New Sounds New Possibilities

It has been three days since I have had my Cochlear activated and I have to say I am shocked to how I am reacting. If you remember just a few months ago I was overcome with stress, negativity, and worry regarding this choice. I was fully expecting to cry or be depressed when activated, instead, I smiled.

That day was a crazy one. I was doing really good with just one ear and felt like I could survive if I hated the CI. Chris had his Tough Mudder that day so we were outside in the heat all day, rushing to get home to shower, eat, and get to my appointment. We got there on time, and only then did I start to get anxious. Something about being in that waiting room, I couldn’t stop pacing. My audiologist fully prepared me for possible reactions. She said most people cry, they get really overwhelmed,, they get disappointed or sad.  She went on for several min explaining how I may not like it. In my mind I started to think “it really cant be that bad”. But I stopped my self mid thought and said I am going to be different. My audiologist gave me a count down and 3 … 2 …1… Sound.

It was a lot of noise at first. Sounded like feed back from a hearing aid. My audiologist kept talking, giving me examples of what people say it sounds like when first activated. Some were right on the dot others were a little far fetched. After the initial blast of feedback I started to hear a Alvin the Chipmunk on Helium (not just Alvin but Alvin on Helium) voices. It was not that bad. I new this was what it was going to sound like. This was one of the biggest reasons I didn’t want a Cochlear. This was my biggest objection. But because I was expecting it, it wasn’t so bad as it was made out to be. The next nerve racking moment was what was Chris, my Fiance, my Best Friend, was going to sound like. He handed my audiologist the phone to record my reaction. 3…2…1… he started telling me about how we met. He told me how he fell in love with me after 3 days in High school. He sounded like him. Nothing had changed. Just a few sharp SH CH sounds but he was still him! I was so excited. My Audiologist covered her face and said some colors. I could get most of them. Turquoise was the only one I didn’t get. Chris called me from another room once we set up my  Bluetooth.  He said some colors and stumped me at Aqua Marine. My Audiologist was very impressed and excited for how well I was responding. After my appointment, Chris and I experimented with new sounds the rest of the day. Crinkling paper, dropping pens, clapping, dog tags jingling, all sorts of stuff. My favorite sounds from that day are kisses and crinkling paper.

The next day I put my CI on and it was a long time before the feedback buzzing sound subsided. They say this is my nerves just reacting to being stimulated. Because they are not used to it they freak out and cannot make since of what is happening. Eventually it subsided and voices sounded more robotic less chipmunk. We had apples for breakfast and OMG that is a weird sound. I have heard this sound before but imagine it sounding like the crispest apple you have ever had in your life with every bite! My sister got me one of those kid toys where you point the arrow at an animal and you pull the lever to make the sound. HA that was interesting. Mice and rabbits apparently make some interesting sounds. I listened to some A Capella music through my CI. I could pick out songs I new but not one I didnt know. Towards the end of the day my head ached from the magnet but all was well.

Today is my first day back at work. I am trying not to wear my Hearing Aid and rely just on my CI. I brought it just in case I needed to have a important work conversation. My office is very open and we have concrete floors. I felt like I was yelling.  I couldn’t quite get my pitch right. I could hear everyone’s steps. People sound like the dog from the move UP,  (Alpha) when his voice processor breaks. It is quite entertaining! I put my Hearing Aid on for a one on one meeting with my boss and I felt like my hearing aid was plugged. It didnt sound like it used to. It is so weird. Every day, every situation, every moment is different. My brain is trying to make sense of it all. I am so excited I want to expose every sound to it! However, I dont know how much or little I should do.

I have so many questions, so many possibilities, so many opportunities for success!

I new this would be a good thing for me but I never expected to be so excited to re train my brain to hear! I didn’t expect me to be so optimistic!

Thank you to everyone for their support, advice, and recommendations!

I am so excited to document this adventure!

