Tag: hard of hearing

Thank you for Reading

 

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I have watched my children get certificate after certificate to trophies and medals to the point we open a closet and we may get rained on by trophies.  I didn’t get any of this as a child.  One I don’t think awards were given out as much as they are now and also I wasn’t in the amount of stuff my kids are in.  I have my high school and college diplomas in a dresser drawer and I have numerous ribbons from county fairs but that is about it.

I started writing this blog last fall.  It was a stress relieving fun activity for me.  I have always enjoyed writing, and writing a book is on my bucket list.  As life threw me some new obstacles this past year I needed a way to work through them.  Writing was a good choice for me.  I was able to put those feelings to the key of the computer and I didn’t need to say them out loud. As time has passed I am not as ashamed or scared to share my story and tell others about the new direction my life may be going.  I also write for the SWC blog or Say What Club.  I have found so much acceptance, help, and friendship from these people that I can’t imagine I would feel how I do now with out them.

I wrote a blog piece about my life as a Substitute teacher that happens to be hard of hearing.  The blog post got recognized by a group in New York.  I am in small town Minnesota so this is wow a big thing.  I was interviewed and chosen to be a HearStrong Champion.  I am floored, shocked and honored.  Doesn’t the old saying go something like this, if life gives you lemons make lemonade.  Well I didn’t want to wallow in my life, I wanted and want to be proactive and move on and make life the best it can.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my friends and family.  They have been an amazing support system.  My friends here are awesome, they will listen to me as a rant and complain.  My weekly Bible Study has been a huge encourager.  I think all of these people gave me the courage to write what I was thinking, feeling and living.

Next month I get to travel to the cities to get my award.  Wow I just don’t know what to even think.  I am starting to get excited and it only fuels me to be an advocate, keep writing, and keep encouraging.

Here is a link to my HearStrong profile.

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Life as a Substitute Teacher

Life as a substitute teacher is a life of the unknown. Do I work today or not? Always a question of where to work, what grade, and what kids.  I have been hard of hearing at this level for about 6 months or so. I am very new to this chapter of my life. A few people have told me, that I was proactive and didn’t stay in the land of denial and disbelief for any amount of time. I think the main reason I was proactive and ordered that first hearing aid was because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to work at the school, I wouldn’t be able to hear the kids all talking to me at once. I FEARED the loss of my job. I still have a problem with many kids talking at once, hearing aids are aids not miracles. I felt in my heart of hearts if I didn’t tackle this head on and immediately I would no longer have a job.

So what changes if any did I need to make as a substitute teacher and hard of hearing. One major thing I had to do was make sure I got those calls at 6:30 in the morning. We live in a small house and only have one phone jack so one phone in the house that is not in a bedroom, living room, or the basement. I have the school call my cell phone. I can usually remember to have that with me.   I also had to make sure my ringtone is nice and loud, but I also don’t want to annoy anyone else around me. The one thing I was given which I really like is this little device.

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This nice little battery operated stand will start brightly flashing when the phone has vibrated. This has been a great thing when I happen to be sleeping, and no hearing aids in.  I don’t hear the phone call but open my eyes to a light flashing. I can call the school back and not miss those jobs. Before I had this I was missing a lot of calls and I had to do something I was dreading. I had to let our secretary know that I am hard of hearing and I am missing your phone calls not just ignoring you. I got the kindest response, just a big thank you for all the subbing I do. I am not sure why I was so scared to let someone know.

I work in our local school district, which is small town and maybe 60-70 kids per grade level. A lot smaller then I was raised with. With having such a small amount of kids I know them. I have worked with them for 7 years; I have seen these kids grow. One thing I really like to use in the classroom is an FM system. I have seen these used before. Some teachers use them and some don’t. My son has an IEP and it states use of the FM system for his mild hearing loss. I try to use the FM system in every class I am in. For myself, and for students the use of the microphone is a nice way to make an effort that everyone can hear what is going on in the classroom.  I try to have no one including myself left behind.

There are classes that are much easier for me to teach in than others. Kindergarten through about 2nd grade really scares me. Why…they all talk to me at once in their little voices. I miss a huge amount of the content of what they are saying. I really try to implement one child at a time when I am in the class. An English class is usually an easy one, quiet and usually just reading. Now coming up I will be the agriculture teacher for three days. I know already this will be very stressful. It is a huge room with industrial fans, shop noise with industrial tech next door. I will sit facing the students and the door ( I don’t hear someone coming in the room), kids now to come up to me and face me to ask to leave class.

I guess my job is the same as all subs. I just have to make sure I am aware of what is going on. Make sure my eyes are on the kids and the kid’s eyes are on me. I would like to hear about what if any changes you have had to make in your career.

