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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Love Is ...

Today I am reminded about how lucky I am to have been given a 2nd chance at hearing. Before I had my daughter, I accepted that my hearing was getting worse & I think I had acknowledged the fact that i'd just 'be deaf'. At that time (before being pregnant, so early 2009), I was under the assumption that I wasn't a candidate for the Cochlear Implant. I had testing for it years ago & wasn't eligible. To be honest, I can't even remember why. Whether it was because my hearing loss wasn't severe enough, i'm not sure. It was pretty bad at the time still, but I was getting by with BTE hearing aids.

Part of me wonders if I had not had a child, whether I would have even bothered to return to the possibility of getting a Cochlear Implant or whether I would like as I said before, just be deaf & accept it for what it is & go about my everyday life. Lived as a recluse perhaps, I don't know. The good thing is now that I don't have to think about that!

I had major depression & depressing thoughts about being a deaf Mum. It just wasn't what I thought I would be. I have the most respect for anyone who has gone through this longer than I have. Each person is different, but for me, as someone who has had hearing before - I know what a bird sounds like & all those things most people take for granted. I couldn't bare the thought of not hearing my daughter ever, so each day since her birth, it dragged me down each & every day. Especially when I knew she was crying her eyes out as a baby & I could see the look of frustration on my hubbys face. I could see how bad the crying was & not being able to settle her etc. But at the same time, I felt out of the loop, coz I wasn't hearing her. Her crying was silent to me. Her screaming, her wailing, her shrieking etc. All meant nothing. I couldn't tell if she was crying unless I could see her face & even then, unless her face was bright red or tears falling down her face, I really didn't understand whether she was crying or laughing.

So all this sort of stuff, analysing her face. Trying to work out what she was doing at each moment of the day, it was so exhausting. Then to top off the exhausting days, I had to try & comfort myself. I felt so alone in a silent world. My hubby could talk to his parents over the phone & maybe get some advice about things or just blurt things out. But for me, being deaf & not having that option, it was very overwhelming at times & I would cry myself to sleep. Not knowing where I fitted into this world. Maybe this world of motherhood wasn't for me. Was I selfish for having a baby when I knew that I wouldn't be able to hear her? She deserves better than me - someone who can hear her without staring at her all the time to SEE a response.

So anyway, today I was reminded of how lucky I am that my Cochlear implant surgery went so incredibly well & today - only 3months after my switch on date. I have almost forgotten all those times of self hate, the feeling of being so alone & depressed because I can't hear my daughter giggle & laugh.

Because now I can! I am loving waking up each day knowing that I get to HEAR her. Even on the grumpy frumpy days ;) And today, as I was changing her nappy (yes, still can't get her toilet trained ARGHH), I got the pleasure of listening to her sing the alphabet song which she seems to have adjusted to suit herself lol.


You get the idea ;) it goes over & over & over apparently ;) Its a neverending song, rather than "now I know my ABC, next time won't you sing with me!" lol.

Another song shes singing lots of Ram Sam Sam - this was sung at her Kindy Concert on Tuesday & shes been singing it for the past month or so. But it brings back so many happy memories of me singing it at Brownie & Girl Guide camps etc when I was little, over in NZ. So I get to reminisce as well as enjoy my daughter sing :)

Words cannot express how much I am loving it right now :) I cry so often now ... but this time, its tears of joy, amazement, surreal feeling of being able to hear better than I have for the past 12 years or so!

I know there is still a long long road ahead of me, learning to undo all these little habits that i've gathered during my bad hearing & deaf period. Things like looking down at the ground while walking. Ive been doing that for so many years now that I need to physically remind myself not to do it & I probably need some sort of physio to help correct my posture etc now too.

Many things have changed, but I know they can be changed back to "before" as well. The most important thing in the world to me, is my lil girl, my pride & joy, the best thing in my life - & the fact that I can experience life with her now & get excited as her at hearing things.

Even yesterday, when we walked home from the bus stop, we walked past a house that has a chicken coop. A Rooster crowed! And we both heard it at the same time & looked at each other, but lil miss not having heard one before, didn't know what it was. And that was my defining moment! I was able to tell her "that is a rooster". Because I had heard it too. Before now, i've always had to say "I don't know" or "Ask Daddy" coz I can't hear anything. NOW I get to be Mum & teach her sounds! Not just look completely clueless at what shes hearing.

Happy Days! :D

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

1st Ever Kindy Concert!

