going the next day!!
I went to church in Augusta on Sunday morning ( can say that I was in Augusta, GA on Masters Sunday...in the same town with Tiger Woods...cool eh?) and then met one of my online friends, Gloria, for lunch. Gloria works for Advanced Bionics and has long been one of my favorite online people...and I had been wanting to meet her for quite some time. I gave her a little warning that I was on the way and she suggested we meet for lunch at O'Charley's. We had a GREAT visit...she's one of those people that seems to have a gift for making people feel right at home with her. I felt like I'd known her for years...what a sweetheart (Gloria, I'm STILL working on my phone...got the javascript thing working, but still not the IM....grrrrr!)! She, too, will be at the convention in June...and I'm so excited about seeing her again! :)
I left Augusta (or attempted to...I managed to get turned around trying to find the interstate...grrr) around 2, and drove to Atlanta. On one of my previous trips I had visited a congregation there and hit it off really well with a terrific lady named Maryanne. Maryanne took me under her wing immediately and invited me out to dinner that night and we stayed out and talked until close to midnight. I was anxious to see her again and decided I'd try to surprise her. Surprise her I did...after a few seconds of uncertainty (you could just see the data processing going on in her head), she recognized me and nearly leapt over her pew in an effort to reach me. The last time I saw her was after I FIRST started losing my hearing back in 2006...before my first CI. The first thing she said was, "CAN YOU HEAR??" She was overjoyed to know that that I could indeed hear!! After church her congregation had a potluck at a nearby auditorium and she invited me to come along (actually, she and her husband asked me several times to stay overnight with them, but I really felt like I needed to get home). I did take her up on the offer...free dinner was not to be turned down...and it gave us more time to visit and catch up. She co-piloted while I drove to where the potluck was...and was delighted that I could hear her as I drove. I got to meet several of her friends at the dinner, and eat lots of good casseroles (we Southern women love our casseroles, you understand!).
I left Atlanta around 8...and drove straight home, only stopping once for a bathroom break. When I got home I was so tired that the only thing I brought upstairs was the laptop and my purse...I asked hubby to just leave the car today so I could unload it at leisure this afternoon (and he did). I was asleep about 20 minutes after walking in the door...I don't remember anything after hitting the bed!
I finally got a few pictures up! They're here at the Picasa Web Albums. Check 'em out!
I'll be back tomorrow...I've been tagged for a couple of memes and I am DEFINITELY playing along! :) And I will tell the cop story tomorrow!
Love y'all!! :)

What an awesome trip!!

Gas: $160.00
Food: $25.00 (yes, you read that right...for an entire weekend...there really is such a thing as a free lunch!)
Coffee: $8.00 (I bought two cups at Starbucks, and at one exit asked at a Daily's if there was a Starbucks nearby, and the girl at the counter said no, but treated me to a free large coffee...sweet!)
New blouse for the convention and a new Kermit the Frog purse: $21.00
A book on CD to listen to on the road: $65.00 (I'll get $60.00 of it back when I return it to the Cracker Barrel)
Hotel for one night: $110.00
Speeding ticket on the way to Augusta: to be determined *sigh*
Meeting new friends, seeing old ones again, making a cop chuckle, and knowing without a doubt that you're making a difference: Priceless!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hello from Tampa!!