14 Years of Togetherness

14 years….wow that is a long time.  We are getting close to the amount of time that I will be with Chad longer than with my parents (almost 16 with dating).  14 years ago on the afternoon of April 8th I married Chad.  We had a nice simple afternoon wedding.  We had a small reception in the church hall and we were off to our hotel in the cities by 5pm.  I watch the TLC show, Four Weddings and I am shocked but the amount of money that is spent on a wedding.  Ours was simple and completely done by us.  Would the majority of people be able to accept a wedding like ours? Would they be able to deal with homemade centerpieces and beautiful flowers in mason jars? To me that day was magical.  I get remorseful at times and wish I would have had a big wedding with a dance and the whole shabang but you know what, I enjoyed our day.  I am not a center of attention person and our wedding had DIY, family, friends and fellowship.  It was our wedding and I will always cherish it.  

Now I am a bit of a superstitious person.  Ok more than a bit, if something bad happens at 10am on a Saturday for years from that day I still will get apprehensive at 10am on a Saturday because that could happen again.  We are almost done with our 13th year and for that I can breath a sigh of relief.  I hate the number 13 and year 13 had a fair share of things I would like to forget and move on from.  To start off our 13th year Greta, Henry, and myself were throwing up all night long.  My poor husband was stripping beds, washing floors and washing buckets on our anniversary.  That showed real love.  Chad got a serious leg infection that was down right scary.  Doctor visits, meds, and lots of prayer got him better but his leg is still not at 100%.  I became hard of hearing this year.  It is a new normal for me and I feel I am adjusting much better now than a few months ago but still a shock.  I crashed the only vehicle I LOVED and totaled it.  I had my first trip in an ambulance this year.  My beloved Grandmother died this year.  Just a lot of things I am glad are behind me.  With all that being said there was plenty of good also.  Henry started school and as much as he didn’t want to go to school he is doing great and loves it.  Greta is at the “big” school now and she is doing great.  Her empathy for people grows everyday and I love that about her.  We got to go on a family vacation this past year to Wisconsin Dells.  It was a few days of family fun that we made a lot of memories.  

What will this new year bring for us?  I am sure there will be changes that is what life is the ever changing.  The simple act of breathing and living will bring growth and change.  I hope this will be a year of good changes, maybe careers, kids activities, my faith growing stronger.  I want this to be a year of memories with my family and personal strides we can all make.  

14 years I love Chad and the family we have made.  It sure hasn’t been a path of roses but we have made a path through the vines of thorns and discovered the roses on the way.  

A Good Cry

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Do you ever have a day when the world seems so very heavy and you don’t know if your shoulders can bare the weight of all of it anymore.  I am not typically a person that freaks out, or cries or wallows in pities of life.  I know of people that beat themselves up almost daily for decisions they have made and how they carry out their daily lives.  I have faults and have many mistakes but I try to move on.  

Yesterday I don’t know what happened.  I stepped away from the craziness of two kids playing the Hunger Games and just spent sometime by myself in my room.  I played some music and all of a sudden I felt a feeling come over me that made the tears flow.  I always try to be the person that holds it all together.  To be the person that finds the bright side to every dark situation.  I may not always believe in the bright side but I need to bring that out for the others involved.  Yesterday life just hit me and I cried.  I cried and cried and it felt good.  It was a release of all these pent up emotions.  There was nothing horrible I was harboring, but it is just the stresses and reality of everyday life.  There were issues in my childrens lives that I thought of, there were issues in my husbands life that came to front, there were issues in my own life that all seemed to hit me.  

It is odd how little things can do this to you.  How seeing something, or listening to something can bring up such emotions.  It was just a cummultive effect for me.  I received some information in the mail, information that was very useful to me but seeing it just brought reality to life.  Then hearing the lyrics of a song it allowed the floodgates to be opened.  I remember being a little girl and something would happen and I wouldn’t cry.  I wanted to be the strong one, the one that stood fast and had the brave face.  I can remember my dad coming into my room and explaining to me that crying frees the soul.  That a good cry is actually good for you and can get rid of toxins and other things that you are keeping in.  That usually did it then the tears would come.  

I believe in prayer.  I believe in Gods love for us and that we can always go to him in our time of need but also remember to go to him in our good times also.  I try to pray and be a good pray warrior.  I pray for others around me and I pray for my family and myself.  I believe that like this quote says above that the things that are going on in my life and in my families lives are being done for a greater purpose.  Things happen for a reason, these things we can learn from, we can grow from and we can change ourselves and others around us with the knowledge we have gained.  God has a purpose for us.  He is shaping us into the person we are to become.  It may be putting a burden on our heart for service, or a group of people that need a voice.  I pray I see this purpose and I may be put to work for the greater good of others.  

I had my good cry and from that I will work and pray to see what the greater purpose is and where I am needed.  