Well, today was lil miss's 1st ever Kindy Christmas Concert & she was so excited! She has been saying "its a secret" everytime we have been asking her what she was doing for it. Doesn't she realise that I hate secrets? ;)

Anyway, this was going to be our very first first that all of us could be hearing. Up until today, everything was always second hand for me. The first time I heard her speak - wasn't the first time she had spoken, the first time I heard her say Mummy, obviously wasn't the first time she'd ever said Mummy. That sort of thing.

But today, we were all on equal / level territory. It was lil miss's first Kindy Concert AND therefore, it was mine & hubbys first Kindy Concert too.

They had their little party first. It was all exciting because they got to have the party in the "big kids room", which is the other side of the room where lil miss doesn't hang out, coz shes one of the "little kids". (i'm talking age, not height obviously - although, she'd still be little if it were that way lol).

Then all the family members came back after the party & they did their concert for us. I had charged the video camera for over 24hrs. Unfortunately, we realised as hubby starting recording, that the battery wasn't holding the charge! Arghh. (note to self: Get a new one!). Its been years since we last used it, but didn't even consider that, but anyway. We got most of it recorded, so her Nana in NZ & Nan in Aus will be able to see her little concert.

I managed to get a bad seat, so couldn't get many photos with my silly camera lol. Got some good shots of the 2 parents in front of me & their shoulders though ;P

But the main thing was, this was the first time I have ever felt a part of it. I couldn't understand a lot of the singing (well, the music that was coming out of the CD player). I knew I wouldn't be able to. But I could at least recognise that the noise was there. Kind of hard to explain, but I felt a part of the group because I knew when they were doing something as opossed to just sitting there & doing nothing. You know how kids are, they run around & wander off etc. Thinking about it now, I realise that if I didn't have the sound today, then I could have assumed that the kid who ran off towards his mummy part way through the concert - I might have thought that was part of it. But with sound, it helped me.

I didn't feel left out or feel like I shouldn't even be there, because lets face it, the actions that kids that age do - are never going to be exact are they lol. So its mighty confusing. But now that I have the hearing to go with it, it allows me to relax & just watch it with the sounds in the backgrounds rather than staring at the people trying to work out what was being said or trying to determine what song they might actually be singing when I had no sound. Was completely stress free which was a major change from the past!

So needless to say, I had one of the best days in such a long long time :) Now my next big day will be Christmas Day, getting to experience something similar to today & relax more & not feel that i'm missing out on parts due to needing to blink or something lol. I can actually hear whats going on around me & hear the noises coming from her toys (and yes, we have got something that has noise in it - that was a huge thing that I planned on doing. Definitely a requirement to this year! We got her something with noise in it last year when we initially thought i'd have hearing by Christmas then it didn't work out, so had to repeat that for this year after I missed out on all those 'experiencing the sounds for the first time' with her).

Monday, 16 September 2013

I hear rain!

Today it is raining for the first time since my switch on & even better, I can hear it! :)

Is kind of a weird experience. I know this version of the sound processor is one the most water resistant processors out there, but still ... my instincts make me turn my head so i'm trying to avoid rain getting on my processor when I just went outside to put a bag of rubbish in the bin.

Turning my head was the easiest way when I had an "in the ear" hearing aid & usually pretty good when I had a "behind the ear" hearing aid as well ... but the Cochlear Implant one is a little bit different! It goes on your head as well as your ear! Will have to learn to ignore my instincts perhaps lol

Friday, 13 September 2013

Bit of a recap ...

2weeks & 2days since my switch on - incredible! It feels "normal" already. My next challenge is to sort out the telephone! That probably doesn't sound like a hard thing to most people, but remember, sound doesn't go through my middle ear like a normal hearing person - so the ear piece of the phone doesn't sit on the ear. The microphone is up the top on the behind the ear piece of the sound processor, so little things like that will take time getting into a technique to hold it above where most people will hold it.

I also need to learn to rely on words & hearing & not lip reading. I can hear a lot of words now & have done really well with listening to sounds & some words from my audiologist speaking from behind a hand. So i'm hoping it won't be too difficult. I have lots of pointers about how to go about re-learning to use the telephone. It will be amazing to be able to chat on the phone with my Mum again! The last 2 times I spoke with my Mum on the phone were very difficult times for me. Both relating to a death to someone in my family. Most of my significant events in life since then have been either via text message or email. When I was pregnant, when lil miss was born & when we bought our first home. All via written methods rather than being able to ring up & get an instant response. It is what it is. There isn't anything I can do to change that, but i'm looking forward to being able to call her up definitely & be able to just chat. Coz sometimes its just nicer & easier to chat rather than email. And things get left unsaid or unexplained in emails.

