New Sounds. What!?

door handle key keyhole
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

New sound of the week – key pads on doors. Apparently they make a sound when you put in the code. I have never heard this before! As a Real Estate Professional, you can guess this was surprise to me.  What else have I been missing?

It has been two weeks since I was activated and I have started to gain some clarity in speech. One of my co workers has a deep voice, so I can “hear” him, but he mumbles. I have never been able to understand him. I spoke with him the other day and I was shocked as to how much I could understand him. I could have more than the “Good Morning how is the weather” conversation. I didnt have to do the “smile and nod I have no idea what you said” face. I could understand him.

A friend of mines mother got a cochlear 20 years ago and she sent me her journals of her journey. (Keep in mind this is a very personal journey so for her to share this with me is a HUGE deal) I am so glad she did. It was so fascinating! Not only to see the difference in technology but know her struggles and what kept her positive. Everyone journey is different. It is based on hearing loss, age, brand, Dr, everything. However, I received a lot of insight through hers.

One of her journals talked a lot about struggle. She is a very smart woman, so when she was struggling she relied on science to help her through. She explained that the sounds in her brain (nerves firing) are reacting the same way an infants nerves do when they first hear sounds. She described that in one point in her journey, her brain is like a one-year olds brain, it can hear mama and dada (repeated sounds) but not mother and father (clarity).  She continued to say that it was all about training your brain to work the way it is supposed to, like an infant does as they grow up.

It was fascinating! A completely new perspective on he struggles!

She also talked about how when she would hear a sound she didn’t recognize, she would search for it. (She said it was weird to do in Restaurants but well worth it) I have heard so many things though my CI. New. Old. But I never looked for them. I brushed them off like we all do with background noise. However,  since my last Mapping, I have noticed that I don’t have any depth perception for sound. I cannot tell where the sound is coming from. Is it behind me? Across the room? In the cubical next door? After reading her journal on this, I have decided to become more investigative. Maybe it will help train my mind to know where things are depending on how they sound. (?)

All and all it is still a very interesting journey that I a so glad I decided to take.

Second Mapping: Finding the X

treasuremap

Today I had my second mapping for my CI and it was amazing. The past week has been exhausting. Every day people sound different and I hear new things. Between robots and chipmunks, I cant help but giggle at my own voice.

Today though. Today was different. The past week I downloaded a audio book. I was told that if you listen to the book and read it at the same time as you listen, you can determine better what sounds you are not hearing or processing correctly. To my surprise, I was not getting “W” sounds. I would read the word “world” but through the audio book it would be something completely different.

I told my audiologist and she said my mid frequencies were too low. Through some minor adjustments in the mid tones and I am a whole new women. It still sounds robotic and or chipmunk like, but I can distinguish so many more sounds. It is mind blowing the difference that made! Then they put me in the sound booth.

If you remember from before Single Word Repetition in my left ear with a hearing aid I could only get 30% of the words correct. Sentence Repetition was 80%. Today we did only sentence repetition with just my CI and I got 98%!!!!!!!! I only missed 3 words out of 135! I am BEAMING!

Now I know that I am very good at using context to put things together but this is still really huge! I am so glad I listed to the advice of my peers (sister especially) for the audio book and all the amazing support they have given me!

This journey is just beginning and I am already so excited for all the  future holds! I know all journeys  have rough patches but I am so ready to overcome anything that comes my way! Bring on that treasure!

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!

 

 

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.

 

Change the world one day at a time.

change

“Stress is caused by being here but wanting to be there, or being in the present but wanting to be in the future. It is the split that tears you apart inside.” – Eckhart Tolle

Last night I sat down and realized how stressed I really was. I just got done with a killer work out and should have been relaxed and wiped out, but all I could feel was the tension in my neck and shoulders and the anxiety building in my throat. There was no reason for my body to be reacting this way. I worked out, I ate well, my job is not hard, I don’t have to pay rent, I have a loving boyfriend at home for me. Nothing major to be freaking out about.

When I got home I had to sit down and really think to get my self to calm down. Just then I realized (or decided to acknowledge) that I have been living my life worrying about the future. I believe this is #1 reason I am so stressed out. I want to buy a home, but don’t have the money. I want to get married, but I am afraid to make the wrong choice. I want to retire someday, but my job now does not offer 401K. I want my hearing to come back, but that may not happen. I want this bump on my arm taken off, but that cost money I don’t have. I want to get my dog his surgery, but that also cost money. All these things are in the future and I cannot do anything about them today.

Our bodies have a funny way of telling us when to just shut up and listen.

I ran across this quote about not mastering all of  your life in just one day late last night.  And I came to the realization (or decided to acknowledge) that I only have control of what is in front of me right now. I need to work on mastering today first. Once today is mastered, things may start falling into place. I then made a list of all the things I have been stressing about and what I have done to get them fixed.

  • I have been talking with a lender about buying a home (home buying is a lengthy process).
  • I am in love with my boyfriend that is all I need right now.
  • I am saving money by staying with my mom, that helps with saving for retirement.
  • Called the Vet regarding a possible payment plan for my pups surgery.
  • I made a Dr. appointment for my arm, that is step one in getting a cost for my surgery.
  • I am on meds for me hearing, and praying for a miracle.

WHAT MORE CAN I DO

I need to keep remembering this. I have done all I can do. I am in the process of getting these things done. I have a plan. Lets now focus on today. I keep looking at the big picture and I am missing all the fine little details. Its like going to Florence Italy and forgetting to go to see the Statue of David.  Yes you have been there but did you see all its glory. I am here today yes, but am I living in all its glory.

Lets master they day.

 

Looking back on past unpublished posts and realizing you still feel this way….

Have you ever had days were you wonder how you got were you are. How you got to be who you are and why you let youself become it. This is me everyday but for the sake of time we will focus on just today. I tend to find myself wondering to the past wondering if I should have made a different choice. How it would effect my life and who I have become.

The problem with the past is that it is in the past. You cannot change it. It is already imprinted in history. So there is no use going back and dwelling on it. Though I know this I still find myself back there. Maybe it is easier to look back there because I dont have any choices to make, or it is easy to find the mistake once you have made it. but I want to change my future. I am too big for this place and I want the world to see.

My problem is I am afraid to make decisions. I couldnt decide a major in college. I couldnt decided what car I wanted to buy. I cannot decided a career. I am afraid to make the wrong choice. But today, just today, I noticed that because I have not been making choices my life is what it is. I have let my life become what it is.

I have the power to change it. I have the power to make a different choice. I have the power to DO something. I just need to choose. At this point anything is better that where I am at. So do I take the easy way and become a fitness instructor. (Which I love but not sure it is forever). Or do I jump on something crazy like becoming an Architect.

I feel like I wake up every day saying I wish things were different. Or I wish I had this. Or I wish I could do that. Well I can. I can do things I just need to make a decision to do them.

We have this amazing power in us and I am not using it. I preach about it all the time and I just sit around and wait for something to come to me. I am afraid to do the work. I am afraid to DO anything. I dont know if I am afraid of failing or if I am afraid of being wrong.

But it has to stop. I cannot be this depressing little girl any more. I am a women. I am a beautiful, stunning, attractive woman that is smart. I know I can do all things! I just need to Choose.