I'm here!! :) I'm on Kathy's computer, since she doesn't have wireless and she told me to make myself at home on hers (wasn't that sweet?). I don't want to upload pictures to her computer so I will try tomorrow to get a few up...wherever I end up tomorrow night (yet to be determined!)
I got to Tallahassee after a looooong day of driving at about 5 PM last night. Joyce and Zemi met me at the door. It was awesome seeing Joyce again and Zemi greeted me warmly...with a real heart-melting smile! What a beautiful baby! We visited for a few minutes then we headed out for a while. We went to the ballpark so I could meet her hubby Jason and her two boys, then us three girls went out to eat at a yummy little local Italian restaurant. We had planned to go shopping for a bit afterwards but Zemi was feeling kinda puny so we headed back to the house. I was going to do a bit of blogging...posting pictures and all...but the cable kept coming on and going off, finally going off and STAYING off, so I gave up. We talked until about 1:30 and then I CRASHED!!!
Woke up this morning, took some Advil for my headache (allergies have been HORRIBLE lately), got ready, and then we headed out. We went to Starbucks for some coffee, then hit up the brand new Kohl's in Joyce's neighborhood (it is less than ten minutes from her house and I am insanely jealous!). From there we took a whirlwind tour of a few sites in downtown Tallahassee. Tallahassee is the capital city (I didn't know that) of Florida and we drove right by the governer's mansion...cool! We didn't have a lot of time because I needed to hit the road for Tampa and we had to go to the Whataburger first! I got me a big old burger (I have photographic evidence) and dreamed of living in a Whataburger neighborhood. That big old burger filled me up...I haven't really been hungry again since.
I said good-bye to Joyce and family and headed for Tampa around 2...and would have probably gotten here around 7 but took a detour to find a Wal-Mart and was detoured longer than I intended to be. First off I had to FIND the Wal-Mart...and then it ended up being the OLDEST Wal-Mart I'd ever been in...seriously, I think it was older than I am...then had to find what I was there for (I asked for directions a lot) then had to get checked out (of course, my line was held up). Then I decided to try to find an alternate, faster route back to the interstate, which ended up being a much slower, terribly convoluted route (can we say "lost"?). That detour set me back about an hour!
I got to Tampa around 8 PM. Great timing, because it was nearly too dark for me to see the directions by that point. I got on my first ever toll road (well, the first that I remember, anyway) and found Kathy's house. Kathy is one of the co-chairs for the Tampa walk and such an incredibly dear hostess! I met her sister Rosemary online several months ago...she had her CI surgery the day after I had my second surgery back in November...and when I told her I was coming to Tampa they offered me a bed to sleep on. Rosemary is just as sweet in person as she seemed to be in her e-mails and I have felt so at home here!
Tomorrow, registration for the walk starts early, and the walk itself starts at 10 AM. I have NOT been walking...so tomorrow night I may be too pooped to blog, but I'm going to do my best! I seem to be able to blog by BlackBerry fairly well, but am having issues getting my pictures posted...seems like something always comes up. Maybe tomorrow! (and there will be plenty of them after that!). Bad news...the BlackBerry just posts to my family blog. If I do any "moblogging" I'll copy and paste here, perhaps, later....or you can go visit the family blog here for the play by play in case I'm slow! :)
OK...off to bed...it's late and we're getting up at *ack* 6 AM!
THANK YOU again to everyone that's supported me...financially and by e-mail...your encouragement has been incredible! I have had nearly 40 people to donate and we've raised nearly 1200.00. I'm a little annoyed that the website didn't list all of my donors, but found out that there are a limited number of names that that it will post, and it posts the highest donations first. I hate that...because every single donation, no matter what the amount, meant a tremendous amount to me. If I can get hold of my walk t-shirt before the walk I'm going to print everyone's names that supported me on it...and y'all can walk with me...won't that be fun?
OK...SERIOUSLY off to bed now! Love y'all! :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Takin' a road trip!

I'm leaving in the morning for Florida! The Walk4Hearing will be Saturday morning bright and early and I'm just taking my sweet time getting there. I'm taking a little detour through Tallahassee to see Joyce...and will stay there tomorrow night. Then it's on to Tampa...I plan to get there sometime Friday night. The rest of the weekend will basically just be played by ear...depending on how tired I am, etc. I will be blogging about it as it happens...so stay tuned for pictures and the play-by-play!
There is a Whataburger in Tallahassee, and Joyce has promised to take me for lunch on Friday...hooray! (can you tell it doesn't take much to make this girl happy?)
I did a little packing and a good bit of cleaning today, then went off to get my hair worked on for a while. I had been having issues with the hair ever since I cut it several weeks ago...and could NOT get it right. I'm proud to say that I think we got a handle on it today and it looks better than it has in a while...*whew*. There will be pictures over the next few days so you'll have opportunity to see it...and that's all I'll say about that! :)
Packing with the new ear has been different from my normal packing routine...I haven't traveled with all the CI gear before. When I went to OKC last summer I just took the charger and the processor and that was about it. I think I figured that if anything happened I wouldn't be much worse off, since I didn't hear that well with it to start with. This time, though, I want all systems go at all times, so I've packed everything but the European outlet converter (I hope I won't need that in Florida). I have the car charger so I can charge batteries in the car if need be. I'm also wired to the teeth with BlackBerry, charger for that, camera, charger for camera battery, laptop, and laptop cord. I have more "stuff" than clothes, I think!
David came through his melonectomy fine...and has quite the incision to show for it! Laurie also has gorgeous grandbaby pictures posted...I would love to get my hands on that little one!
OK...off to bed...but watch this space! I'll be posting from Florida soon! Prayers for my safety will, of course, be appreciated!!
Love y'all! :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Today, I heard.......