Something i've noticed today is something a little odd, but anyway - I have confidence to leave lil miss in the living room playing with toys, or watching TV while I have a shower & i'm having a shower every day since my switch on. Very odd! I don't even have hearing while in the shower, never have never will lol. But since my switch on 2wks ago, i've gained confidence or something to allow myself to have that shower everyday. Haven't done that since I was pregnant lol (not saying I stunk!! But I didn't have one daily, which I used to do). Maybe its partly due to the fact that lil miss is older & I can trust her to be OK out there. She can open the bathroom door if she needs to now as well. But I think it has been a lot to do with my switch on too. So much has changed in myself since that day.I am actually feeling more awake during the days too because of the shower, or at least thats what I think.

I had my 2nd appointment on Wednesday this week, since the switch on. My hearing is pretty stable already. Im very surprised. Only a few adjustments were made, mainly for those high pitched sounds that i'm not used to & that I feel like I want to turn it off when I hear them. So now, those things that hurt me, don't anymore. But all that was changed without the need to reduce clarity or volume of the everyday stuff. Fantastic! While I was waiting for my train today, I heard some sparrows chirping. I think they are such cute little creatures & love their little chirping. Have so missed hearing them! We don't have many near our house & I actually got on a different train station today, so they obviously have them there. Was a lovely moment.

The list below, may seem like really basic things, but they are also things that probably most of us take for granted. Tiny little things that you don't even imagine not being able to hear, they are just a fact of everyday life for most of us. It may make you wonder what it is like to not hear them each & every single day. Its a scary time to lose your hearing after having heard all of this sort of thing before. 

Here is a recap of what I have heard in the past 2weeks & 2days (still can't believe half of it myself!) ...

  • My daughter!
  • One of the best things besides being able to hear my daughter in general, is hearing her say "Mummy" & "I love you, Mummy" xxx :) (I also heard her say "I hate you Mummy. I want Daddy!" for the first time yesterday - that wasn't so great Doh!)
  • My husband
  • Sewing Machine
  • Rotary cutter (craft related)
  • Iron steaming
  • Water dripping from the tap
  • Tap being turned on & releasing water!
  • Key unlocking the front door 
  • the wind! 
  • Pedestrian crossing lights noise when its time to cross (incredible being able to not have to stare at the green lil man & rely on that!)
  • Frypan with oil sizzling
  • plastic bags crinkling
  • newspaper being turned
  • Kenwood mixer
  • Microwave 
  • various celebrities voices on TV for the first time (thankfully, have not yet heard One Direction or Justin Bieber though!)
  • My cat, Ozzie purring
  • Pigeon flapping its wings during take off
  • Birds of all varieties chirping & tweeting 
  • Train announcements
    • While sitting on the platform, the train announcement saying where the train is going to & what stations it stops at
    • While on the train "Doors Closing, Please stand clear"
    • Also on the train "Next stop, ...... "
  • Postie knocking on the door with a parcel!
  • lil miss & her beginning of the never ending "why, why" questions ;)
  • Next door neighbours chatting on their own property! 
  • Power tools & non-power tools like hammers happening on a house building site a couple of doors down!
  • Being able to have a conversation with hubby while in the car & he is driving!
  • Realising how much lil miss chats away in the back seat while in the car
  • ATM machine - beeping of the numbers & telling you to take the money & card out etc
  • Computer games on Facebook that hubby & I play. 
  • Car alarms & general car park noises
  • my daughter giggling
  • Clothes pegs clicking when they go back into the basket
  • Our washing machine
  • My dog panting after playing with his toys 
  • My dogs paws tapping on the tiles in the laundry when I take him outside for the day
  • Felt tip pens being dragged along the paper by lil miss 
  • All of lil miss's toys!
  • Car indicator
  • clicking of my insulin pen when I dial up my dose
  • Mouse & keyboard clicking / tapping on the computer
  • Digital camera clicks when it takes a photo & makes a purr sound when it auto-focuses!
  • Cat meowing

Monday, 9 September 2013

Why hubby is dying a slow painful death :P

 Let me get one thing straight - hubby is not really dying obviously!

BUT, let it also be known, that hubby loves his sounds & loves his youtube videos, watching demo's, movie previews computer games, Linux seminars & whatever else on youtube!And throwing cutlery into the kitchen sink! Arghhh

But when you are me, & you are learning to hear again for the first time in years - every sound is LOUD! After my week 1 appointment last Thursday, things have gotten awfully loud for me. Anything relating to computers is loud. Oil on the frypan sizzling away - terrible!! For me that was like the water tap on full pressure shooting out of the tap. I actually turned off my sound processor during cooking time. It was that bad.

