Tag: Hearing Aids

Thursday

Oh how I hate the afternoon and evenings on the day of Thursday.  You might wonder but tomorrow is Friday? Why is this one day of the week such a thorn in my side.  It is because of my son, or at least the what this night does to him.  He get off the bus around 3:15 and there is a constant whiny sound you will hear till about 6:30.  This whining will then lead to stomping then crying then sobbing till we can’t whine anymore.  Yes it is annoying and I hate it but my heart breaks at the same time.  Henry is in sensory overload by Thursday night.  Have 4 days of school, 2 nights of TaeKwonDo, and a night of church have reached their limit.  He has tried to hold all his feelings, emotions inside and by day 4 he is a bear.  He explodes and we know to expect it now.  He is passed out now and I hope he sleeps till morning and then tomorrow is a fresh day and Friday is always a fun day.  He gets the rest his body and mind needs and we can get up and face another day.  

Now I had a great Thursday.  I needed to drive to the audiologist which is about a 40 minutes away.  It was a follow up appt and to change some programing on my hearing aid.  I knew it would be a short visit so make it worth the drive.  I picked up a friend and we were off.  We shopped without kids, talked, and stopped to eat a meal.  I wish the world could listen to us at a perkins table.  We could run the world with such ease.  It isn’t complicated we have it all worked out, just listen to us.  I am glad we had this time together we made it a great morning.  

We all have our Thursdays.  Times when we want to crawl into a ball and cry and shut out the world.  The world has a lot of pressures and they can come in at all sides.  My heart breaks that my son feels all those pressures and they all soak into him till he bursts.  He is sleeping so calmly now.  My prayer for him is a restful sleep that will take all the stresses and anxiety away, way too much for a 5 year old.  

I hope you all have a restful Thursday night and you can all feel fresh and new for Friday.  

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.

2014-04-23 11.57.44

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.

Feeling Blessed

The past couple week for me have been ones of thinking, planning and reflecting.  I feel a strong tug to do something different in my life.  If that is a different job, different volunteer opportunities and different experiences.  It has to be little baby steps and living in a rural area nothing is close, I don’t have a plethora of opportunities.  So I made up my resume.  I think it has been almost 15 years since I have done a resume.  It has been a good learning experience.  I have applied for a few jobs and I have been turned down for a few jobs.

Last week I applied for a very unique experience.  I have had a 45 minute phone interview (thank you for an amplified phone).  If I would get this job I would be a literacy tutor for grades K-3 in our local school.  What an awesome opportunity.  To be a constant in a childs life and get them to that magical goal of reading.  I hope I can be that person in a little persons life.  I hope to hear this week if I will be going on to the next interview.

Another part of the dreaming comes with this tutor job.  At the end of my year I would receive an education gift.  It is a rather good amount of money to further my education.  Wow does the dreaming begin.  What would I do?  What would I study?  I don’t know I have ideas swirling in my head faster than snowflakes in a blizzard.  I am thinking deaf and hard of hearing something with that.  Maybe teacher for deaf and hard of hearing or a vocational or rehabilitation counselor.  Just don’t know too many decisions.

Then today to start of the week with a blessing and a half.  I subbed in Ag again today.  I have to say it was much better today than the last time.  Not one scissor got thrown across the room.  I shouldn’t even have to say that.  So back to the issue at hand…got home to a letter in the mailbox.  I was gifted a hearing aid from the Sertoma club.  I was beyond speechless and tears were flowing.  I will be balanced (haha-one in both ears).  This is a gift I can never repay and I am so humbled.  I go to my audiologist on Thursday morning.

We just had our wedding anniversary and I just feel this will be a year of changes and I pray these changes will be good ones for our family.

Busy Day

Today was one of those days where you just fall into the couch in the evening and take a deep breath and just think of all that was done in a 24 hour period.  My morning started at 5am when I had two great kids dropped off at my house to take to school in the morning.  Helping a friend out who has helped me so many times.  Then I had to drive to a neighboring town.  Living in the middle of no where has advantages and disadvantages.  One disadvantage would be a near 45 minute drive to any medical specialist, any major store, or restaurant.  Well today was another audiologist appointment.  I still could not hear anyone who was talking quietly or softly.  I am not sure if I could when I could when I got the hearing aid or did my hearing slide a little more down.  I am guessing the second of the two is what is happening.  Well I had it upped two more levels and I think it will help.  Technology is a beautiful thing seeing everything charted on a computer screen is really a cool thing.  Maybe I am a nerd when it comes to that stuff but seeing where my hearing lies on the chart and what is being picked up and by how much is kinda cool.  Left the office hearing a little more of the environment that I was missing.  Wow you can hear jingling keys in your pocket.

Stopped by Target and you never know what you will see, or have the impulse to buy.  I saw a friend from town shopping on her own also today so we shopped together and then out to breakfast.  What a nice surprise.  We talked that if we would have tried to plan this meeting and breakfast it would have never happened so nice to have a surprise like this.  A great friend that we can talk freely about Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, school challenges, and life challenges.  So nice to know your not alone in the world.  A few more stops than the drive back home.

