Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My CI story published at "Hearing Health Foundation"

Hello there!!!

It was been literally a while! We had first snow here in Salzburg a few days ago :O 

A few weeks ago, I have posted some of my poems about my ear on some Facebook pages that deal with hearing and cochlear implants and I came across this one called "Hearing Health Foundation"

Their aim is to prevent and cure hearing loss through groundbreaking research. 

I have posted some poems on their Facebook page.

 One of the poems that I have posted was this one, called "A Different World". You can find this poem in a better resolution to read on my page HERE as well as the poem in the photo description to read. Please take a look to read it. It contains some background information about how I got my hearing loss and a brief story how I lost my hearing.

It is about my first experience with my new cochlear implant. The first few days were really hard to adjust but I was open about this new "thing" so everything else was just falling into place. So after I posted this poem, I got a message from Tara from the Hearing Health Foundation and she asked me if I would like to include my story on their website and so I did. :)))

Hi Sandra,
Thanks so much for sharing your experience and these two beautiful poems! They are a great addition to our collection of stories!

Here is an excerpt of her email. I was really excited and thankful for such an opportunity that I have immediately put together my story and prepared some poems to accompany my text.

HERE is my story :))) It is on their cover page of their website! Here's how it looks like. Please go and visit their website and read my story.

I'm very thankful for that as it enables me to share my cochlear implant journey with thousand other people all over the word! We have so many things in common and it's so nice to exchange thoughts on the same "thing" :)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cochlear contact request

I have to say "Cochlear" is very thoughtful not to request to fill out the "phone number" i.e. Telefon. 
I don't know their reasons why they left this out, why it's not mandatory... but to me it seems like they know that CI users have sometimes trouble to do phone calls. It's true! It can be intimidating to have to call someone especially when you don't know whether you'll hear the caller or not. Or the other way round, if you have a call and you don't know who's calling.

Though it gets better with time but still for some it can remain a challenging task.

Imagine what a torture it can be if you are working somewhere where you have to sell products to customers... every day phone calls to master. Every day this frustration because you have missed a word, issued a wrong invoice or people turn out to be unfriendly and don't want to repeat every sentence twice!

I'm glad this is not something I have to deal with anymore. I can do phone calls and I do them every now and then. I had one today with someone (I'll tell you in my next few posts) more later.

It depends a lot on the situation where, when & who's calling.

This post definitely doesn't have to do with this here but the contact form request just reminded me of that.

So today I have tried to reach out to Cochlear Ltd in Germany. I would love to somehow spread awareness with my poems on their website. I'd be glad for any help or advice that I could get. In fact they got back to me the same day and will forward my email to another woman who will get in touch with me very soon! This sounds exciting!

I'll let you know what will come out of it. In any case it's already great that I have reached out and made contact with them. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hearing disturbed phone calls

Hmm not sure how to begin but there is surely something I have to write about. 

When I am outside, I like to do phone calls outside at this phone booth. Before you ask why I do it in that booth rather than inside or from my phone. I just like it this way and it's convenient when I am around this place.

So,... whenever I am outside and on the phone with someone, there comes a pedestrian to throw away empty glass bottles. It's really ironic because I do not hear well and whenever I am calling someone, there comes someone to make noise.

I am really wondering who got the idea to put those bottle banks right next to a phone booth. It couldn't be a better places especially if you are hearing impaired. For someone who hears well this might not be a big deal but for someone who has either a hearing aid or a cochlear implant it can be really frustrating, or am I the only one who feels this way??? I'm curious (-.-)

Sometimes I feel like close to say something but when I see elderly people then I dismiss the thought. They cannot anything for it and I wouldn't want them to feel bad but when there are younger ones then I sometimes give them this look like "Can't you do this later? Don't you see I'm calling someone??" I must have this attraction because as ironic as it is, it is always me who attracts people when I speak with someone.

For whoever chose to put the glass tanks here I'd really appreciate if you could relocate them somewhere else because this place is really by far not appropriate!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Different World - POEM

© 2011 Sandra Stolnik ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Good evening!!

Here's a new poem. It's published in my book, though I put it on my photo from hospital to give you a visual input as well :) 

2010 I got my cochlear implant and the first few days with this new technology inside my ear was wicked :D, confusing and really tough to adjust but I made it and I made a speedy recovery although everything sounded so strange in the first few months. However, day by day my hearing got better and then all of a sudden it got normal, back to what it was before, ... before I had my hearing loss, when I knew what's like to hear "normal" with a hearing aid.

I cannot describe it but, so much has changed since then and yes music is heavenly!!! I can hear it and it does sound so natural and I hear all the various tones which I haven't heard before. I can live a normal life again and even the big battery adjustment I accepted. I have to change batteries every 3 days and take two of those little "button batteries", you know those little ones.

Before that .. a hearing aid could work for a whole week and you only needed one tiny battery... At present I don't mind it. I always have a reservoir of batteries at home and in almost every back and jacket too, just to make sure ;)

I am SO HAPPY I took notes & wrote poems. Time's passing by so fast and without all the notes I wouldn't remember everything, every detail like this poem describes my first experience with my new hearing. (The car sound) :)

Enjoy it! I'm sorry for the long post. Thanks for reading this far, it means you care to read. :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hansaton ↪ fixed my speech processor "cable"

I went to Hansaton and they replaced this cable with a new one. 

After almost 3 weeks I finally had this fixed... I should have gone earlier to get this done. Right after work, I stopped by to see if they could help me. The staff at Hansaton was very friendly and they immediately offered me to take a seat while they will fix it.

I waited a bit and then the woman came back with my speech processor and had the old with her. She exchanged it. I only had to sign something to submit it to the social insurance. They will hopefully cover the costs. I am glad to be living here in Austria with a good social system when such costs are covered by the insurance.

Afterwards I talked to the woman and we spoke about ear. I'm surprised they they all know who I am and my story with my cochlear implant. I didn't come often after my surgery. It has been really a while but they still do remember me. It's nice to see that. I told her that one day I will definitely want to risk another surgery just to see, to have clarity, whether I can hear or not ...

My concern is more, whether the future surgery will bring a little success and make my right deaf ear come to life or not! 

I still it will work out. I cannot predict it and most people told me otherwise. I already have one hearing ear so why risking another surgery. I try to understand their point of view but if I never give it a try, I will have find my peace. Today I read some of my papers from hospital and all the detailed explanation about my ear, the x-ray results etc. and I read how there are certain parts missing in my ear or not fully. It's too complicated to explain why they are missing but it's enough for me to know this. It means some parts of my cochlear are not there. Sometimes I wish they made some kind of 3-D photo to show it to me, as I'd like to see it myself, how my ear looks like inside.

click to enlarge

I have well adjusted to this new change with my cochlear implant. I hear well enough. Misunderstandings are still there and happen but it happens more often when I don't look at the person who talks to me, when I don't know the person is talking to me. I need to see their faces to hear. It's like this quote

"'Take off your sunglasses,' I tell my surprised companion. 'I can't hear you.' By BEVERLY BIDERMAN.

The same is with me. I cannot hear when I don't see a face, even though with the CI I hear really well, I cannot complain BUT I still misunderstand. This still happens. I have only one ear where I hear. I do not hear anything on my right ear so it's a bit challenging with the directional hearing...

So with this brief excerpt of my report.. hmm I don't know what to think about... but I want to believe in a miracle and I DO believe. I don't need 1,000 people to believe but if I alone believe, then I already make a difference.

Miracles do happen!

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