Do You Really Want to Know?

Sarah of Speakup Librarian fame has tagged me, and I’m finally getting around to responding.

1) Each player must post the rules at the top.
2) Answer the questions in bold (impossible on my blog – using bold makes the text light gray)
3) Tag five people you would like to know better, go to their blogs, let them know they’ve been tagged and ask them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago:

In 1998, I was freshly divorced and pursuing my B.A. in Sociology, dragging two children with me to the University during the summer because I didn’t have the funds to pay for a babysitter. Whew! Glad that’s over!

Five Snacks I enjoy:

1. Chocolate candy bars (Hershey’s, Reese’s peanut butter cups)
2. Chocolate-covered peanuts
3. Chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup
4. Chocolate pie
5. Chocolate chip cookies

Hmmmm – seeing it in writing makes me see why I’ve packed on the pounds….

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Donate to different ministries in my church
2. Contribute to foundations dealing with hearing loss
3. Pay off my debt (Student loans and credit card)

Jobs I have had:

1. Cashier at McDonald’s for 6 whole weeks!
2. Medical and Dental Claims Examiner
3. Daycare worker (too much noise from the kids – painful!)
4. Front office worker for GYN
5. Librarian

Three habits:

1. Chocolate (wait, that’s a snack, right?)
2. Reading – Internet and books – so much to read, and not enough time!
3. Playing the piano

Five places I have lived:

1. Darmstadt, Germany (Yep, I’m a military brat!)
2. Bay Islands of Honduras (Mom’s hometown)
3. Panama Canal Zone
4. Stillwater, Oklahoma
5. Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri

Five people I would like to know better:

I know I’m breaking the rules, but it seems I’m the last person in the Deaf/HH blogosphere to be tagged, so any Deaf/Hard of hearing person in the blogosphere reading this that has NOT been tagged, consider yourself IT!

Seen, But Not Heard

Normal hearing children that grow up with a hard of hearing (HOH) parent naturally adapt to the parent’s hearing loss; from an early age, both of my children muted the television, turned off music, and made sure I could see their lips before they attempted to speak to me. Sometimes I felt just a little bad that “talking to mommy” required more work than talking to other people.

 

But that was BEFORE Super Hearing Boy (SHB) became a teenager.

 

SHB gradually came into the realization that he could take advantage of my lipreading ability and USE IT AGAINST ME. And do it in a subtle, sneaky manner… and make me look like I’ve gone berserk! How is this possible?

 

I’m at the piano, rehearsing with the band at church after potluck, and glance over at SHB. He’s staring at me, trying to get my attention without any of the guys noticing. The instant I look at him, he starts moving his lips without making a sound. The sight of his moving lips puts me in an almost hypnotic trance and I’m compelled to lipread until his lips are still. I shake my head to indicate “no” and his lips move again. Finally, I stop playing, and say firmly, “No, I am NOT going to drive you home now and come back here to finish rehearsing! Just sit tight for another half hour and stop arguing with me!”

 

The guitarists and drummer are silenced by my outburst.

 

Guess who looks like a raving lunatic and who looks calm and composed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beethoven Effect

Is anyone still interested in reading this blog? Due to major changes in both my professional and personal life, I’ve seriously neglected it, and I apologize for my laxness. Now that I’ve adjusted to my situation somewhat, I feel like writing again.

Let me begin the “rebirth” of my blog by telling how I stumbled upon a very effective method of upgrading from a semi-private hospital room to a private room, at no additional cost. If you are hard of hearing, you’ve got the necessary tools to do the same!

Sixteen years ago, I welcomed Super Hearing Boy into the world. He was delivered via C-section, and powerful drugs dulled the pain inherent with this major abdominal surgery. I vaguely remember being wheeled into a semi-private hospital room, and later that day another mom who had also recently given birth was assigned to my room. Family members eager to see my precious newborn visited while I drifted in and out of consciousness.

That night, shortly after I slipped into a drug-induced sleep, I felt someone grab my wrist.

Me (Momentarily forgetting where I was): “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

Nurse: “Mmdghskdlfk”

Me (fumbling for the light switch, hearing aids, and eyeglasses and speaking in a loud voice): “LET ME TURN ON THE LIGHT AND GET MY GLASSES AND HEARING AIDS.”

