Month: May 2016

Writing with my daughter

Last summer, State Fair time, Greta and I were asked to write a blog piece about mothers and daughters and hearing loss. After some thought we got something written and gave it to Starkey. We were told it would be released near Mothers Day. It was published last week. I am so proud of Greta for taking this on with me. I have attached our blog piece. 

Starkey Hearing Blog

A Mother-Daughter Hearing Journey

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked Starkey Halo wearer Sara Lundquist and her daughter Greta to talk about how their relationship has helped influence Sara’s hearing journey. Greta, who is passionate about hearing health and Starkey, is her mom’s advocate, and Sara is proud to see Greta take such a passionate interest in hearing health and the philanthropic initiatives of Starkey Hearing Foundation. This is a special Mother’s Day post celebrating how a unique mother-daughter bond helped one mother achieve better hearing.
There is a special bond between a mother and daughter. Your daughter is like a mini version of you. You want to teach them and mold them in the ways of the world. One thing I want to instill in both of my children is empathy for others. I want them to understand that not everyone is the same, and that is ok.  
My kids know I have a hearing loss. It is measured as a moderate severe loss. As a child, I had chronic ear infections and PE tubes which led to a mild hearing loss that has continued to worsen over the years. My kids know to face me and repeat what they said if needed. And a few years ago, my daughter got an inside look into my hearing loss and it changed her, for the better.  
A couple years ago I was given the Hearstrong award for being an advocate on being proactive about hearing loss and treating my hearing loss. I was given the award at Starkey’s worldwide headquarters in Eden Prairie Minnesota. I had no idea what to expect on this day. My daughter and a friend accompanied me to the ceremony. What followed the ceremony is what lit a spark in my daughter’s eye and a flame in her heart.   
We were taken to the Center of Excellence where I was given a hearing test. I didn’t know any of this was going to happen. The wonderful part of going through the routine hearing test was having my daughter was with me. She was right there when I was told that new hearing aids would be given to me. There were tears of gratitude and also a very raw feeling of gratitude since I knew the hearing aids I had weren’t up to the job of accommodating my hearing loss. It had taken me a long time to talk about my hearing loss, and even today, I am still working on being open about it. It is not something to be ashamed of but to have people watching me and being the center of attention about this topic made me feel very vulnerable .
Part of my intimate private life was on display. Every parent feels at some point or another that they need to hide the unhappiness of the world from their children, to hide the facts that not everything is perfect. But, that day my daughter not only saw that my hearing is far from perfect but she also saw what a wonderful giving heart Starkey possesses. She learned that we don’t shy away from these kinds of issues but tackle them head on and that it’s important to spread awareness of hearing loss and using hearing technology.  
Greta got to see how impressions are made. She was able to follow my impressions and see how two sets of earmolds are made for each person. She saw how impressions are molded and polished. She saw how hearing aids were picked for an individual and how they are fitted. She was with me when my new hearing aids were ready and turned on for the first time. She saw my facial expression, one of amazement that I could hear her and everything around me so well. She saw the positive change my new hearing aids created. 
And my Starkey experience didn’t stop there. I was able to try out SurfLink assistive listening technology. Sitting and watching a show with my kids and hoping the captions are correct is usually the norm but to hear the show directly streaming in my hearing aids was another thing altogether. Starkey opened my eyes that day. What they do there is amazing and it is now on my daughter’s top places to work when she is an adult.   
Greta writes:
That day when I went to Starkey with my mom opened my eyes to new possibilities for my life and goals I set for when I grow older. While my mom was getting her hearing aids I got to do some amazing things. I got to see where they were made and how they were made. I was able to interview and talk with Tani Austin. She soon became one of my role models. I watched Operation Change and would love to help on a mission and be able to see people’s reactions like I saw on my mom’s face. I was able to talk to some of the employees and they gave me a couple impressions. On my way home I couldn’t stop talking about the experience. I had to do something with the passion I felt. I have decided to channel this passion into my 4H projects. This past summer I got a grand champion and was able to go to the Minnesota State Fair and present my project on hearing aids. I love to try and educate people on this subject. A blue ribbon and memories that will stay with me always. 
The pride in a mother’s heart can burst to the point of bringing forth tears of happiness. This has happened many times with my daughter. Seeing her step into that role of advocate and educator makes me so proud. My mother’s instinct tells me this girl could go places in her life. Thanks to Starkey for lighting that small flame which grows with time and age.

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Life is Busy and Hard

end-of-a-chapter

Last night was the end of a chapter in my life.  In July of last year I was hired to work at a radio station.  I really enjoyed the job, in fact I enjoyed each part of my job except the logistics.  I worked overnights, on weekends, in a town that is a 40 minute away, and the pay wasn’t the greatest.  I pushed through and went to work but I felt myself falling and I could feel my emotional being crumbling.

I am working at the school still as a substitute teacher.  I also am back working as a PCA (personal care attendant).  This takes 5 days a week and then the radio station was Friday-Sunday so no days off.  Being married, 2 active children this was just a recipe for disaster.  I put my chin up and did it for almost the whole school year but I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I was in tears just thinking of being up all night and doing weekends with zero sleep.  Last night was my last shift at the radio.

It is a bittersweet feeling.  It is one of relief that I can sleep, I can be with my family on the weekends.  I can attend scouting and 4H events again that are always on weekends.  It is a deep feeling of peace for my family.  In the same breath it is one of failure.  I have never quit a job unless it was for moving or changing life directions like going to college or graduating from college.  I have never been one that just quit a job because it wasn’t fun anymore.  Lord knows I have had a few of those but I stuck with it.  Even telemarketing in college.  I hated it with every bone in my body but it was a short term job and I knew once I started I finished.  I don’t quit.  I think that is the strong German blood that flows through my veins.  It is one for dedication and hard work.  So I learned in this process of quitting that I had to weigh the two. Do I do my duty and stay with a job? Do I look at my mental well being and my families togetherness?  As my wise momma told me, “You will never get this time back with your kids.  If you feel like your absent now it will only grow more and more and you can’t do anything about it.”  I choose to do something and gave my notice a month ago.

Will I miss the radio, you betcha.  I really enjoyed my co-workers and having people comment, “I heard you on the radio last night.”  I will continue to listen to the stations I worked on and have great pride I was once part of that.  For me now, I will welcome sleep at night and enjoy our time together.