education, family, hearing impairment, parenting, Saving money

Epic Failure


I failed.  First time ever.  Okay so not a pass/fail kind of thing, but still, it felt horrible.  Tears brimmed my eyes.  I held it together.  Until I got to the car.  Flood gates opened.  Out rushed years of frustration and pain, heartache over what’s to come.  Mumbles my husband could vaguely comprehend.


A hearing test.  Over the years my hearing has stayed relatively the same.  A happy medium I like to say.  For the first time, since I can recall, I dipped.  More than a few dB s.  Five to ten dB s to be exact, across the scale.


For the first time in my life, I obsessed how long I’ll have hearing my daughter’s ridiculous laugh, M’s sweet stories, little man’s hilarious ramblings, or my husband’s lovely “sirdspukite”.   Looking back I went to the deep end, I know.  However, I cherish my limited hearing.


What’s next I asked Cari, my super cool audiologist.  Her diagnosis?  New hearing aids.  Cough, cough, swallow deep.  What’s that going to run me, I asked.  $3000-3400.  Yikes!!  More deep breaths.  A piece she punches in.  Whoa, I silently gagged.  Sure my insurance will pay about $1500 a piece.  Do the math.  $6800 – 3000 insurance = $3800 out-of-pocket.  Yeah, we have it, but it is set aside for the eventually, hopefully sale of house one.  Or when our 13-year-old, no payment van reaches its final days.  It’s there and I do not like to touch it, ever.

The temporary solution was to beef up my current daily dependencies.  I bought some time without paying a dime.  But the capabilities of these aids has almost been reached.

Next stop, the ENT.  Something must be wrong.  No, I know my outlook.  Irreparable nerve damage.

If only I could put the positive part of losing to being down 5-10 pounds.


education, family, hearing impairment, parenting, special education

Green with Envy


I’ve been bitten.  And it hurts.  I hate jealousy, but right now it stings my soul.  For almost 36 years, hearing aids and I are Thing 1 and Thing 2, inseparable.




Recently my father, a relative newbie in the hard of hearing world, purchased new hearing devices.  High end ones.   So good that he sat in the rear seat of a mini-van with two chatting kids, a radio chiming Christmas tunes, and my mom and I gabbing away…soon he piped in, “Jude (my mom), just so you know, I can hear everything that you are saying.”  What?!  I was in the front seat, closer to the action and I could not hear elements of the car ride.    In addition to the new ear “toys”, he also is benefiting from a new Assistive Listening Device  to enable him to hear the TV clearly.  Again, jealous!




The hubs and I have limited technology cell phones.  Over the holidays, our gift to each other?  New phones!  Yeah.  But I hate cell phone shopping.  Instead of just looking over the phone and discussing the technology, megapixel, 3G vs 4G, etc, I am stuck asking about M/T ratings.  And no one. ever. knows!  Also, I ask to take a call on the phones.  Most salespeople do not understand and instead act annoyed.  Ugh.  Yes, I am looking forward to an advanced cell phone technology, but am not ready for the 1/2 day process.




Someday, when the pocketbook is not busy saving for when house #1 sells or busy raising three little ones, I will splurge on new ear candy.  Until then, all I want for Christmas is two rockin‘ aids.








Hearing aid
Ear Bling!
Hearing aid (Photo credit: Soitiki)










family, parenting

Quite a Spectacle

Like my hearing aids, eye-glass wear is a necessity.  Each morning as others are grabbing a cup of water, I shove in my ears and put on my eyes.  At least that is what I tell the kids.  “Wait, let me get my ears and eyes on!”  Without both, life is a blur and hummingly quiet.  But I have young kids and long to hear and see each waking moment.

Eye wear and I go back almost as long as my hearing devices.  I remember in the 80s sporting a pair of pink Sally Jessy Raphael glasses.  Boy did I think I was hot.  (Insert eye roll and gag here.)  Over the last 10 years, some how my choice in glasses has been relatively the same but varying shades of brown or black.

Oldest to newest, bottom to top.

As I near —-rty, I long for a fresh perspective on life.  So I branched out of my brown/black comfort box, and went with funkadelic purple.  Okay, so maybe the new frames are not so funkadelic, but I’m hoping they impart an extra spring in my step, shave a few years off around the eyes, and give me an overall new view on life.

I am not getting any younger.  Our kids are still little.  And many days I long to look a little more sassy, a lot more jazzy.  May my new spectacles create quite a spectical in my life.

hearing impairment, parenting, second language

Can you hear me now?

Most likely no.  I have a bilateral mild to severe hearing impairment.  It is all I have ever known.  At 2 weeks, I contracted Bacterial Meningitis and spent a month in a hospital battling the illness.  Most likely my hearing impairment is a direct result of Meningitis and the treatment I received at that young age.

I am a parent, wife, teacher, and friend.  Most times, I can hear, enjoy, and participate in general conversations.  That said, I miss stuff.  All the time.  I mishear stuff.  Often.

Years of experience has taught me to ask people to repeat themselves, read faces and body language, watch faces and lips, and most importantly WORK at hearing.  And it is not easy.  Many days by the time dinner rolls around, the Tinnitus in my ears sounds very much like a freight train laying on the whistle, constantly.

A few things most people do not understand.   Whispering to me is like a trying to play telephone with a toddler.  I will not get most of what you are saying.  Next, if I have a confused look, please repeat yourself.  Sometimes, I just give up and do not try for clarification.    A few times people will say, if you didn’t understand, why didn’t you ask me to repeat?  Um, sometimes I mishear.  Occasionally words sound alike and I get misinformation from what I hear.  I may be aware that I misheard, but other times, I have no clue that I took in the wrong information.  So please do not get upset with me.  Bars, gyms, dance clubs, or loud areas are difficult.  Sound is coming from so many angles that I feel like I’m standing in a train switching yard and do not know where to turn. In these environments, I may have trouble matching voices to faces.  English sometimes sounds like a foreign langauge and foreign languages sound like Dory from Finding Nemo.  Lastly, water and I have a love/hate relationship.  While I love being in and around water, my hearing aids do not.  That means while I am swimming, lounging by the pool, or splashing with the kids, my hearing sidekicks are not enjoying this.  So I am like a fish out of the water.  But in the water.

Please ask questions, seek clarification, or lend an ear (pun intended), because living with a hearing impairment is exhausting and I could sure use some help once in a while.

my bff’s