Monday, September 07, 2009

Technology keeps on moving!

I missed getting the New Freedom by about one month! Now the "New Freedom" is about to be yesterdays technology. The Internet and everyone are all abuzz about the new Nucleus 5. It's amazing to think how far we have come and even more amazing and exciting to ponder how far we can go.

The question is often posed to me, "will you go bi-lateral?" I felt the sting of missing out on the "Freedom," to have tomorrows technology. I am anxious to hear of the improvements that patients enjoy thanks to technology's advancements and I am so thankful for the four plus years I have already enjoyed!!

I applaud Cochlear America for eventually making the new technology available for the older implanted systems.

I am looking forward to the future in hearing technology!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Nursing School Experience

Unsure of how I would do in the classroom and clinical setting I chose to try a one year LPN program over the two year RN. Our local school with the RN program was very encouraging and said for all the limits my hearing might put on me there would be just as many blessing. (ie..understanding, compassion) At LPN orientation thing went upside down I was told that it was not going to work, me being hearing impaired, they did not believe I would make it through clinical. They acted as if they had no idea when they chose me that I had a disability. (Every letter of recommendation stated my impairment had shaped who I am and how it would make me a better nurse).

Long story--fast forward--cochlear implant--Nursing School at last!!

When I decided to do nursing school I knew hospital nurse was not my goal. I understand my limitations and would never want another persons health to be hindered because of something I missed auditorially. I knew that I would never work in critical care or a respiratory unit. I wanted to work in a office that had hearing impaired patients or for a cochlear implant manufacturer, as a rep and educator. I felt there would be many avenues for me to choose from once I got my license. So.. I made all my teachers aware of my situation, sat front row and most importantly made friends with the most serious students (usually the older ones). I did very well in the classroom, missing the questions my classmates would ask, was my biggest problem. This I solved by asking my teacher to paraphrase the question back with their answer. (ie.. Yes, Cimetidine is a H2 histamine antagonists). This was helpful to everyone not just me.

Clinical was a daily challenge and stressor. I truly hated it and thought about quiting often. I counseled with my teacher, she understood what my plans were and that this was the means to the end. She still made sure I experienced all that I needed to but I feel she also hand picked my assignments. She was always willing to go behind me and confirm what I thought I was hearing or anything I needed. I hate that as soon as I tell people about my ci, the focus of our meeting shifts. I would try to tell my patients, by the short version, that I was hearing impaired and if I missed something they said to please repeat. I use the technique of mirroring back in all areas of my life but it was extremely helpful in school and clinical. I also feel it was a liability insurance of sorts. I fear people using me and my hearing as a scapegoat, confirming what they said is good coverage.

I had a scary and embarrassing lesson in the GI Lab one day. When I get stressed my hearing seems to drop even more ( I guess it's really more of a brain reaction but - stress me and put me on the spot and it's as if my brain leaves the building).I was in observing a Bronchoscopy when the physician got a page. He told me to call a number which I thought I had heard correctly, but was not sure; and tell them he was doing an exam and would call them back. Well it was dark in the scope room plus everyone was masked - so I could not speech read. I felt panicked and stressed. I blindly made the call on a phone that was not amplified, I could not hear on it. Under the stress of it all I forgot the physicians name, stumbled on the pronunciation of Bronchoscopy (bronch-O-scope) and felt dumber than dirt. Later I started replaying the whole episode in my head and I was mortified by my actions. I will never bluff my way through something again, I will simply speak up and tell the truth. "I can't hear on every phone" - "I am sorry I didn't catch your name." I am hearing impaired, not stupid. Sometimes it feels so defeating to not be able to do what others take for granted.

I am so happy I stuck it out! I love my job and the people I get to share with and help. I don't know if I will bite off RN in the future or not. Today I am very pleased and proud of all I have done. Just returning to school after being out for 20+ years is a major task, doing it hearing impaired makes it even harder.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I have my dream job!

I am working and loving it! I got a job as the allergy nurse at one of two doctors in our area who does cochlear implants. There is one that does pediatrics and one that does both, I work for the later. I do allergy testing and give allergy shots. When they have a ci candidate they often use me as their ci "show and tell".
I have met so many patients who are hearing impaired, have Meniere's disease or have a cochlear implant. I feel so called to be there. There was one day I was so tired and thinking - working just wasn't "all that". When the surgeon came to me and asked if i would speak with a new candidate. The patient and I talked; he was so happy and excited to have some hope. I felt so alive and blessed to be giving back.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It's been to long!

Boy when I break a habit, I stop cold turkey. Sorry it's been so long sense I have posted. Let's catch up on what has been going on. I finished school, I am now a Licensed Practical Nurse. I am proud to say I was named valedictorian. I can't believe all the changes that have happened in my life thanks to my ci. Just a few years ago I was being told I would never make it through nursing school because of my hearing. I am just starting to look for a job, will keep you posted.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Nursing clinical

Said it before - will say it again. THIS IS A VERY NOISE WORLD!! I am just finishing my first month of clinical, I have been doing hands on at a nursing home. Buzzers, beepers, ringers, high pitched sounds, all unrecognizable sounds to me. Cleaning machines, rolling, squeaking, dragging; walkers, carts, and wheel chairs; now we must add in quiet frail hushed voices, some quick spontaneous speech, oh and lets not forget the fire alarms (just a drill). Lord help me!

I have a wonderful instructor who seems to understand my apprehension and fear of missing sounds I need to hear. Localization is the hardest for me I have no idea where sounds are coming from. Well at least I hear them and know to go looking for what it is.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

All my blessings this Thanksgiving

I am still loving my implant. It has returned so much of my like to me. Situations that would have caused me much stress I now engage in with little to no thought. I started Nursing school in early October and am doing very well. Medical term are giving me a fit, some are so close in sound and spelling. It also appears that the medical field has an unspoken rule. (The simplest idea or concept must have no less than 7.4 words that could be used, depending on but not limited to, core body temperature, pupils and type of ambulation the patient is capable of... blah blah blah) Oh please it could even confuse a hearing person! LOL I am really enjoying being out in the real world with people who know little of my hearing history the one's that learn of it are shocked, saying they would never have known.
I have made a precious new friend that I believe has been brought to me by God himself. Her name is Pebbles and yes she is that cute. Her life lessons are speaking to me in many ways, so she is a great study partner on lessons of life and nursing. (Thanks Pebbles)
I must add a note about life outside of school. I MISS IT!!!! All I do is study, study and more studying. I have so many treasured friendships that have fallen to the side because of school. Please forgive me Dear Ones.
Katrina Note: Walter, Denise and James are back home in New Orleans, with very mixed emotions. It is home and they love that side of it but they say it is now so different. Their friends and loved one's are spread all over the country. The simple normalcy's of life are gone. Walter is working nonstop and being there is taking a toll on all of their health. Scott and Michelle are settling in well, they miss home but know it is best to be here, at least till after the baby is born.
It's time to hit the books again!!!

Friday, August 05, 2005

T-link or T-coil for phone

I am in heaven!!!! My great audie has really hooked me up this time! (Susie, thank you so much for this latest find). I have been talking on the phone and doing ok but I have to use a head-set or speaker phone and then I have it so loud that everyone can hear my conversation. The weight of the head-set causes my ci hook to cut into my ear and that hurts. Well no more!! I now have a silhouette t-coil with mic that sends the voice right into my ear (head). I am still learning to hear and some people are harder that others, but with time I know I will be successful with all voice types.