(A minute later)

Nurse: I’m just taking your pulse.”

(Repeat scenario a few hours later)

When night turned into day, I woke up in a private room. Bewildered, I pressed the call button, and a nurse soon appeared.

Me: “Why have I been moved into this room? Is my baby alright?”

Nurse: “Your baby is fine.”

Me: “Why am I in this room?”

Nurse: “You woke your roommate every time the nurse checked your vitals last night, so we decided to give you a private room.”

Me: “Oh.”

And there you have it – solid evidence that there ARE benefits to having a hearing loss!

The Bold One

I could hardly believe my hearing aids when I encountered this customer recently at the Reference Desk:

Library customer:  I need to use a computer and my “liberry” card isn’t working.

Me:  Let me check your record – I’ll need your card, please.  Hmm.  It looks like you have lost book fees on your record.  Sorry, you won’t be able to use your Library card until the balance is below $10.00.

Library customer: (irate) What!  I ain’t NEVER checked out no books!  What do I need books for?  I ain’t read no books! The only thing I ever do at the “liberry” is look for jobs on the computer!

Me:  Ma’am, the titles of the books are, “How to Write Better Resumes,” and “Resumes that Knock ‘em Dead!.”

Library customer:  (with lots of neck action) Well, I ain’t payin’ for ‘em!  I’m going to ANOTHER “liberry!”

She spun around and defiantly marched out of the Library.  I wonder how many times this scenario will be repeated before she realizes all the Public Libraries in the County have access to her record?

Librarian = Detective

The elderly gentleman wore a white Guayabera, a man’s shirt popular in Latin and Asian countries, and walked briskly towards me at the Reference Desk. I have to admit, from past experiences, because of the way he was dressed AND his age, I prepared myself to focus on a heavy Spanish accent (Before I get any hate mail, my grandfather wore Guayaberas, and he was from a Latin American country). But nothing could prepare me for what I heard. The first sounds out of his mouth weren’t English or Spanish. They weren’t even Spanglish.

Elderly gentleman (in a loud voice): “Chair Lee Ho. D-B-D. Chair Lee Ho.”

Me: You want a DVD?

Elderly gentleman: (nods head excitedly) “Chair Lee Ho!”

I glance at my normal hearing coworker and he shrugs his shoulders, indicating he has no clue what the man is saying, either.

Me: (handing the gentleman a paper and pen) “I’m not quite getting the title. Can you write that down for me?”

Elderly gentleman: (looking offended) “Chair Lee Ho! Okay, I write!” He writes down the printed version of “Chair Lee Ho,” triumphantly hands the paper to me with a big smile, and once again says, “Chair Lee Ho!”

Me: (trying not to laugh) You want a Sherlock Holmes DVD?”

Elderly gentleman: (grinning from ear to ear) “Yes! Chair Lee Ho! Chair Lee Ho!”

Sometimes you have to be Sherlock Holmes just to understand people in the Library!

Hard of hearing/Deaf Readers!

What do YOU do for a living? No, this has nothing to do with Big Brother – I’m just curious, and I’m sure a lot of other hoh/deaf people would be interested in knowing the different careers held by other hoh/deaf. I’ve made it easy for everyone to remain anonymous by temporarily disabling the sign-in requirement. Stay at home moms and dads may participate, too.
Please list:

  • your first name (or initial)
  • job title
  • accommodation(s) provided by your employer

Lurkers – this means YOU, too! Thanks!

New Audiogram

Last week my audiologist adjusted the settings on my hearing aids. I had reached the point where I didn’t want to wear them at work because it was too painful to hear. Environmental sounds were so magnified that I almost jumped out of my skin, yet speech remained barely audible. In the Library, the “clunk” of books, CD cases, and DVD cases landing on book carts and tabletops drowned out all speech. A coworker’s lingering cough EXPLODED in my ears all day for weeks. Crying babies made me rip my hearing aids out! Yes, I looked nutty reacting to sounds that normal hearing people swore were soft!

