Category: hearing aids

Meeting Your Tribe

Couple weeks ago was the Annual Say What Club Convention.  This yes is an annual event but it is my first time attending.  I should back up, The Say What Club is an online group where everyone has a hearing loss or their life is affected by hearing loss by a spouse or a close family member.  I have been a member for 6 years maybe?

A couple years ago there was an email to try and pitch and sell us your city and we will hold the 2018 convention there.  I wrote a proposal for St Paul.  Now Benson is where I live now but we don’t have an airport, heck we don’t have a Wal-mart for 40 miles.  St Paul had everything we needed and it was right next door to my hometown so easy access to family (watching our kids).  This past year has been busy, stressful, exciting and a growing experience helping plan a convention for people coming from all over the USA.

Attending an event like this was really, really hard for me.  I knew a couple of these people in person.  A large amount of them I knew from Facebook and email.  That didn’t help the fact I have social anxiety and I thank God that Chad was willing to come with me.  Be my anchor, be the one that I could go back to if need be.  First meeting was a meeting where we assembled bags to give to each person and talk about the convention, loose ends and such.  It was great.  I left that meeting with a huge smile.  This is what we planned a year for.  This was my tribe.  They understand hearing loss because they live with it everyday.  It is amazing the ease of a meeting when some listen, some lip read, and combinations in between.  The next day we met and a group of us walked to Tin Whiskers.  It is a small brewery that was just a couple blocks from our hotel.  Chad and I have always enjoyed a brewery tour and have done many through our years together.  I am not a beer drinker but enjoy it.  It was a fun outing that was an easy way to meet some people, talk one on one with some people and meet some new people.

Wednesday night our welcome party. We had a theme as every good party should have, a speakeasy, a roaring 20’s, a Great Gatsby theme. It was fun. We had feathers in our hair, pearls, some had long gloves a few men donned a fedora. We had welcome prizes, MN themed food. We had cheese curds, deviled eggs, wild rice sliders. Something for everyone. It was a time to meet lots of people. A time to meet wonderful friends who you have felt you knew for years but meeting in person for the very first time.

After this welcome party I knew I was hooked. Everyone was just so nice. It really was like meeting long lost family. Thursday was a great day, they were all great days. A dynamic speaker, visiting with the vendors and putting our bids on the silent auction items. Our last workshop of the morning was visiting Starkey Labs and getting a tour. Once our bus got to the CORRECT hotel we were off. A little late but you just role with it. We had a great tour, a lunch we ate in the bus since our bus was late to start with and then a tour of St Paul.

Friday- what a fun day. We had great workshops from clear speech to an artist, which I found fascinating. To the last workshop of the morning and that was mine. My workshop was titled, “Designed to Stand Out” I talked a little about my idea showed some pictures of examples and then let creativity take over. I had been gathering supplies for near a year. I had jewels, washi tape, nail wraps and tube wraps. It was fun.

Friday afternoon was a St Paul Gangster Tour. I think this was a highlight for Chad. We toured all over St Paul and saw so many sights.

House was home to the famous Ma Barker and the Barker Gang

This is the South St Paul post office the Barker Gang held up for the cash that came for paydays.

John Dillinger lived here and had a shoot out with the FBI in the stairwell. I wonder if current residents know the story.

At Swede Hallow Hearing the story of the Hamm kidnapping.

We even passed where F Scott Fitzgerald lived and wrote his first novel.

It had been a very full day but we weren’t done. We went to the St Paul Saints game. My parents joined us and brought the kids. That was fun and special. To bad the weather had to interrupt.

Saturday was the end. We had a banquet and keynote speaker. There were lots of hugs and pictures taken. Greta joined us for this last event. I wish the night never ended.

If you read through this whole blog- bless you. I really just wanted to stress the importance of finding your tribe. Find people that can understand, they get it. I got back to my moms on Saturday night and I just cried. I couldn’t stop myself. I wish I could live around all these people all the time. Chad and I agree this was just a fun week, one we will never forget.

*I need to give a shout out to Andre Binns who took fabulous pictures throughout the convention. Many of them are featured in this blog.

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Flasher, amplifiers, and levels oh my

When I started my new job at the radio as the program director and a morning show host I didn’t ask for any accommodations. I had this feeling I had it all under control and I can make it work. The more I worked the more I loved my job but the more I hated the phone. 

I don’t spend much time on the phone but each day I have a trivia question on-air so I have callers call in with their quesses. I have asked these poor callers WHAT a few to many times, and I can’t hear the phone ring. It was time I ask for what I need. 