Putting pegs in the peg basket today was like throwing each peg onto a microphone. Remember last week when I said that I could actually hear this but it was fine last week. This week however, my brain has gotten more volume into it. Confusing world this CI business!

Paper crinkling & plastic bags - like the ones that the frozen vegetables, bread, or chippie packets come in. OMG make it stop!

And lil miss putting her "little people" plastic toys back in the box when cleaning up - when they touch (a little people falling onto another little people), its like someone just slapped a hand in my ear or louder!

This is the tricky part of the CI journey I think. Its finding out when is it too loud & things that seem too loud now, may not be so by the end of the week, when my head starts to tolerate it. From my understanding, what I am hearing now - the volume that my sound processor is currently set at, is not actually that loud. (This is how I think it is anyway - I need to confirm that at the next appointment to help my understanding of why its like this). So what I think my level is now, is not seen as loud in the "real world", but to me, for my head to not have heard it for so many years, its loud & yuck basically. Once my head gets used to the sound, that sound decreases & it feels "normal" or better.

People say that I must be over the moon to hear my daughter now. Of course. Absolutely! Words cannot express what I feel now that I can hear my daughter. BUT having said that, i'm not actually hearing her actual voice. Her voice to me, is different from what it actually is. What I am hearing, honestly, is an Irish accent. BUT, also, most things I haven't heard before sound like that. TV shows are sounding like that.

So at the moment, this week, hearing is very difficult & loud for me. I think thats a good thing, it might mean i'm finding where my groove is going to sit. I have an appointment this week & then I have the following week with no appointment! So, there will still be more adjusting as we go along, but hopefully this weeks adjustments will change my volume for me to a more comfortable level & it may be OK at that level for a while, or maybe long term anyway.

Other interesting news since I last posted. There is a new baby in the (extended) family. This will obviously be the first time I get to hear it, but I didn't feel this way when this person had their last baby. I wasn't wanting to go visit them at the hospital etc. I didn't feel that emotion. That may be because I am now a mum. But also, I think it possibly has a lot to do with the fact that I can hear. I will be able to hear the baby cry & coo & all of that. I can make a conversation with the parents & even talk about my experiences or compare or something. Im actually excited & looking forward to a couple of weeks time when we get to meet the new addition of the family. So that is something else I haven't yet experienced.

Having this amazing technology is also giving me some down time. Its making me realise all the things I have missed out. I'm not living with regrets, but more of "if only" perhaps. The last time I talked to my Dad on the phone I was hardly able to hear him (and those that know my dad, will know thats hard coz he talked loud! lol). He died soon after that phone call. So I was never able to talk to him again.

I'm also realising that I have been to many funerals over the years. I haven't heard them either. They have all been close members of my family & in most cases i've been able to get the eulogy of the person, printed out for me so I can at least follow that & know what has been said. One funeral that I have no idea about unfortunately is my own Dad.  The eulogy was spoken by my Dads partners son (from her 1st marriage). I don't have contact with them, so I can't get hold of what was said. I have absolutely no idea what it said. That is my regret. I have been trying for years to get my hands on it. One day I will. I am determined. There is also a video of the funeral apparently. Another thing I haven't got my hands on. My half siblings seem to have fallen off the earth & so I am unable to get their copies.

I also missed out on hearing our wedding. I know what hubby wrote for his vows (I was the one that typed it out for him lol). But I didn't get that special moment to hear him saying it. I didn't get to hear the celebrant speaking. Again, I know what she said coz I was the one that organised it all & typed it all up. But these are just my feelings. I know I have heard before in life & I know that I am now hearing again, but this little sink hole of the period I haven't heard - these things bother me.