I was experiencing the wonder known as “recruitment,” explained here by the very knowledgeable Neil Bauman, Ph.D. Recruitment goes hand in hand with a sensorineural hearing loss. The more severe the hearing loss, the worse the recruitment. I’ve been aware of my recruitment for a couple of decades, but the new level of discomfort was unbearable. My wise audiologist decided to test my hearing before adjusting my aids, and discovered that one ear has changed SIGNIFICANTLY; I can no longer hear any high frequencies in my left ear.

If you wear hearing aids and sounds are becoming painful, please make an appointment to see your audiologist right away.

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Cute Joke

Thought some of you might like this joke taken from this Website:

Helen and I laughed when John, a neighbor, told us how his hearing aid occasionally emits a high-pitched squeal that can be heard by anyone near him. His granddaughter was sitting on his lap one day when the device started to beep.

Surprised, little Lorraine looked up at him and said, “Oh, Grampa, you’ve got e-mail!”

Ow!

This past Friday night I was relaxing at home, surfing the ‘Net, and reading blogs. Super Hearing Boy (SHB) was washing dishes as payment for his cell phone subscription. Suddenly, he runs into my room with a look of terror on his face and shouts:

SHB: MMMMmmm! MMM MMMdMMMMSLSKDJDK!!

Me: What?

SHB: Look! (points)

Blood was pouring from his right hand.

Me: What happened???!!!!!

SHB: I was washing a glass and it broke!

This was no superficial cut; he needed medical attention at once. I grab a washcloth to wrap his hand in, grab my purse, and in 60 seconds we were out the door. Luckily, the nearest hospital was only a few miles away. I drive like a mad woman and in ten minutes we were in the Emergency Room.

We make a beeline for the nurse’s station.

Me: My son cut his hand! Where do we go?

Nurse: Mmmhdkfjkdj kdjfkdjfk jdkfjdkf kkdfjkd

Me: (Realizing I don’t have my hearing aids in) I’m hard of hearing! Where do we go?

Nurse: (Points)

We go to the room on the right and go to the nurse’s station there. I fumble in my purse and find the box where I keep my hearing aids. Quickly, I place them in my ears and the formerly silent hospital comes to life, blasting my ears with the sound of babies crying, people talking, and the tv blaring.

The triage nurse briefly assesses SHB’s injury and tells us to sit down. A few minutes later, SHB is called and the nurse wraps gauze around his hand and throws away the blood-soaked washcloth. On four separate occasions, SHB is called and I miss his name each time! Because SHB hears so well, I depend on his ears and didn’t ask the hospital staff to walk out to the patient waiting area to get my attention. Three and a half hours later, we leave with SHB’s wound closed with six sutures (stitches).

The next day, after I’ve calmed down, I think about the previous night. I understand hospitals have procedures to follow with each patient, but surely there’s a better way than calling patients’ names in a cacophonous environment. A numbered system that visually alerts patients would be much better. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in my city has an efficient visual and auditory method of alerting customers that’s very hoh/deaf friendly. Upon walking into the DMV, customers take a number and sit down. After a short wait, the customer’s number is spoken and flashed on the multiple screens surrounding the waiting area. Arrows point the way to the appropriate Customer Service Representative.

Does anyone know of an ER with deaf/hoh friendly ways of alerting patients?

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My nose KNOWS

I worked until 9:15 last night and arrived home in the dark, unable to see the yard. When I opened my car door, the pungent smell of freshly cut grass enveloped me. In the ten steps from my car to the house, I knew the entire yard had been cut; a stark contrast to Super Hearing Boy’s (SHB’s) usual habit of cutting a portion of the large yard to keep from overexerting himself. But the potency of the grass smell was magnified tenfold this time. I was astounded when SHB confirmed the yard work was totally done!

If the CIA needs human sniffers, they should consider hiring people from the hard of hearing/deaf community. Several hoh/deaf people have written to confide to me they also possess this super powerful sense of smell. Surely we can profit from this phenomenon!

However, there is a downside to this freakish ability. In public places (think about where I work, people), my nose picks up on the personal habits of people around me. From 6 feet away, I can learn A LOT about someone. But I REALLY DON’T WANT TO KNOW who:

  • Forgot to put on deodorant
  • Needs a breath mint
  • Smokes
  • Needs to take a shower
  • Tossed back a few beers for breakfast

Unlike my hearing aids, there’s no “off” button for my nose!

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