Sunday, August 31, 2008

And Life Goes On...

Glitter Graphics



The past two weeks has been a whirlwind of activities besides the CI activation.

The girls had back-to-school orientations and shopping to do. We covered the supplies they needed. I got extra looseleaf/filler paper because they always use that up during the year and it’s nice to have that on hand rather than to run to the store for more (i.e., plan to get a ride or get Hubby to pick some up).

I made plans to get an interpreter for both orientations. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to work so hard to listen. I didn’t have the CI activated yet. I did feel a little funny, but most of the parents and the teachers all knew I was deaf. Angel was uncomfortable with my talking hands and didn’t want me to sign. I had to talk to her about it later (at home). I didn’t want to create a scene. The next night was Flare’s freshmen orientation and Angel did not bother me when I signed, but kept bugging me about how thirsty she was. Drove me nuts. LOL. The girl would make a great salesperson-very PERSISTENT!!

It was my first time in our new church. All the parents had ot gather in the church to hear the principal talk about the rules of the school. The kids never had lockers before so they had a few rules about that (no stickers or tapes) and only CLEAN gym shoes allowed on the new gym floor. The new church was very spacious and high-ceilinged. It was a tad too dark/shadowy for me, but the lighting was better overall (compared to the old church). Maybe it was just because it was in the evening and the sun was starting to set, too. The ceilings are wood-toned while the old church had white ceilings.

I got to meet Angel’s new teacher. She’s a few years out of college. It seems like all the professionals (dentists, doctors, audies, etc) I meet are getting younger and younger. (Makes me feel old. LOL). We scheduled a time for her to meet us at our house. I had a choice of scheduling it at the school or my house, but it was easier for me to just have the teacher meet at my house so I didn’t have to worry about transportation.

Flare’s orientation was confusing. The freshmen had some kind of a mock school day where they went to each class for ten minutes each. The parents had different 10 minute sessions, such as discussions about athletics, academics, and some kind of parent watch thing where any after school party must be monitored and a list of names can be used to call other parents about parties and such (parent network), discipline, and public relations.. I didn’t see Flare until the end. It was kind of frustrating because they split up the freshmen and the parents. Oh well. I would have been lost at sea if I didn’t have the interpreter there. We did have room numbers to find for each session, but I wanted to meet up with Flare again. Flare's homeroom teacher visited our home, too. He chatted with her before the meeting at the orientation started.

The girls are settled in at school now. I’m sure it’s pretty much a routine thing for them. I get them up in the morning (sometimes three times!!) before school. Hubby takes Angel to school and she gets a ride home from one of the parents. Flare rides her bike to school with two other neighbor boys. When it gets colder out, Hubby will take her to school, too.

As far as updates with the CI (cochlear implant), I don’t have new things to report. I don’t notice much with my hearing aid (HA) on, but when I turn it off once in a while, I’ll try to listen for things. I heard the clock ticking. It was muted and high-pitched, but I knew it was the clock. Voices are becoming quite ducky (Daffy Duck). I try to muddle through the “Heliumite” language, I can see the kids’ mouths move, but it isn’t clear sound yet. For now, they make great "heliumoids." It still buzzes and sounds like my hearing aid whistling. I’ve been using P2 more now. P1 seems too soft. The programs that are set on the CI aren’t draining the battery so much. I can put a recharged battery in at 6 in the morning and take it off at 10:30 at night and there’s still juice in it yet. I did try P3. The volume is very subtle and it’s hard to really notice the difference in volume. If I use P4 long enough, I feel a funny “spark” or electric shock (I am not sure how to describe it). It’s uncomfortable.

Yesterday we took a 30-minute trip out of town to pick up half a pig Hubby ordered. It was a nice drive. (It was hot yesterday!!) Since I always used to take this route to work, I couldn’t believe how many wind turbines have been put up in the last four years. It was weird seeing them scattered all over. It was the first time I’ve seen so many of them in one area, but they were unusually immobile. The big thee-bladed propellers didn't move at all.

Then, this morning, Hubby dropped us off at church. It was a little weird for me. It’s new. I am so used to having two rows of pews and now it’s four rows (or is it five?). The pews are arranged in a kind of an arc. Different. If you turn around and look at the top wall, you can see the huge organ pipes. They still haven’t gotten all the stained glass from the old church yet so there are a few clear panes of glass in the windows waiting to be replaced.

It still has a “new” smell in the walls and carpeting.