 

 

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It is always impossible until it is done. – Nelson Mandela

it-always-seems-impossible-until-it-s-done-nelson-mandela-quote_u-l-f8m6xn0

I did it.

I got Cochlear Implant Surgery.

It is officially the path I am taking right now. There is no turning back.

You would think that this would be the end of my stress. You would think the hard part/decision is over. But it is just beginning.

I severely underestimated the down time I would need for this surgery. The day after surgery I was up and about. I walked the dogs, I went grocery shopping. Sure I had minor pressure and pain but nothing to stay home about. However, the third day I was rocked. Dizzy spells, numb metallic tongue, mad sinus pressure headaches. All which are getting better but not gone yet, 5 days later.

The  real struggle is my mind. I keep thinking that this is going to be permanent. I keep thinking I will have this metallic taste in my mouth forever. Which could be a possibility. I keep freaking out about this being my new normal. However, I am only 5 days out of surgery where they implanted a foreign object into my skull.  My body is like WTF and it is  trying to protect itself. Knowing this, I still keep going down the wrong path mentally.

I cannot control if they hit my nerve while in surgery, I cannot physically change the outcome of this issue. I cannot control how my body is reacting to this foreign object. The only thing I have control over is my mind, and I am struggling to get that right.

I keep going between the two extremes, completely over the top positive and optimistic (almost unrealistic), to end of my world dramatic negative. My in between is closer to the the negative side. I keep listening to podcast on how to control the mind and training the mind to get through things. None are sticking. David Goggins says to write it out until you understand it, then don’t go back down the path of not knowing. Total hard ass, just do it attitude. This works for about 10 min. Another author says to recognize the worry for what it is, dont be afraid of the facts, and have confidence that it will get better. Way to sugar coated to be effective in my case. I am terrified of the facts.

Then I opened my inspirational Quote of the day email and it said this ” The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible” – Arthur C. Clarke.

“It is always impossible until it is done” – Nelson Mandela

For what ever reason, these quotes are giving me the push to be positive. These quotes, these unspecific, vague, optimistic quotes, are giving me hope. I am a free spirit, it is hard for me to be bogged down by facts. I need the option to overcome facts, I need to believe that even though it may not have happened before, it could happen to me.

When I was writing down what I wanted (per David Goggins) I wrote this

“I am going to be in the 70%. I am being healed 100%. My hearing is intact and all of my nerves are healing and functioning properly. ”

This is my miracle. This is my possible. This is what is going to happen. It is going to happen because I am choosing for it to happen. I am at the point in my mind where it is becoming debilitatingly negative. This is the time that I need to push past that governor (like in a car) in my mind, and keep going. I need to dream big. I need to believe it is happening. I need to know that it COULD happen. What if it does get better attitude.

You never know until you try, and to try completely you have to believe.

Wish me luck.

My Hearing Journey

Though it has been a long time coming, I have decided to get a cochlear implant. After my sudden hearing loss that started me on my word press journey, my hearing has not gotten better. I have found myself not doing the things I used to do (dancing, concerts, bars, movies) because I know I wont be able to hear. I have a fear of missing some important information.  I am not as confident any more because I don’t know what I will miss. I am afraid of what people will think if I say “what” more than once. It is silly. I have been hearing impaired my whole life, you think I would be used to this criticism.

I am really scared to do this but know this is the next step. During my last hearing test my audiologist told me that I only get 30% of single word repetition correct and 50% of sentence repetition correct. Yes your read that right. I rely heavily on context and lip reading. With a cochlear she feels I will be able to get 70-80% in both categories.

Thats the pro.

The cons are, the sound is digital, and it is a permanent procedure. The #1 reason I have never wanted a cochlear implant is the replacement of the analog sound, that you and I know, to digital. The friends I know who have a cochlear implant say that people sound like mini mouse and it is very robotic at first.  This is not a big selling point for me, they really need to work on their advertising. The close second reason is, that it is not a reversible procedure. If I do this and don’t like it, there is no going back.

