My Week: Training My Brain

It’s been nine days and counting since I got my hearing aids and accoutrements. I’m supposed to be training my aids to let me hear the way I want to. On the contrary, I feel like I’m the one being trained. During the “get acquainted” session at the center, the audiologist told me I don’t hear with my ears as much as I do with my brain. My problem is, my ears haven’t been carrying the right signals to my grey matter. Now that they are, coping with all the new information can be exhausting. At the end of each day, I’m more than ready to go to bed.

Last Sunday, the phone rang just as I had gotten out of the shower and was beginning to towel off. It was DS1. I told him I’d call him back so I did—after I’d dried my hair, gotten dressed and put my hearing aids in. He mostly just wanted to talk. I tried to get my cell phone to work with my Tek but it wouldn’t. DS1 said it did but he’d lost his signal. Either way, I ended up using the cordless phone.

The new battery in said phone held up for an hour and 15 minute phone call with DD (it hadn’t been back on the charger). Since it’s common knowledge now, I can say that a lot of our conversation centered around her job search. I’m hoping and praying she will find something soon and she’ll still be able to telecommute.

Twinkle’s ant mote setup was good as long as it didn’t have to be moved. She’d dropped food in the water and it was getting nasty. When I tried to pick it up to carry it to the bathroom, water went everywhere. I got a square of plywood and slid under it which helped but didn’t really solve the problem. It dawned on me (I’m slow sometimes) that putting it in the bathtub in Twinkle’s bathroom would make everything work. I could clean it easily and the mess would be contained. Twinkle seems happier with it back in her old spot, too. I never use that tub, anyway.

I’d been meaning to call the girl who cuts my hair whenever I’m in the same valley as the hospital. Knowing it was a real shot in the dark, I called her Monday morning. We’d have to work around my doctor’s appointment which, I was thinking, was at 1. That was simple. She set up an appointment for me. My computer gave the little sound for incoming mail. When I looked, it was for a reminder that my doctor’s appointment was at 2:20. Oh, woe! I called her back and she gave me 12:15. I wasn’t sure I could get there that soon but I debated and called her back. It had been filled. She’d try to juggle another appointment and fit me in there—if she could, she’d call me back. The phone rang. It was done.

There was someone in the chair and another waiting when I went in. She’s fast, though, and it wasn’t long until she had me shampooed and relieved of a couple of inches of hair. Then I found out my doctor is one of her clients, too. Small world.

I had some time between that appointment and the next so I stopped in to see Genese. She mentioned something on Facebook the other day about having her hearing tested years ago. She needed aids then but couldn’t afford them. I contacted my audiologist and learned she can get them as a resident of the nursing home but she would have to be tested so the correct aids could be ordered. I’m still waiting to find out if she’s been tested.

It was Show and Tell time. I took one of my aids off and showed her just how small it is. She was amazed. Her dad had some behind-the-ear type but she said they were huge. I showed her my remote and the little “pill box” the aids sleep in. When I got there, I had less than a half hour until my appointment. It wasn’t long until I had to cut out.

There was really no reason to hurry. I signed in and sat. And sat and sat. I didn’t make a note of the time I was taken back and weighed (I won’t say how much the scales showed but I’m sure I was wearing 20 lubs of clothes). The girl came in and took my temperature and checked my blood pressure. She announced “116/68.” WOW! What a change from when I had it checked there before while I was still working. I don’t remember the bottom number but the top one was like 148. Stress City.

The doctor came in and started on the round of questions. We batted this and that back and forth and decided I would have a pneumonia vaccination that day plus he gave me a laundry list of lab work. Later, I’d have a bone density test and a chest x-ray (he’s concerned about my sometimes cough).

Leaving the office, I was walking across the parking lot. A couple of employees were standing by a car, talking. The woman spied me and yelled, “HI! Billie!!” I said hi and kept walking. She excitedly told the man, “That was Billie!” I’ve been called Billie, Bobbie, Johnnie, Jimmie, whatever. As long as my name is spelled right on the check, it’s okay.

There wasn’t a banana in sight at Save A Lot so I went to the other supermarket where I got what I needed and was hugged by one cashier and another one told me how much she missed seeing me. Then I came home.

The pneumonia vaccination didn’t especially hurt but it started getting sore. On Tuesday, if I’d had a sling, I would have worn it. It was really painful. I’d gotten up about 1:30 that morning and took an ibuprofen so I could sleep.

All day that day and Wednesday, I crept around and felt like I had bursitis. I wondered if maybe the needle had come in contact with a nerve or if it had gone into the bursa, itself. Whatever, it HURT.

The weather had warmed up to the point I’d opened wide the windows in the bedroom and bathroom. It made sleeping much better. I put on shorts for the daytime and considered putting away my wintertime wear for the duration.

My strawberry plants were beginning to bloom and I was going to go out and take pictures when Weatherbug chirped. I checked and it said severe thunderstorms were on their way. I looked out and, sure enough, the sky had gotten dark and looked threatening.