There are no curbs to the church. I kept looking for one so I can make a step, but it was all ramped-like. That’s good for me because then I don’t have to look for the curb. :)

Have a great Labor weekend, all!!

HUGS.

Oh, before I forget, Flare has been showing me her potential for poetic "flair." She's shown me about four poems that she wrote. Hmm. wonder where she gets that from?.....;)

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7 Comments:

At Sun Aug 31, 03:41:00 PM , Blogger She said...

Glad the girls are settled into their routines.

I go back to school next Tuesday! The routine will be a difficult adjustment at first, but I find that I get so much more work done when I have a routine!

 
At Sun Aug 31, 04:39:00 PM , OpenID suddensilence said...

What a great update, Shari! It sounds like you are doing great with your CI's and I'm sure that voices will begin to sound less 'heliumized' very soon. :)

It feels like the summer just flew past, doesn't it?! I can't believe the girls are already settled back into school. It sounds like the new church/school is lovely and I'm glad the transportation issues seem to be resolved. (whew!)

Hugs,

Wendi

 
At Sun Aug 31, 06:02:00 PM , Blogger Becky said...

Awww, feels good to have everyone settled into routines again, huh?

So glad that things are getting clearer verbally (at least I suppose Daffy is better than Helium, lol) and that the settings and battery issues seem to be getting figured out.

 
At Sun Aug 31, 09:59:00 PM , Blogger Jennifer Bruno Conde said...

Hi there, Shari!

So many of you talk about Daffy Duck and helium type sounds. I wonder if that's what Amanda is getting. She'd have nothing to compare it to. Maybe she thinks that's what we all have been sounding like all along.

Here's to a great school year all around!

Amanda has her own blog now! Deaf Girl Amanda
amandakristineconde.blogspot.com

Jennifer :-D

 
At Sun Aug 31, 10:47:00 PM , Anonymous Kila said...

Thanks for the great update!

I missed the organ pipes when I was there! I thought the church was nice, and good layout :)

 
At Mon Sep 01, 07:31:00 AM , Blogger Cyborg Queen said...

Very nice description of your activation day! As for the buzzing - I had the same issues for a while. It goes away. Basically because you're picking up pretty much EVERY sound, such as the computer humming, TV humming, A.C. going on, etc, so all of those sounds combined can make you crazy. After my first map, it got a lot better. So, my bet is your audi did a crude map at first so you can get used to it. I started off with DR of 22 on my left, it's now 42. Huge difference. :-0

Do you find it better to hear with your CI alone than having it combined with your hearing aid? I never used my HA in my other ear while I had my CI, I didn't need to.

 
At Mon Sep 01, 10:28:00 AM , Blogger Shari/"Whiger" said...

She-Yes, routine is good. Helps with the time management skills. I like routine, too. I'm so boring that way. :)

Wendi-I'm waiting for the de-heliumization yet. :) Still sounds hollow and high-pitched. All the sounds do, including my footsteps and the door slamming shut. I'm sure it'll be over soon.

Where did the summer go? I'll be glad when winter's over. I hate winter. Might as well enjoy the autumn and its colorful foliage when it starts.

Becky-Routine is good for all of us, right? All the settings and volume with the CI are all about acclimating to it right now. Sounds will become softer till I get used to it and need to adjust/tweak the settings (Map) again.

Jennifer-I will have to check Amanda's blog. :)

I imagine to Amanda sounds are so new that there's no comparison. I am excited for her and her newborn ears. It'll be neat reading about it through her eyes, er, ears.

Kila-Yeah, the pipes were right in the back of the church, the wall above the doorways. There's a fan blowing on them constantly. I guess that's supposed to minimize dust collection. I wouldn't want to dust those pipes. It is nice, but somehow, it lost that "small town" feeling. It's like it's too big. Maybe I just have to get used to it. Sigh. I'm an old person now and change is hard. LOL.

CQ-I do notice that anything I hear, the buzzing kicks in, lower to higher, depending on the noise. It's still hollow-sounding, though. I do both, I'll wear my HA or I'll turn it off to see how I'm hearing with the CI. The next map's on Sept. 9. I hope things get progressively better after that. This map was pretty basic-no T coil or sensitivity settings were used yet. I couldn't tell you which was better, though, conversation-wise, it's better for all of us if I wear my hearing aid so none of us get frustrated. It's like my back-up, if you will. The audie did encourage me to wear both together, though.

 

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