Daily Archives: July 15, 2008
I spilled water all over my keyboard yesterday…augh!! (as Charlie Brown would say) I was using a medium-ish mirror propped up between my desk and Dave’s to keep an eye out for people coming up behind me. Every time the desks shifted, for whatever reason, the mirror would fall forward and knock over everything in front of it. (Usually my pen/pencil holder and a frame holding a small photo of Paige.) It was getting really annoying, happening more frequently, even though I’d try to wedge the mirror into the space between our desks so that it wouldn’t move.
Normally I keep my water glass on a coaster on the right side of my monitor. For some reason I just set it on the left side yesterday, and I was processing UPS labels for orders we were shipping. Out of nowhere…I mean, as far as I know, the desk didn’t move at all…but that darn mirror fell forward, knocked over the pen/pencil holder and the frame, which fell into my water glass and BAM…all over the keyboard, all over the floor (which is the fake wood stuff that locks in like puzzle pieces…not entirely waterproof!) I was horrified. On the one hand, the glass was only about 1/3 full. On the other hand, it’s still a LOT of water and it all went straight into my beloved keyboard.
I jumped up, screaming and swearing, holding the keyboard upside down while water literally gushed out. I was frozen in place, not sure what to do first…where do I set the keyboard, since it’s connected with a wire and all available surfaces are drenched in water? (If it had been wireless I could’ve run over and set it in the sink or something.) I knew if I didn’t get the water on the floor mopped up, it could be a disaster and make the flooring swell and pucker up. Dave heard me screaming (LOL) so he flew up the stairs and into action. We got everything dried off and he took my keyboard down to the workshop, to try to dry it out and salvage it. Unfortunately, although it did work when we reconnected it, some of the keys were doing crazy things…the shift key and function keys would make all kinds of windows pop up. So I switched to one of the basic old keyboards we had lying around the house…what a difference!
This keyboard was a Christmas gift to me from Dave, since I have carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s the only one that really keeps my hands in a good position and keeps the pain at bay. (It’s a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000) It looks like a mountain – raised up in the middle and sloping down on either end – and I love it!! I was actually having a hard time typing on the regular keyboard; I had no idea I was so used to this one. Dave went out and bought me another one today – what a sweetie! Money is sooo tight right now so I never would have bought one for myself, but he insisted it was a medical necessity.
In addition, he bought round mirrors (I think they’re meant for cars) that stick on, and we’ve got them positioned around my monitor. Now I can view the comings and goings behind me in 3 different directions, and the mirrors don’t fall down! I love it!!
I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I’ve gotten used to as an adult with hearing loss, mainly lipreading and closed captioning. I’ve become active on some forums and mailing lists for people with cochlear implants, and I noticed that a lot of times people will mention that they no longer lipread or need captioning once they get their CI. For some reason, the thought of not lipreading or using captions kind of panics me. Isn’t that weird? I mean, if I don’t need it then it’s not like I’m being deprived of anything. But I really can’t imagine not using the captions/subtitles when I watch a movie or TV show, and I can’t imagine not lipreading when someone talks to me.
The lipreading thing is probably something I’ll always do, just because it’s how I’m used to communicating. It would be nice if I didn’t have to lipread to understand, but if a person is facing me when they speak, I’ll probably always read their lips as well as listen to them.
The captions though…man. Even if I can hear better with CI’s than I can with hearing aids, I think I’ll still use captions and subtitles. I spent so many frustrating years watching TV and only understanding a small portion of what was going on. I’d get a few words here and there and figure out the story from what was happening on screen, but a lot of the really funny stuff flew by me. When captioning started being offered on more movies and shows, and we got a TV that had captioning built in (probably in the early 1990’s or so – I think it was around the time Paige was born in 1994) it just opened up a whole new world to me. I re-watched so many movies that I had originally seen without captions, and it was like seeing them for the first time! For example, I saw The Breakfast Club over and over again (without captions) and never knew that Anthony Michael Hall’s character wanted to get a fake ID so he could vote. LOL! 8)
Anyway, Dave relies on captions as much as I do, so even if I can suddenly hear everything we would still use captions for his sake. Ironically though, the kids have perfect hearing and they always turn on captions too. Eric said he prefers them, and this kid has supersonic hearing! It’s pretty much all they remember though – captions have always been on the screen when we watch TV. I even think it’s helped them learn how to read!