 

Passing on a great giveaway opportunity

There is a book I have on my list I would like to read and it is this book.  When I saw the author was having a giveaway I thought I had to get in on this.  There is nothing I like better than winning a giveaway.  So here is the link and all the info but if one of my friends win this book you need to promise to let me read it.  Ok you don’t have to share but it would be nice.  Have a great day to all you!!!

Book Giveaway: Celebrate the One-Year Anniversary of My Memoir.

ADVOCATE

advocate

noun |ˈadvəkit|

a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy : he was an untiring advocate of economic reform.

• a person who pleads on someone else’s behalf : care managers can become advocates for their clients.

• a pleader in a court of law; a lawyer : Marshall was a skilled advocate but a mediocre judge.

verb |-ˌkāt| [ trans. ]

publicly recommend or support :

Advocate it is a word that I hear a lot and have my whole life. We should be an advocate for others and advocates for the weak, advocates for our animals. It is a word that can bring people together and can cause tempers to flare and tear people apart.

When in high school and college I was a member of the Sierra Club and PETA. I was an advocate for nature and to animals. As I grew older my heart didn’t turn my back on those items but my life changed directions. I became an advocate for my family and for my children. Just to have the best shot in life in general. I became an advocate for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism.

When my son was little he was very sick. We had him to the doctor and ER all the time. He would spike 105 degree fevers at least once to twice a month. I tried with our local doctors to do something and finally an ER doctor said to us, you need to be an ADVOCATE for your son. You need to push to get him the help he needs so this can stop. I stepped up to the plate and pushed every button and put my foot into every door I could to get him the health care he needed. I was his advocate and still am. I am the one that goes to the school, meets with the doctors and therapist. I am the one sitting in his IEP meetings I am his ADVOCATE and his mother.

My question comes to why is it hard to be an ADVOCATE for yourself. There are times in everyones life when something could be done to make something a little easier. In my experiences of life asking for yourself is hard. It is hard to step up and say I need this or could this be done for me. I have run into some of those roadblocks recently and my husband just says, “Stand up for yourself and say what you need.” That statement is so much easier said than done, at least for me. This needs to be my resolution for my life. As much as I am an advocate for my family and what needs they may have I need to turn the mirror around and ADVOCATE for myself also. I need to let my wall down and when I do need extra clarification or something written down I will ask for that not smile and pretend I heard what was said. I will not be ashamed to say “I am hard of hearing can you please repeat that or rephrase that” I will ask for what is right and fair. It sure won’t be easy for me to do but I will try.

If no one is going to do it for you, you need to do it for ourselves. We all are human and we all deserve to have the best life can offer. A person has to have a purpose. We need to be an advocate for someone or something. Pick a cause something that is near and dear to your heart. Be an ADVOCATE.

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A day to forget

Yesterday is a day I would really like to forget.  It started like any ordinary day but by 8am it was drastically different.  I dropped the kids off at school got all of 3 blocks or so and I came up to an intersection in town.  It is an ordinary intersection no stop signs, no yield signs you just need to be watching and aware.  I was approaching the intersection when I saw another vehicle just starting to go through.  I applied the brakes like I always would but I wasn’t slowing down.  I was on pure ice I then slammed the brake nope it wasn’t going to help.  I ended up crashing into the back wheel and door of this poor lady in her vehicle.  I then spun and landed in a waist high snow bank.

I ended up hitting my head pretty bad on what I am not sure.  I don’t know if it was the steering wheel, the windshield or the visor which was down at this point.  This was the first accident of any kind I have ever been in and I was terrified and my head was swelling.  Luckily the individual following me was on the ambulance crew and he called it in right away and was able to tend to both drivers.  I was only met with kindness and concern by the town police officer, the county sheriff and the ambulance crew.  I had to go to the ambulance to get checked out that was another new experience.  I was scared in the ambulance because I had a hard time hearing anything they were saying to me.  Yes I am hard of hearing but this was different it was very muffled much more than normal.  When I told them they thought because of the blow to my head and my blood pressure was very high.  There was so many things running through my head.  How is the car, will they get a hold of my husband, what is wrong with my head, will my hearing come back at least to the level it was at?

I ended up going to the hospital where again everyone was so nice.  Once my blood pressure started to go down and I felt more calm my hearing ended up going back to the level I was used to.  My husband made it, my car was towed my questions were being answered.  Luckily no concussion but a good goose egg and it is day 2 now and it is SO tender to the touch.

The outpouring of love and concern has humbled me.  From calls from my mom and mother in law, texts from friends, and messages on social media.  I sure felt and feel loved.  A friend was over within an hour to check on me and she checked on me last night also.  A friend brought us lunch today just so nice.  A call came from New York and Illinois when friends there had heard. Thank you to everyone.

I still am worried about my wonderful vehicle.  I don’t know what will happen with it till next week.  It is a day I hope to forget but I am afraid I won’t