Hurdles: Facing Them, Jumping Them

We went over to my mom’s house on Mother’s Day. It’s kind of funny, this ‘holiday’. On the one hand, I’m a mom so in the back of my mind I feel like it’s my day to be pampered. On the other hand, I don’t want to ignore my own mother so of course I always end up getting together with her too.

My family did a really nice thing for me – I got a membership in the Hearing Loss Association of America. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for the past month!

The past couple of years we’ve gone out to breakfast for Mother’s Day, which was hit or miss depending on how busy the restaurants were. This year we just stayed in; my mom cooked and I did the dishes (with Dave helping). I was pretty nervous about this visit because I haven’t gone to any social events/family gatherings since I lost my hearing. I had no idea what to expect, whether I’d be totally lost and frustrated or whether I’d just kind of withdraw into my own little corner.

My brother, his wife and their baby boy weren’t there (they have all been fighting illnesses the past week) so it was just me, Dave, Raven, Eric, my mom and her boyfriend Pete. It ended up being just fine. Pete was the hardest for me to lip read because I haven’t talked to him as much as I have everyone else, but by the end of the evening it was much easier.

Dinner was the hardest – it was hard to lip read Dave because he was right next to me (on my left), and if he turned to talk to people on his left then I could barely see his face. There was really no good place for me to sit where I could see everyone at all times, so I would periodically have to ask him to fill me in when he was done talking. If anybody was talking while they were eating, it was obviously a lot more difficult to understand them. But all in all, I was really pleased at how the evening went.

We have a couple of big events coming up here…Raven graduates 8th grade and Eric graduates high school, both the first week of June. I didn’t think to request CART until a couple of days ago. The high school principal already wrote back and said there probably wasn’t enough time to get CART arranged for the ceremony but they could seat us in the front. We need to get there early. He did say “you and your husband” even though I explained that Raven and my mom would also be there…I’m not sure if that was an oversight or if they really would try to separate us when we’re seated. I’m just planning to have all 4 of us present ourselves to the principal for our special seating, and if he wants to argue with us, he will have to deal with my mom. 🙂

I haven’t heard back from Raven’s school yet but she already asked and pretty much got the same answer I got from the high school – doubtful for CART but no problem to have seats in the front. That’s good enough for me. If I’d had more time, I would have asked sooner and fought more for CART but I’ve actually never used CART before and I’m a little clueless about it myself. We’ve got so much going on right now that I just don’t feel like fighting with the schools…I can only deal with so much at once.

Then we have Eric’s college orientation day in the middle of June. I wrote and asked them about accommodations but since I don’t sign, they didn’t really have much to offer. It’s a situation where we’re moving from room to room, listening to different speakers and seeing different parts of campus, then reuniting with our kids for lunch, etc. I don’t even see how they could provide CART in a situation like that anyway, so for that I’ll just be relying on Dave to pass on information to me, plus I’ll read over the handouts that they give us.

Raven will have high school orientation in the middle of August. Luckily I’m used to how this goes because I’ve done it before with Eric, and I already know the high school well.

You know, we have this button that says “I read lips” from the Say What Club, but I’m not much of a button-wearer. Maybe I should make some kind of cool t-shirt (or find one, if they exist) that says that I’m deaf and read lips, so please face me.

Or maybe I could just cut out big circles with slashes through them and tape them over my ears! 🙂


About wendiwendy

I'm a real-life bionic woman.

Posted on May 14, 2008, in Observations. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. For an “I read lips” type of T-shirt, check to see if has what you’re looking for. 🙂 I’ve seen quite a few “unusal” (and sometimes nasty, so be careful;-)) T-shirts on that site. Just put “lip reading” or something similar, in the search box. 🙂


  2. I really don’t understand why it should take “too much time” to get CART going. If YOU find a transcriber, she probably has her own CART equipment. There’s really nothing for the school district to do but pay for it. I might know someone who knows a transcriber in your area. Email me, PLEASE?


  3. Why not get the school to provide a laptop and typist? You sit beside the typist and watch what the typist type the words? It is better than nothing! Maybe you need two typist so they can take a break after 30 minutes.


  4. Let me be the first to welcome you to HLAA 🙂 Have you thought about going to Reno? I would defiantly try to look into getting CART pushed through. You could email Kim or try to look at your states deaf and hard of hearing dept for a direct link. There just might be someone that you can make a relay call to set it up. Then go back to the principal and tell them to cough it up 🙂


  5. I purchased a “custom magnetic name badge” at Office Depot for $8. It was great, and didn’t leave any holes in my clothes b/c it was magnetic! Instead of putting my name on it, I had “Please Face Me! I read lips!” put on it. I wore it for the longest time.

    In the “long run” what seemed to work better was just SHOWING the technology in my ears (CI and HA). My CI has “bling”, and my HA has a bright red “who in the world could miss this” ear mold. This option (of glowing in the dark) isn’t for everyone, but it works for me!

    Welcome to HLAA too! I think the magazine alone is worth being a member!


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