It’s funny though, how nervous it makes me feel to think of going without these things that have helped me for so long, even if I end up not really needing them. I actually feel defensive about it, even though there’s no reason for me to.
Quickly changing the subject but still sort of related to what I was saying before… my mom has super-high expectations for the CI and that’s another thing I’m kind of worried about. She keeps saying things like “Oh, you won’t need that anymore” or “You won’t have to worry about that anymore” when we talk about learning sign language or cued speech, or having to lipread all the time. She’s talked to a couple of people who know people who got CI’s and she’s hearing all these amazing stories about how the people hear better now than they did with hearing aids. She really feels that this is going to “cure” my deafness and I know she really thinks I’m going to be activated and hear perfectly. I’ve told her over and over that it doesn’t work that way, that I’ll always be deaf, but she still says this kind of thing.
It is putting so much pressure on me, which is making me a little defensive. I know she just wants me to be able to hear, and I can understand that. I know she means well and she loves me. But oh my gosh, I can’t stand to think of the disappointment she’ll have if it’s not the way she expects it to be. Even if I do end up with awesome hearing right off the bat (which I absolutely, truly do not expect) then how is she going to deal with it if I still need to lipread and have captions or if my hearing declines someday for whatever reason?
It’s kind of ridiculous…I’m almost 44 and she’s 70 and I’m still worried about disappointing my mom. I know all that really matters is how I deal with things and my own personal attitude about it. It just kind of drives me crazy that she wants me to be something other than what I am. I know she feels like life is not “normal” now that I’m deaf, and she’s said more than once that she can’t wait for me to get the CI’s so things can go back to normal again. I know she has problems with anxiety and it’s her thing to deal with, not mine. I guess I must feel guilty for stressing her out.
Hmmm. Who needs therapy when you can write it all down and figure things out for free?!
Now, seriously here, I am not that stressed out or anything. I’m actually in a really good mood right now. I just tend to get introspective when I’m writing and I think it comes off a little more intense than I mean for it to.
So at this time, one week from now, I should be home from the hospital and the surgery will be behind me! (It’s 10:40 pm right now) I’m slowly working my way through all the stuff I want to finish before the Big Day. I’m going to get all the bills paid before I go in, since I’m the one in charge of that. Paige got her physical and that’s all taken care of.
BUT…I can’t drop her high school registration papers off because I still don’t have them! The school sent a registration packet but all the information was for some other kid. I emailed them on July 5 to let them know, and the Asst. Principal replied at 7 am on Monday, July 7, to say the correct papers were being mailed “immediately”. It’s July 15 now and I still don’t have them…it takes one day for mail from the school to reach our house. Since I want to have the papers filled out and dropped off along with the payment before I have the surgery, I’m getting a little concerned.
That’s my project for tomorrow – go to the school and just pick up the right papers from them. I think I want to pick up a different shirt to wear on surgery day too. The one from Salvation Army fits but it’s a little too snug and short for comfort. I like to wear everything loose and long…I know it makes me look fatter but I really can’t stand it when my shirt constricts me.
We were going to watch a documentary called “King Corn” tonight – we are huge fans of documentaries here and I always check to make sure they’re subtitled or captioned. (Because they’re usually low-budget productions, a lot of times they aren’t captioned.) I found a website that said it was captioned so we went ahead and rented it from Blockbuster Online…but it wasn’t captioned after all. Darn! (This is not to be confused with the documentary “King of Kong”…which is captioned and is really good, BTW!)
Hey, on a final note…I did eventually get those items I requested on loan from the Illinois Assistive Technology Project! I think my request must have gotten set aside or misplaced for a month or two, but the items did come last week. It was really helpful to get a chance to see them and see how they work so we could make well-informed purchase decisions.
Dave came home with all kinds of weird stuff (foam noodles for the pool we don’t have, for instance) so I think he’s getting ready to concoct some kind of crazy bed thingy for my recovery period. He loves this kind of thing! I have no idea what he’s going to do but I’m sure it will be interesting.