Thursday, August 7, 2014

Another Quick Update

Hello, everyone. I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I have been missing blogging here and want to get back into the swing of things, but life has been full – pleasantly so.

A few updates from my end:
  • Early in the summer, I noticed I was having a lot of trouble hearing. I muddled along at work and at home, but I was having a hard time following much of what anyone was saying, so I eventually found the time to go in to see my audiologist. I was actually pretty worried that my hearing had possibly degraded, but luckily (except for my wallet), it turned out to be the hearing aids. I sent my left aid, the one I depend on the most, off to be repaired and used a loaner hearing aid provided by my audiologist in the meantime. Luckily, I paid for a one-year warranty on the repair, as only a few weeks after receiving my aid back, it failed again, in a more dramatic fashion. I have it back once again and all seems to be right with the world. Because my audiologist (Dr. Scharber at East Valley Hearing) is awesome, he was able to make a few adjustments and hopefully extend the life of my right aid so that I may not have to get it repaired this year. It will need repairs at some point, though.
  • In happier news, my hearing aids are finally paid off! Yay!
  • I start my senior year of college on the 21st with a course on human evolution and anthropology. I may just graduate in May, but I’m not 100% sure since I’m not taking a full course load (two courses per semester – each half a semester long).
  • I have been promoted to Library Assistant at my workplace. Woohoo!
  • My son just turned one year old! I know, I can’t believe it either. He’s 30 inches tall, almost 20 pounds, and healthy and happy as can be. He loves to make as much noise as possible and he’s quite the babbler. Here he is enjoying his birthday cake.
My son enjoying his 1st birthday cake

I hope all is well with you if you’ve found your way to this little corner of the Web!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Interview With a SoundBite Recipient at Speak Up Librarian

Over at Speak Up Librarian, you can check out an interview with a recipient of the SoundBite, a product designed by Sonitus Medical. The SoundBite uses bone conduction to transmit sound via the patient's teeth - it's an in-the-mouth hearing device custom-fit for each recipient.

I thought this interview was very interesting. Reading about others' real-life experiences can really help. Especially interesting is the story of how Donna was able to convince her insurance company to cover the device.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

And Your Name is Jonah

The cover art for And Your Name is Jonah, showing the title character riding his bicycle down the road.
The cover art for And Your Name is Jonah.
And Your Name is Jonah is a 1979 made-for-television movie starring Jeffrey Bravin in the title role, with Sally Struthers and James Woods playing Jonah's parents.

In the movie, young Jonah has just left a mental hospital, where he has spent three years as a result of misdiagnosis of mental retardation. As it turns out, Jonah is actually deaf. His mother becomes his loyal champion, entering a world she is very unfamiliar with - the world of speech therapy, hearing aids, and American Sign Language.

And Your Name is Jonah is streaming with subtitles on Netflix, and so I watched it earlier this week. It's a very moving film. You can feel Jonah's isolation and inability to communicate. The movie also manages to get the emotions of everyone else across, from his father's total confusion about what to do with his son to his grandfather's complete acceptance of Jonah as who he is. The last scenes of the movie, as Jonah learns there is a way for him to communicate, is wonderful.

It was fascinating to see how deafness was approached in the late 70s/early 80s. The hearing aid Jonah had to wear is very different from the ones I was given in the early 90s. It was interesting to see the very realistic way the movie portrayed speech therapy and the Deaf community.

While looking for information on the film, I found out that when it was originally shown on CBS it did not have any type of captioning (open captions had only just begun about six years earlier and closed captions began in 1980). This article by Jamie Berke explains her annoyance at not being able to watch the movie, which ironically helped a classmate understand her better. I'm glad it's now available much more readily.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Quick Update

Tripp with my husband this past Sunday.
I guess all of the things they say about free time going out the window when you have kids is true! I apologize for not blogging more. This blog has been on my mind the past few days, though, so I thought I'd write an update on how things are going.

I was very nervous before having Tripp and afterwards if I would be a good parent considering my hearing loss. Of course I know of many parents with hearing loss who are amazing parents. Crazy stuff goes through pregnant brains. I wrote a post when Tripp was 1.5 months old about parenting with hearing loss, but things have changed - things change so quickly with babies.

He sleeps through the night most of the time, so I don't worry about keeping my hearing aids in anymore. This is great for me - I sleep better - and for them - they get to dry out overnight so they can function properly in the morning. We just set up the baby monitor before bed and my husband hears if he cries.

By far the most relieving thing has been that I can recognize his cries. I was worried I would never understand what he was trying to communicate. Cries all sound the same and I have such a hard time distinguishing high pitched sounds. It took awhile but I now know, through a combination of his cries and his body language, what he wants.

I have spoken with Tripp's pediatrician and we've gone over things to look for to keep an eye on his hearing. Since my hearing loss did not become evident (and even then it was very subtle, since it was a mild loss at the time) for four years, I want to be vigilant with him. Early recognition and intervention (no matter what that intervention is) can solve a lot of problems before they happen.

I hope to get back to blogging regularly soon but I hope in the meantime everything is going well for you!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Around the Web Wednesday

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 25, 2013

An Update on Made for iPhone Hearing Aids

Image via Flickr user reticulating
Back in June of last year, I wrote about Apple's announcement of upcoming new features, including "made for iPhone hearing aids." Now it seems more information on this is coming out of Denmark - a country which supplies half of the world's hearing aids. GN Store Nord is the world's fourth largest manufacturer of hearing aids and the driving force behind hearing aids utilizing 2.4 GHz technology.

As it turns out, there will soon be an option for people to have sound relayed directly to their hearing aids via their Apple (iPhone, iPad, etc) product, without the need for an intermediary device such as the Oticon Streamer, which I just discussed this past week. According to the Reuters article linked above, Starkey Technologies is also working on a hearing aid that will work similarly for iPhones but there's no details as of yet.

It sounds like GN ReSound may be at the forefront of "iHearingAids," but it does remain to be seen whether the elderly market for hearing aids will actually want to take advantage of the technology. I think it may take a few more years - for people in their thirties and forties now - before this kind of connectivity is basically expected.