It took some real courage even though I know the law backs me asking but it is still is unnerving. I was met with an immediate positive response. I wasn’t shocked just overly excited. To have an employer who understands and I can have an open dialog with is priceless. 

The next day the flasher was installed. What a great little gadget. The flash gets my attention and I don’t have the need to worry I am missing calls. 


Well now I can get the calls but had to address the volume of the phone issue. Again I was met with if it will help we will get it.  Now the phone is amplified! 


So between the flasher, amplifier and watching the meters I can be successful in a job I absolutely love everyday. 


Getting accommodations and allowing one to succeed in a career is a very freeing feeling. One so much that I decided to come out of the “hearing loss closet”. The other day when I was about to do my segment called “timetravel” I talk about what has happened on that day in history. On a day last week I noticed that the first event was the first electric hearing aid was patented. I decided this was a sign. I did disclose my hearing loss on-air. I hope it reached even just one listener. Just one that maybe can relate, maybe one that needs a hearing test and have been putting it off.  I have been urged to be myself and that is exactly what I was, it feels good. It feels good to love what you do everyday. 

Battery Power 


Have you ever seen a hearing aid battery?  They are tiny, very tiny, and they are responsible for so much. I started with a size 10 battery. Then went up to a 13 and my current pair of hearing aids use size 312. That is a lot of batteries. I have accepted hearing loss. I have found my tribe. My tribe is composed of wonderful people from the deaf/hard of hearing community. They are funny, fearless, understanding, loving, they are what true friends and family are made of. In saying all of this there is one thing that just stuns me. My understanding is completely controlled by a small little battery. Ok that isn’t totally true. I am very visual and use lipreading and visual cues, but that battery plays a large role. 

Last weekend my husband and I attended a yoga class together. First off I never dreamed that would have happened. Chad agreed and we had a wonderful time. It was time for the two of us together with a wonderful yoga instructor at Empowered Living Company. Sorry for going on a little tangent but had to say how proud of my husband for attending with me. 

Before class, we just got to town. Yes we are rural and “get to town.” My hearing aid battery died. Ok no problem I have this new 16 pack in my purse. Well this took some time but this is truely what happened. Every battery was dead! I checked the package, expires 2018. This is so frustrating. Now my understanding in this yoga class just went to very low. 

Class went well. Great teacher that is so visual. Chad was great, a couple times we were laying and I didn’t have a clear vision line he told me or showed me what we were doing.  I should have advocated for myself instead of using my husband but I don’t think he minded. 

This made me really realize how dependent I am on these tiny batteries. It really boggles my mind. I am not sure why, why is this my big hang up? Why is a battery something that baffles me, causes anxiety that can come out of no where? A lack of a battery or one that works can quicken my heart, cause sweaty palms and make me want to skip what ever I was going to do. 

I contacted the battery distributor and have a new pack coming in the mail. Will I ever buy that brand again, no. I know a bad batch can happen but I won’t take my chances again. 

I will go on. Keep those precious batteries with me. I keep the old ones in an old Ball jar that was my great grandmothers. I am getting quite the collection. My family has told me having to use technology or a battery is almost like being a cyborg. I guess that is a compliment. For now it is placing great importance on a tiny silver disk. 

2 Years Later

This weekend I was going through boxes and unpacking and weeding out.  So many memories were found. Old pictures from my youth. Letters from my time in college in New Mexico. In one box was pictures and such that have been on my walls.  I needed to find a perfect place for my Hearstrong Award.

It is hung in my bedroom, and I still have such a great pride receiving this award. When I looked at the framed certificate and the medal it dawned on me, two years have past from that very special day. It still seems like a dream. I think this day has opened up so many doors and in my life. From volunteering to the feeling of openness if people ask about my hearing loss or hearing loss in general. I want to be an advocate, I want people to be proactive. There is nothing that should be hidden with hearing loss. One thing I have learned is meetings up with people that have similar life paths makes your path that much more beautiful. I learned to laugh in a dark bar using a cell phone light so people could lip read. I learned finding your tribe is so important. This simple day in June 2 years ago really changed my life. It gave me confidence, it gave my life some purpose. The day gave my daughter dreams of the future. Future occupations and paths she may want to follow.

A few things from my original post have changed.

I now have Starkey 3 series. Very similar but there is a T coil and a couple more programs added. I enjoy making them unique and changing the look.


 I have attached the original post from Two years ago. Hard to believe it has been that long already. 
On June 10, 2014 I was invited to attend a ceremony at Starkey World Headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN.  I traveled the near 3 hours to the headquarters,  I was full of nerves, and excitement since …

Source: Waiting to Wake Up from a Dream