I have a dream to renew our vows in May 2015, for our 10th Anniversary. I have always felt that, but now I have my hearing & its going great, its added more fire & fight into me to make that happen. It will be small, it will be cheap. I don't want to go over the top like some people do, but I want to do it again, purely to say I was able to hear at my wedding! I completely understand that if deaf people have a wedding & don't have regrets. Thats awesome. These are just my thoughts about me remember. This is my way of my life & this is how I feel. So stay tuned! I wish we had our own home by then, but I don't think that is going to happen. But you just never know ;)

Things I am hearing lately:

  • On Saturday, 7th September I heard my sewing machine for the first time. I have heard sewing machines before, but never this one & I don't think i've heard a computerised one before either. Switching it on & hearing it "beep beep" & make noises when I change the stitch etc. Fun! 
  • Heard my rotary cutter while in the sewing room. And just the scraping of the ruler across the cutting mat. That was weird. To think how many quilts / playmats i've made over the past few years & never once occured to me that any of that made a noise! I had never used a rotary cutter before I lost my hearing - I wasn't into quilting at that time. 
  • I also heard my iron steaming on Saturday too ... not much fun that of course, coz it meant I was ironing lol
  • Frypan with oil sizzling on it - far too loud, but cool for a single second when I realised I could hear it (even tho it was a terrible loudness lol)

Friday, 6 September 2013

Friday! (can't think of a better title lol)

I have been complaining about a arcade game like sound this afternoon. Been really annoying me & driving me nuts! Anyway, lil miss has been watching TV & fell asleep on the couch. She's sick & needs the rest, so the only way we manage that is to turn the TV on & have her fall asleep lol. So once she fell asleep, I turned the TV off ... Errr, arcade game like sound stopped! Geez, its annoying lol. So because the TV is on, my brain decided to throw arcade game sounds in my head. Had absolutely nothing to do with what was on the TV (It was playing Play school for goodness sake lol).

Heard my dog barking today while I was inside & he was outside. Haven't heard that in so long, I actually somehow sub-consciously told myself that he didn't bark often like this anymore. I know he used to do it, but I just assumed he didn't, maybe he was growing up? (He's just turned 7yrs old). Turns out he still does it & has always done it. Doh!

Some people have been asking me why I still have more appointments if I can hear now. It is such a complicated answer. As my brain & nerves adjust to the noise, they will accept it more. At the moment the volume is going up. My appointment yesterday, changed the volume to a higher level. Basically this part I really don't fully understand it myself, so its really hard to explain to someone else.

Also, you need to understand that my brain/nerves is hearing for the first time in 4years or so. So its like learning a new language. If you signed up for Italian lessons, & you had never ever heard a single Italian word spoken before. It sounds odd the first time you hear it. So when you hear the word, for instance "Ciao" ... your brain/nerves are going crazy nuts trying to figure out how you can repeat that back I guess. To get the pronunciation right, that sort of thing. You need to hear that word a few times to help you possibly. Thats the sort of thing that is going on for me.

I am lucky, I know the English language. I know words, I have had the gift of hearing before. For someone who has never heard, this whole journey will be much much harder i'm guessing. Someone who has been deaf for life & then all of a sudden, has hearing. They need to learn to hear the words, process them, categorise them kind of inside the brain. Remember those words, learn how to pronounce them. A lot of deaf people have limited speech, this is why. You theoretically, need to hear how its pronounced to be able to pronounce it correctly. Makes sense doesn't it. You can't just read a word on the paper for the very first time & know automatically how to pronounce it when you have never had hearing before.

It is something no one would be able to fully understand unless they were in the same position. That is why I have been saying that this whole process for me, is tiring. Imagine someone who is learning for the very first time. I have it "easy"!

I currently don't have any idea where the sound is coming from. That is another thing I have to relearn how to do. If I hear a noise, my head just goes nuts, trying to figure out where that noise came from. Its probably something that hearing people don't even think about. Like for instance, I heard my mixer on today for the first time ever since I have had it. I know that now. But at the time of hearing the noise, I had no idea what it was. I was completely clueless at what that sound was AND where it was coming from. I looked on both of my sides & it wasn't until I looked behind me, I saw that hubby had the mixer on & thats what was making the sound.

Hoping to get into my craft room this weekend & check out my sewing machine! Got that for Christmas in 2011, but have not heard it as yet! No idea if it beeps when I press all the computerised buttons etc that are on it. Will be fun, almost like having a brand new machine I guess.

 What i'm hearing today:

  • Baking Day today, which means I got to hear my Kenwood Mixer for the first time, that hubby bought me for Christmas last year!
  • Heard the microwave the other day. Don't think I commented on it, so i'll say I heard it today (Used the timer on it today while baking!)
  •  Strange little thing I noticed tonight watching The Living Room on channel 10. I have never heard Miguel or Barry before! I've watched Bondi Vet with hearing so i've heard Chris talk & have heard Amanda on various things before. But i've never heard Miguel or Barry. I'm a huge fan of this show, we watch it every night. So it was funny when I watched it tonight hearing their voices for the first time, coz even without hearing them before & relying on captions each week, i've loved them & laughed so much watching this show (not sure why it didn't click when I watched it last Friday lol. Or maybe I didn't watch it lol). 
  • The cat purring! I think I have heard it before today, earlier in the week but it was today when it really stood out due to the cat sitting on my chest & purring right next to my aid lol

Thursday, 5 September 2013

End of Week 1

Today was my Week 1 appointment, after the initial switch on last week. Everyday I am reminded how totally lucky I am & how amazing my journey is. But its times when I go to the specialist for a check up that i'm reminded just how amazing my particular journey is.

