Things to be Thankful for…


In Canada, this is our Thanksgiving Weekend.  While the originally designed to give thanks for the harvest, we generally use this holiday to share a meal with friends and family and reflect on all things for which we are grateful.  For me, the following represents things for which I am most thankful. There is no particular rank order here…

 

  1. Cochlear Implant Technology.  This technology has dramatically changed my life in enormous ways.  Simply put, without it I could not function.  Communication would be almost impossible.  I probably would have embraced sign language to a greater degree, but I would be limited to communicating to a much smaller and limited set of people.  I would have completely lost my ability to enjoy music.  Do I wish for improvements from this technology?  Sure.  Music perception and hearing in noise and are still challenges, but I have developed some additional compensatory techniques.  Still, a day does not pass in which I remind myself how my different my life would be without the CI.
  2. Wireless Microphone Technology.  While the the cochlear implant implant is amazing, it is the synergy of the FM system in conjunction with the CI that provides me even greater capabilities.  Adding FM technology allows me to use my mobile phone via Bluetooth, hear in noisy cars, restaurants, and bars, enjoy social events more fully, and enhances my ability to hear and perform music.  I wish more CI users would realize how much more they could get out of life if only they added FM or other wireless microphones.
  3. Music.  Music brings light to my soul.  It always has the ability to brighten my darkest days.  I am so grateful that I can still not only enjoy listening to music, but to perform it as well.  It has not been easy to keep music a part of my life.  I needed to experiment with vibrating platforms, compressors, equalizers, FM systems, and soundboards to make it happen.  Lots of money and time has been spent on this.  But it can be done.
  4. Family.  I have a wonderful, intelligent and beautiful wife that puts up with my shenanigans.  And I have a handsome, brilliant, and kind hearted son who is so full of passion.  I love you both.
  5. Health.  A weird thing happened the other day.  My son’s friend was looking at some pictures of both my son and I from his early childhood.  The friend remarked that I look younger today the I did 10 years ago.  That was such a compliment!  Losing 40 pounds of excess weight and getting into better shape has had the effect of turning back the sands of time.  Next week I will be completing a half marathon, something I never dreamed I would be capable of doing.  I am so grateful that I am finally on the road to better life.  It feels great.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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11 thoughts on “Things to be Thankful for…

  1. Hi Peter, happy Thanksgiving! I’m from Australia and we don’t celebrate it here…..have just started reading your great blog.
    I’m wondering what you think about “Lip Reading” as a strategy for hearing loss? I have just started some classes here although they are very difficult to find in Australia.
    I’m a lady just 60, who was a sound recordist for films in my younger years but have hereditary/genetic hearing loss coupled with Menieres…so its been quite an event for me losing my hearing and the disconnection with the world that results.
    My audiogram doesn’t rate a Cochlear yet here in OZ but my hearing aids are not great anymore for many aural environments and I feel I’m an outsider now in most aural situations. I’m interested in the FM technologies and extra assistance it provides that you write about. I think the “lip reading” skill will be very difficult to master as it sort of means retraining your brain to discern speech sounds through visual recognition but I’m interested in giving it a go.
    Best wishes

    • Hi Ann Marie,

      You have given me an idea for my next blog posting. To answer your questions regarding lip reading will take about 1000 words. Which is the usual length of my postings. So if you can wait another week or so I will have a nice detailed answer for you.

  2. Hi! I’ve been losing my hearing for a long while, a bit at a time. For the last six years, I’ve used hearing aids, and it’s been more frustrating than not having one at all. A lot of that time, I haven’t worn them because they make sounds so different that I can’t learn what the sounds mean, and I react incorrectly to what I do hear. I dropped a ball of yarn onto a carpeted floor, and it sounded like I’d let go of a batch of metal tools, and they’d landed on a cement floor.

    You said (and I hope I’m right about this) that you’re an audiologist, so I was hoping you could explain something to me. My audiologist keeps telling me that my hearing aids can help me hear, and that’s not true at all. I can’t hear anything in my right ear, with or without the aid except for one really high tone, which I happen to come across on the average of two to three weeks, and suddenly hearing something makes me jump two feet, so I’ve given up wearing it as being the most expensive practical joke anyone has ever played on me.

    My left ear has hearing loss across the board, but more loss at the top end. The audiologist has given me an aid that only amplifies that top end a bit. What this gives me is hearing that’s equal across the board, but nothing is loud enough for me to do more than tell that there is some sound in the area. If I turn the aid louder, all I get of speech sounds like someone whispering quietly. I gave up on music long ago. I used to play the guitar well enough that I’ve performed in public and got a great response, but I can’t hear it anymore.

    I just got a pocket talker, and I want to cry because I can finally hear things, understand what the sounds are and only sometimes have to ask people to repeat something. It’s clumsy, and has a lot of feedback and I can’t find an earpiece that actually fits in my ear so it’s more comfortable and there’s less feedback.

    The pocket talker amplifies everything, which is what I’ve been asking my audiologist for, and which she WON’T do. Is there some reason why she can’t do it? And, if there is, why can the pocket talker do it?

    I went out the other day wearing my aid, and at least five people talked to me. I don’t know what was said on their side of the conversation, but my side consisted of “I’m sorry, but I can’t understand what you’re saying.”

    I’m thinking that I might have been able to hear much better for the last six years, but now it’s too late.

    I’ve tried and tried to communicate the problem to my audiologist, and she tells me I can hear, but that I’ve just forgotten what things sound like. But what little I’m hearing doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard.

    How can I make her understand?

    • Hello Johann

      Thanks for the comment. I would love to offer you some advice, but the problem is I cannot as I do not know all the details of your audiogram or your case history. For example, I do not know what your word identification score is. Also, I do not know how long you have been losing your hearing and how long you have gone without amplification.

      Personally, I think you need a second opinion. Thus I understand why you posted these questions to me. But I think you will be better served by having a second audiologist assess your hearing and make some recommendations. I strongly urge you to do this.

      • Thanks so much for the answer. I’ve been wondering if there’s some problem with hearing aid technology that would prevent her from helping me better than she has. But, if that were the case, why is it possible for me to hear with the pocket talker? That’s a rhetorical question. I was just relaying my line of thought.

        I think you’re absolutely right. I should have tried to do that years ago.

        Thanks again.

  3. Hello there, i was searching around here about hearing loss and stuffs like that cause here in Brazil is very rare to find people who has hearing loss (severe to profound) wearing hearing aids and feeling confident. Most of them are insecure :/

    So i got very curious about music, although I’m singer (yep, I have hearing loss). What you do? Are you a musician?

    Anyways, I fell in love with your blog and i’ll visit more often 😉

    Xoxo

      • That’s awesome Peter 😉
        Thank you and I also wish you all the best.

        As hobby I draw lol, i prefer living with music than doing anything else. I hope I reach my dreams

  4. Dear Peter,

    I’m a new unilateral hearing person, and although I am still grieving, I find blogs like yours so inspiring. Thank you for channeling that positive energy out into the universe for those of us with hearing loss!

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