You know I said I wasn’t really in the Christmas spirit well I figured we better put a Christmas tree up so that was our after school project.  The kids were nuts to get that tree up.  Well they think it is the most beautiful tree they have ever seen.  ME- It is awful.  It is a cheap small artificial tree that is so misshapen it should be in the trash can.  Only half the lights worked so it is very pieced together and I guess a tree only a child could love.

It was a busy day but a day of some new hearing, breakfast with a friend, and an ugly tree that has children in awe.

Only when we walk in the dark we see the Stars

So I am sitting in the silence of the morning hours.  Sun hasn’t come up yet and words haven’t been spoken yet.  I think about this upcoming couple days and what the agenda will be.  Today we have Christmas program practice at church.  That is always a fun time.  Maybe a little chaotic.  Little ones running around trying to round them up like they are the sheep and we are the sheep dogs.  This afternoon I may try to get some of the house decorated for Christmas.  Kids are driving me nuts that we have to get that tree up.  True enough we need to do that.  Tomorrow is Church, Sunday school and then Caroling in the community.  Always a fun event.  Traveling in a group from one place to the next trying to spread some of the Christmas spirit.  We end the night with a soup supper always a highlight for our family.  I sit here this morning by the computer awed by the changes we have had this year.  I have a daughter that is excelling in school and over at the “big” school. She is just growing up out of that little girl.  My son who I didn’t think would be able to handle school LOVES to go to school and Sunday afternoon is just a long waste of time to get to Monday.  I look how our family is changed.  I was in such a fog of disbelief lately with my sudden hearing loss that I failed to notice the good things that are going on with our family.  So I have decided to try and make a list of the positives I have learned with having hearing aids and hearing loss.

1. I savor every I love you I get from my kids.  I was upset I still can’t hear the whispered ones but I know what they are saying it still melts your heart.

2. I enjoy the absolute silence I have in the house before everyone is up and after everyone goes to bed.

3. Watching has become very important to me.  Watching my kids interact.  Sure a kick comes into play but the holding of hands or cuddling together to read a book became even more precious.

4. Empathy- I feel I have more empathy with the kids at school that struggle at the things that seem so simple to other children.

gotta have some funny ones

5. We have a faucet that drips at times.  I can turn the hearing aid to mute and instant drip is gone.

6. Kids fighting in the bedroom. Again mute and fighting is gone for that moment.

I am glad that I took the time to write a list.  It makes you put things in perspective. Sometimes taking part of one sense away does open your eyes to other things around you.

Night Silence

I find myself compelled to write about things that I wasn’t planning on writing about in this blog. But isn’t that life the unknown the ever changing.  Has anyone ever had everything planned out and it really goes that way? Maybe some but was it interesting then? As I sit down to write this I can’t get over how quiet it is in the house.  Everyone is in bed and my hearing aid is out for the night.  It is total silence.  There is no dripping faucets, no creaky floor boards, no furnace or fridge running.  I see an occasional car drive by but no sound.  How strange this is but at the same time amazing.  How you go into life and then the unforeseen detour on the road takes you on another direction.  So we are in for a major snow storm some saying upwards of 10 inches. Now the power just went out.  I am not kidding you can’t make this stuff up.  See the unforeseen always seems to happen.  So when this new path comes up what are you to do?  Learn to deal, make the best of it, find the positives, I guess I am still trying to figure that out.  I know my drive to write has been heightened and I want to go with that.  It is a wonderful outlet and maybe it will go somewhere someday.  Listening to music has been an obsession of mine for the past few days.  I don’t know why, I am a tv person. Love having the tv on as background noise and it is on all the time.  I haven’t turned it on in 3 days.  Kids think I am going nuts. I wonder why the music, am I somehow worried someday I won’t hear it?  Not sure, it has to be turned way up but I am loving it lately.  Life is an always changing organism. I am finding that out a lot in the past few years. With a move out to the Prairies of MN, with a son who receives an SPD and Autism Spectrum diagnosis and now hearing loss.  Always changing and we have to be receptive maybe not willingly but life goes on and we want to go with it.  

SLEEP

Ever have a craving? Maybe chocolate, or soda or if pregnant pickles and ice cream….I am craving SLEEP.  It has been a couple weeks of maybe a couple hours of sleep a night if lucky.  I fall asleep for an hour and then wide awake.  Sometimes I wish I was back to a small child and I could take a nap.  Just doesn’t happen.  Having a child with SPD can mean sleep issues and that is the case with my son. He wonders the house at night sleeps for an hour or so and then up for the rest of the night.  It is hard on this momma worrying what is he doing, what is he up to. Now I have my own mind racing at 100mph at night.  Do you know the stupid thing you can worry about at night…it is stupid stuff.  Going from normal hearing or near normal to needing hearing aids in a 2 week period can cause lots of thinking and reflecting.  My mind goes to why, can people notice, will it get worse. I know it could be a lot worse but in the middle of the night I am sorry you think about yourself, or at least I do.  As I drink my sleepy time tea tonight I pray that these worries will subside and my mind can be like my SPD son and just crash.  He gets to Thursday night each week and just crashes. I need a Thursday night.  To all the other SPD moms out there they know that days can be hard and nights can be harder. We all need that Thursday night once and a while.