They say that your brain is an amazing organ that will convert the digital hearing from the cochlear, to the analog hearing I remember things to sound like. Because I have had so much hearing in my life, the transfer in my brain should be fairly quick (3-6 months). It is not an easy 3-6 months but most things should sound normal by then.

I am having a hard time because everyone that is telling me that this is how it works, are hearing people. People who have not experienced a cochlear implant personally. My friends that have cochlear implants now, never really had good hearing in the first place. They dont know what they missed, just what they gained.

I am trying to be optimistic. I know this will help me conquer so many fears and open so many doors. However, I need to get my mind right in order to get the full benefit of this. I need to be able to believe it will be what I want it to be.

The more I read this over the more I see fear and excuses. I feel they are valid fears and valid excuses, however, if I am going to get the full benifit of this…. I need to get my mind right.

Cheers to the Journey.

 

 

Murphy Law

Murphy Law

I was in my finance class the other day  and one of the financial advisers said that she only has a select few clients that she worries about. She said it is like Murphy’s Law something always happens to them. This happened a few days ago and I cannot seem to let it go.

My life is not going the way that I want it. Things that could have gone wrong have. But that cannot be forever. My life cannot be like Newtons Cradle and just go wrong all the time. change my paradigm

There has to be an opposite to Murphy’s Law. What can go right will go right. I need to change my frequency and get that to be the law of my life. I know it is possible. I just need a force strong enough to drastically change the direction of my energy.

I need to make a drastic change in my life in order for this shift to happen. Just like Newtons Cradle there has to be an outside force (change) in order for the momentum to stop. Newtons Law is: things in motion tend to stay in motion.

I need a change. I need a big one. My momentum is not on the right wave length. I need to figure this out! How do I stop this Murphy’s Law pendulum swing?

This budgeting class may help. But I need to make a drastic change. Getting a second job may help. Maybe. Work out in the mornings?

I NEED A BIG PUSH. NO I need something to stop my momentum and redirect it.

What though?

I feel it needs to be more than a baby step?

I feel it needs to be a drastic change in my life?

I already live at home. I have a job that pays well and am considering another one. I love my  boyfriend so he has to stay. I work out 5 days a week. I am taking a budgeting class. What else needs to change? What else can I do to change my tides?

WHAT?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Maybe we can figure this out together.

When You are Wondering Why

storm

Do you ever have those days were you just scream “why me!”? Do you ever just get so angry at who ever you believe is responsible, and say “if you are all powerful why would you do this? Why would we have wars? Why would you allow this to happen?”

Well I hope to ask the big boss that someday, but for now, you just have to believe that it is happening for a reason. I know I know easier said than done. Trust me I am not here to say it is easy. I f***ing sucks. Take my life for example: my debt has increased substantially in the past two years. So much so that I believe the stress of money is causing my medical problems. Ever since we went to Buffalo we have been in a downward spiral. When we moved back we were so excited to get started on saving and fixing everything that went wrong. Only to find that it was about to get worse.

When are are living in the worst it is hard to see any way out. You are angry and wonder what you ever did to deserve this. Well a week after my little pity party, me and my boyfriend start a financial peace class. The teacher talks a lot about relationships with money and how money effects our personal relationships. 80% of divorce is because of money issues. Now if we didn’t go through what we did in Buffalo, and what we are going through now, we would have never gone through this class.  We would have been 40 years old, divorced, and in the 80% statistic. This class is helping us better communicate about money and in turn helping us grow. Is it worth all the pain… I will let you know when I am 40.

Stuff happens. You cannot plan for all of it. You can however, learn how to properly deal with it. For us in our life money is our #1 stresser. Yes we have medical stuff happening but guess what, we cant control that. I cannot control my hearing. I cannot control how strong my dogs ACLs are. I cannot control the lumps growing in my body.  BUT I can save and prepare to take care of them though.

I am in troubled water but my enemies are sinking. I am learning how to sail my ship. I am learning how to adjust my sails to get me to where I want to go.

