Archive for March, 2008

I haven’t written a formal paper for a college class in almost 35 years, so I wasn’t surprised to have gotten a point value of 15 out of 20.  The Professor commented that my observations were good but that I had left some significant information out on speech and language.  Well, duh! I am not a speech and language major which is what 1/2 the class consists of.  The other half are teachers.

I guess if I were paying closer attention to the Professors lecture on speech and language and what we are looking for with children on the spectrum, I might have understood it better.  Well actually, I looked back at my notes and I seemed to have a good grasp of the material.  Well, I guess if I had read all the required readings I may have had a better understanding. 

Actually, I learned something very important today.  What it all comes down to is one thing, I hate writing papers.  I didn’t like writing papers 35 years ago and I hate it even moreso, now.  

I’m thinking my chances of writing any research papers in the future and becoming very famous are pretty slim.

I’ve learned a great deal from the classes I’m taking this semester but more importantly, I’ve learnt that working with children on the spectrum is not for me.  I’m happy that I’ve learned so much about this area, its given me a great deal of insight.

I guess my heart and soul has always been to work with children who have hearing loss or those students who are deaf as well as with their parents.   Though I have some time before I return to work at the end of August, I am beginning to feel somewhat in panic mode.  I guess the first half of the year has gone by so fast and I don’t want the second half to go by too quickly.  I’m enjoying this freedom and time for learning.

Watching the Doctor try to get a vein while she laid half naked on the table was difficult to watch.  She always had trouble with Doctors drawing blood especially since her veins are so thin.  When she sat up on the table, she looked somewhat frightened like a child who just realized, she lost sight of her mother while wandering away, innocently.  She looked right through me with her aging eyes and nothing, looked familar to her.

While we were waiting for the results of the tests, she repeatedly asked me, where are we? when are we going home? When we arrive home she asks, when are we going home?  Dementia is a funny thing. You’re looking at this person you once knew very well but you no longer know them as they were.

I hate watching both my parents grow old.  It’s demeaning and there is no pride.  Their apartment looked and felt “old” and I hated when family visited, especially the grandchildren and the great grandkids.  I wanted the place to look more comforting and inviting so I asked my father if we could refurnish the place.  I guess he saw it as a day out galavanting around looking at new things.  The shopping and decision making were all done in one day and he did choose the furniture and I must say, I love the way their place looks and feels now. 

While sitting and talking the other day, I asked my mother how she likes the furniture and she responded, “its very nice but I don’t plan on staying here long.”   We all sort of laughed but at the same time, it wasn’t funny.  You have to have a sense of humor to grow old.  I plan to be flamboyant in my old age, rolling in humor no matter where my mind is.  I plan to be quick with replies and enjoy my life.   If the day comes that I choose to die, I want to die with dignity and grace.  My mother has no dignity or grace left. When do we lose it? Where did it go?

I had no idea how involved I would be in my parents life this year and how much rift it would cause between my brother and I.  It also has given me a bird eye view of my own destiny.   Remember when you were thirteen and you felt you were going to live forever?  Nothing could ever stand in your way.  You felt ageless as though you would forever be that age and never grow old like the people you witnessed.  This was not meant to be a sad post, it was meant to be a little of both…..both sad and content.  Its all relative….. Its all life…… its all love ….. and its all ageless.

Okay, so I handed my class paper in and I put it in a folder to hand to the Professor.  I was the only one who had the assignment in a transparent.  The Prof gave me a funny look and I told her that I have a bad habit of spilling coffee on my things and didn’t want to take chances with the paper.

 Now I know that wasn’t exactly why I put it in that folder but I thought I would look good having it in a transparent.   I wasn’t going to tell the Prof I was kissing up to her and my telling her I have a habit of spilling coffee on my things is really true but moreso on furniture and in cars.

On another issue, I had my hearing aid adjusted and boy can I hear better.  I also plan to look at the Starkey Destiny hearing aid which supposedly can be programmed to do everything for you except raise a toilet seat.   I’m certain though that one of these days, the manufacturers will have specific programs that we can have put in to make everything easier but our hearing needs.

Had a hearing evaluation this week because I’m seeing a difference in my hearing over the past few week.  When it came time to do speech discrimination, I requested the audiologist use a different list of words, one that I am not familiar with.  I mean, lets face it, after 30 years of being hearing impaired and taking innumerous hearing tests, I think I can recognize: hot-dog, white-wash, foot-ball, and so on.  I felt it only fair to test my word recognition by using words I was unfamiliar with.  Afterall, every conversation we get involved with daily is pretty much unfamiliar.

It was clear from the start that my word recognition had regressed.  Don’t know whether to blame aging or my otosclerosis?  The audiologist and the intern were extremely sensitive and approachable.  I could have been their worst nightmare but because I am clearly savvy on my hearing loss and my expectations and what I want from the evaluation session, they were more than cooperative.  Although they could have been difficult about my request for a different word list.

I requested that my hearing aid be reprogrammed to a few pitches higher which they did and I found a nice improvement in my hearing.  I plan to return in two weeks to test out two hearing aids that may give me more benefit.  In the meantime, I clearly saw a difference when I went out to dinner, in a noisy party setting and in the classroom.  I am very eager to try out new technology and even discussed the C.I. and Baha with the audiologist.  From what we can see, I am not eligible for either one of them.  Oh well, on with life.