My appointment today, was such a reminder of how far i've come in just 1 single week! For those who don't realise just how depressing deafness can be, I can count on my hand the number of times when i've gone out by myself, taken public transport, taken myself to an appointment, or gone shopping on my own.

Today, I took the train, then walked to my appointment (about 15mins from train station). Went into the clinic AND had a conversation with the receptionist! (During my deaf years, hubby would always be with me & usually tell the receptionist that i'm here for my appt. I didn't have any confidence & was completely reliant upon hubby during these times). Then I went into my appointment, my specialist asked me if i'd mind if she brought in one of the other staff members to show her how well I was doing, I said yes! I actually allowed someone else to come into my "safety zone". Something i'd never do or at least never feel strong enough to do with no hearing. Often I would just nod if I was asked & let them do whatever they wanted to do, didn't mean I liked it though (during my pregnancy, there were a lot of trainee doctors etc, so I dealt with this sort of thing a lot. Never liked it though).

I then had a complete conversation with both of the ladies in my appointment! And I really enjoyed it. I understood everything that was being said.I was a part of the conversation, I was the focus of the conversation actually & I was OK with that! Usually I am the person that sits there & stares at my shoes coz I can't keep up with a conversation & lip read everyones mouths when they talk. And I just nod or 'hmmm' or 'yeah' every so often in the conversation as it goes along.

After my appointment, I had lunch at McDonalds, which isn't very exciting, but thats what I felt like. Usually when I have gone there on my own before & not had hubby buying it for me, the registers never have the amount appear on the screen - I usually always look at that. I also usually either hand over a $20 note coz its easier & I know i'll get change when I don't know how much the total is. Or i'll use my eftpos. Not today tho! I used the correct cash amount coz I could hear them! Cool huh! First time i've done that in years. Hearing the amount & then being able to count the money out. Yes, I know I could ask them to repeat the amount, but often I get weird looks at that & really, when i'm deaf, I was always trying to have as little attention put on me as possible! So obviously the $20 note or the eftpos was the easiest solution, other than having lunch at home!!

THEN I went to Pandora! I haven't been in there before because its such a small shop & you can't really browse in there coz its just shelves & shelves of charms but you can only look on the top shelf. But this time, I went in & said hello when they did etc. had a look around & then asked if I could see a particular charm that I wanted. The lady found it & showed me, then I asked if there was any other options. She took out another one which was very nice but more expensive. So I took the cheaper one. This doesn't sound like anything special probably when you are reading this, but from my side - it is huge! To actually have initiated a conversation with the staff member & enquire about something - that was a huge thing for me. I have had my pandora bracelet since my 30th in April last year & the day I bought the pandora bracelet with my birthday money, was the one & only time I have walked into a Pandora shop!!

Pandora Gift Charm - to represent my "Gift of hearing again"
Its a Gift/ present. (The other one had pink "ribbon" instead of being all silver like this one).

The meaning behind it for me is, that I wanted a "gift" charm to represent my Cochlear Implant journey & that I have been given the "gift of hearing once again". So thats what this charm means for me! I have been thinking about it for a while, but decided that I had to do it properly & have done the whole day by myself. I had to go to my appt by myself without hubby, & then into the shop & buy it. Coz I have been hiding from that since being deaf. And obviously it would have been heaps easier for me to have ordered it online & got it delivered to me at home! (Believe me, I went online the night of having it switched on last week & its probably still sitting in the shopping cart on that website!) I did want to get it on the day of the switch on, after we finished the appt, which wouldn't have worked out anyway as the shops were shut by that time. So thats when I thought about it & decided to give myself little goals to get myself used to going out on my own & being independent again. So this was my first step!

What i'm hearing today:

  • Walking to my appointment, I walked past a pigeon on the ground. When I got nearer, the pigeon flapped its wings & flew away! I heard the flapping of the wings! That was awesome!  
  • I heard the station announcement on the train. When the train dude says what station is next stop!