I may not know why but I am learning a lot along the way.

Have faith.

It sucks. You will have days. But never give up.

Never give in.

When Life gives you Damn Lemons

lemons

We all have days where we want to give up, when the clouds come in, when the lemons keep coming. Well, yesterday was one of those days. I cried, and cried hard.  I kept sobbing “I am so sick of these f***ing lemons!” I cried before and after my workout in my car, for a good half hour. I know what it is like to give up and I know it is not easier, though at the time it always feels like it. I had to keep reminding myself of this. I had to keep reminding myself that it can always be worse. I had to keep reminding myself that I have a plan in place. I had to keep telling myself that I am strong enough. It was a continuous battle.

These lemons are just distractions that keep us from moving forward. Even when I feel like giving up (like yesterday), I told myself to just cry for a bit, take a moment to feel this. Lets face it, life sucks. It really sucks. It is OK to feel sorry for yourself. It is OK to have pity party, because you know what, no one else is going to feel bad for you! Cry it out! Yell! Scream! Growl!  Just be sure to pick up some salt and tequila when you are done.

Put your big kid pants on, take a seat, and do some shots (figure of speech). We cannot control everything in life but we can control how we react to it. Crying is normal, it is an act of strength. But we cannot stay at your pity party. We HAVE to move forward.

I get it. Trust me. It is not easy. I cannot change my hearing. It is not getting better. It is effecting EVERYTHING in my life. I cannot even get laser hair removal (TMI), that I have wanted for a long time,  because of the meds that are supposedly supposed to give me my hearing back. It is effecting my relationships with my friends because I am too suborn to ask them to repeat things more than twice. It is effecting my job because I cannot hear in the conference room. It is effecting my ability to make friends at the gym (my only social interaction) because I cannot wear my hearing aids at the gym. It is effecting my relationship with my hunny because I am angry all the time. So I try to not be angry and that stresses me out, creating more anxiety. To top it off I have other medical problems, along with two other surgeries for my pup!

Trust, me I get it.

I have my fair share of Lemons, and I am sick of F***ing lemonade. But I have my little pity party, cry it out, then I put on my  big kid pants. I grab some tequila and salt and say Bring IT! 

Stop – Look – Listen

stop whining

In light of the New Year, I want to talk about resolutions. Not the same old ” I am going to loose weight”, “I am going save money”, resolutions. I am talking about the life changing resolutions. The HOLY SHIT resolutions.

Life sucks. It is hard. None of us come out alive. So why do we go through ever year saying ” I will start Monday” or “Maybe next year”. If I have learned anything this year it is that tomorrow is not promised.

Do it all today.

When my boyfriend asked me what my resolution was for this year I told him that I want to do more things that scare me. When I got my motorcycle license in 2010 I was terrified. Everyone told me I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t coordinated enough. I wasn’t strong enough. I did it though. I have my licence and it was the most liberating experience of my life so far. I want more of these moments. I want more of these smiles. I want more of this confidence.  It was contagious. It was exhilarating. It was the best high of my life.

We are responsible for all of our life choices, and because of those choices we are where we are. I am not where I want to be because I have not taken any risks. I have not made any scary choices. I have not jumped off the deep end and tried something that scared me so much that I may just have to grow from it. I have played it safe.

I have learned that I am afraid. I am afraid of getting sick (like cancer sick), I am afraid of not making the right choice, I am afraid of what people will think of me. And I make my choices based on these feelings. These feelings of fear and uncertainty.  I look back on last year. All the suffering, all the medical bills, all the unknowns, all the debt. I see nothing but fear and disappointment. I dont want to look back next year, hell I dont want to look back at tomorrow and feel this way.

I am not going to make any more broken promises to myself. If I want it, I need to go after it. I am going to do things that scare me. Guess what? I am going to survive them with flying colors, just like I have survived the fear and sorrow. The difference is…. I am going to be better for it. I am going to smile, I am going to laugh, I am going to thrive.