There wasn’t much in the way of thunder and lightning but it rained hard. The next morning I went out and there was only 1″ in the rain gauge. I could’ve sworn it was more than that. It was a beautiful day and warm. I took pictures of the pre-strawberries

Pre-strawberries

and a glamour shot of the Carrot Seed Digger-Upper.

Pooky's Glamour Shot

I went over and visited briefly with my neighbor/cousin. She has been making toys for the nieces and nephews. She’s pretty handy with tools. I was telling her after I took my shower, I was standing next to the bathroom window. A bird was singing a pretty song. I put my hand over my left ear and I could hear it with my right (my “bad” ear). When I put my hand over that ear and listened with my left, it sounded as if I was hearing it through one of the tin-can-and-string “telephones” we used to make as kids. So…I still have a lot of the higher range in my right ear but I’ve lost some in my left.

My neighbor/cousin was surprised I could hear the bird. I can hear. It’s just there are a lot of things I either can’t hear or can’t understand. I told her I’d send her the link for an article she needed to read. Her construction partner is hard of hearing and when she shouts at him, he gets upset. This is an article everyone should read. There isn’t one of us (unless we live in a vacuum) who isn’t either hearing impaired or knows someone who is.

Still having pain in my arm, I contacted my doctor and asked how long I could expect it to last. “Five or six days.” But my sister had the vaccination and it didn’t get sore at all. According to him, it couldn’t have been the same kind of shot. I dunno.

DD had posted on Facebook that she was experiencing some anxiety. Of course my Mother Mode kicked in and I called her. She assured me she’d be okay but it’s hard to be calm when she’s so far away and I’m powerless. The most I can do is pray for her.

Yesterday, the high was 73 degrees. That was at midnight. It started slowly dropping and made it into the 40s by noon. Frost warnings were out for last night and, sure enough, the temperature was 30 when I got up this morning.

My arm isn’t nearly as sore as it was but I’m getting low on ibuprofen. I’ve been sleeping with it on the earthing pad and I think that’s helping. I wondered how I’d do playing the organ.

That wasn’t my only concern. This was the first Sabbath I’d be wearing my hearing aids to church. Leaving early, I tried to make it to the church before the others but that wasn’t to be. One of the men was fascinated by how small and unobtrusive these are (and there are smaller ones than these) and was questioning me. His wife asked, “You paid $800 for these?” HA! I didn’t discuss price but that wasn’t even close.

The aids performed pretty well though I hope I was the only one who could hear the various beeps and tweets when I changed the settings on the remote. I’ll be glad when all of this changing and rearranging is analyzed and programmed into the aids.

I found out there was a class last week I wanted to help with but I didn’t know about it. It wasn’t in the bulletin. It had been announced from the front and I couldn’t understand what was being said. Now that it’s over, I’m able to hear.

The pianist plays very loudly and, with the aids, it was uncomfortable. I turned the volume down for the piano and, as a consequence, for the organ as well. I probably was playing the organ too loudly but I have no way to know. The addition of a trumpet made it that much more difficult to hear what I was playing but we all lived through it.

The Sabbath School teacher was audible and understandable except when she dropped her voice to almost a whisper. I guess that was for emphasis. I probably wasn’t the only one who couldn’t hear her. She sort of used a microphone but not consistently. I could hear her, anyway.

The children’s storyteller used one of the stand mics. Their sound quality is kind of muffled. I could have probably heard her better if she hadn’t used one at all. Guess it doesn’t matter since I’m not one of the children.

People I’ve been unable to hear from a distance were audible today. That was gratifying. I even heard one woman on the back row from the front—and the elder had to have her repeat what she said!

On my way home, there were a lot of people and vehicles at the intersection where I had an accident many years ago. A man wearing a bright orange vest came to the car and told me there was a bad wreck and asked where I was headed. I told him and he gave me directions on how to go around to be able to get to my house. It wasn’t much out of the way but the paved road was one lane and I had to pull over to let several cars and two motorcycles by before I could continue on. I couldn’t see anything from where I came out from one of the roads that makes the intersection. That’s an especially bad place and I always slow down when I’m getting close. Once burned…I hope those involved are okay.

The little girl next door hollered at me when I got out of the car. I waved and came on in. I hadn’t had much to eat (I’ve remedied that by a bit too much) and was shaky. I fixed a cup of Dandy Blend and emailed my sisters a report of how things went aid-wise this morning.

Twinkle is relaxing on her heating pad. I’m wrung out. Off and on all week I’ve been working on the Sabbath School lessons on SSNET. This morning, I discovered another error on the coming week’s lesson so I fixed that before I left the house. Tonight will be an early night if I have anything to say about it and, as far as I know, I’m boss.

2 Responses to My Week: Training My Brain

  1. Mary Jane April 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I have had the pneumonia shot (maybe twice) and had no problem with it–perhaps a little local soreness, but nothing more than that. Can’t understand why you’ve had so much soreness and pain. If it comes up again, you can assure the doctor that it was the same shot you had, unless they’ve changed the formula.

    • Tommie April 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      How long ago did you have it/them?

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