a bird twittering outside...through a closed window! I am amazed...I haven't EVER heard that well before!!
I was in the bathroom, and I heard a tiny tweeting sound...and thought, "That sounds like a bird, but it can't be...the window's closed." I listened some more, and thought, "That just HAS to be a bird...that's what it sounds like!" So I opened the window, and sure enough...that's what it was! I was tickled pink over that discovery! Noisy little bird! Considering the fact that my higher frequencies are still lower than the rest, I am amazed that I'm hearing those little chirps so well!
I've been listening to them a lot lately...our air conditioner isn't working just right and it's been getting a good bit warmer, so we've been leaving the windows open occasionally for a little air. The first time I sat in the bed with the laptop and heard the birds outside, I was just enthralled...I couldn't believe they were so clear. Of course, the spell was broken a few minutes later by a horrible sound that I had to think on for a few minutes before I ascertained that it was my son dragging the garbage cans down our gravel driveway to the road for pickup. It wasn't a pleasant sound, necessarily...but I could hear it and identify it...which was a big deal :).
I was in the bedroom today and heard the TV in the living room...the announcer was saying "blah blah blah AT EIGHT, SEVEN CENTRAL, RIGHT HERE ON DISNEY CHANNEL". I was tickled that I heard it and understood it all the way back in the bedroom...although, now that I think about it, that may be a sign that our TV's too loud. My girls are all gonna be deaf in a few years!
I have noticed lately, though, that I seem to be losing my lip-reading ability a bit! I used to be a pro at it...I estimate that I could probably pick up around 90% of what was said just by lipreading alone, if the lighting was good. I had one particularly memorable conversation with my son last week, though, while I was enjoying a "quiet day" without my CI. The conversation consisted of him rattling on and on for about a minute and a half, and then me saying, "I didn't get a word of that...you'll have to wait until I've got my ear on." Good grief! I know that part of it might be attributed to the fact that I'm hearing so well that nobody takes pains to speak carefully and enunciate clearly anymore...but it's getting harder to do...no two ways about it! Oy! As long as I have my CI, though, I won't worry too much about it...I don't miss much with that :)
OK...I know that a lot of you visit over at Abbie's blog, and I know that what I'm about to tell you won't be news to many of you, but when she posted a while back about the Sprint Web Cap Tel, I'll be honest with you, I didn't even pay attention. I have had captioned phones (which I stubbornly refused to use even one time...aren't I awful?) and I have also used online relay services. I thought that the Sprint Web CapTel fell into the latter category, and I'd been there, done that, didn't care much about it one way or another, so I just went on to the next post in my Google Reader. Well, tonight I was pestering Abbie on the IM and we got to talking about my phone phobia. I have gotten relatively (relatively being the key word here) comfortable talking to SOME people on the phone...but I am VERY particular about who I talk to...unless it's really important, I will only talk to family. I have called to make my own doctor appointments before (and done OK with that) and even called a woman about fund-raising (that also went well)...yet still I get sweaty palms when I think about making those phone calls. Years of phone conversations gone wrong have left me shaky, even though my hearing is light years better than it's ever been. PLUS...in the past couple of years, I've amassed quite a few awesome CI friends...and I would LOVE to talk to them on the phone, personally...but am nervous...will they be able to understand me? Will I be able to understand them? Will we muddle our way through a conversation and finally hang up in frustration? I've threatened to call Laurie several times, but we've never actually done it...I'm too chicken to call her.
Well...no more...Abbie set the record straight for me! Sprint's Web CapTel is a completely different animal...you use your own phone...just talk back and forth like regular ol' hearing folks...and your conversation is captioned right there on your web browser! I don't know if it's something I'd ALWAYS want to do, but it would be a great way to get started with a new phone conversant...just to see how difficult the conversation will be. I have found that after I listen to someone's voice for a little while I don't have much trouble understanding the words...it's just the first few initial conversations that are the hardest. I can see this being an awesome tool! Check it out here :) Abbie and I are planning a phone conversation VERY soon so she can walk me through it...I can hardly wait!! :D
***Side note: If you're a fan of Abbie's...check THIS OUT! You won't be sorry!!!
Keep David in your thoughts and prayers for a few days...he's joining us in Cyborg-Land on Tuesday!! I'm SO excited for him!!!!!
OK...headed to bed...two more days of work ahead, then a very special trip coming up...stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Heads up!

Go over to Laurie's blog and tell her I sent you. It's her birthday today, and she got one of the best presents ever yesterday...her first grandchild!!! Congratulations are in order!! Love you, Laurie...and I'm so happy for you!! Happy Birthday! :)