Pre CI-op. seminar

I spent 3 days last week attending a course about CI and how to deal with the long waiting.

First of all I must say it was a good seminar. Especially since I met a woman who has already been through the ordeals of having the CI-operation on both ears. She also works as a physical therapist specialising in psychometric movements, and knows a lot about the stress the body endures when being deaf or near-deaf. It was great talking to her and getting to know her. Inger Anita Herheim (formerly known as Fjose) is her name, and I guess there are a lot of people in Norway who owes her bigtime. Being a tremendous asset to the CI- and hearing-case in Norway, that’s no wonder.

Inger Anita had a task at the seminar, and that was to teach us techniques for handling stress and tension related to our condition. I have encountered Inger Anita once before, at another seminar at the University of Oslo, where she did the same thing. I had a revelation. As I’m prone to get headaches and suffer from severe fatigue, I’m one of her targets 🙂

I need a few things to start on the exercises she taught us, and as soon as that falls into place, I’ll be happy to report more in detail here later.

Moving on….  The seminar dealt mostly with the thoughts that the participants had. We shared experiences and stories in group sessions. Important information came to light:

  • Even the most dedicated and engaged spouse or relative could not possibly, REALLY relate to how the condition of near-deafness actually affected the person with impaired hearing. The consensus was that only through group sessions with other relatives, and in dialogue with specialist (such as physical therapists, audiologist, psychologists etc) who could explain various aspects of the condition, more insight could be reached. More information to relatives from both the near-deaf themselves and from various fields of expertise is strongly needed.
  • In the light of the previous point; the same applies for work-places, governing bodies of our societies and in media.
  • All participants shared the experience that information about CI, about various official and medical services that could help and so-forth, was scarce. The rule is that one has to find out everything for oneself.
  • Participants also agreed that in many cases the life-situation of the near-deaf could be so difficult that help would be needed from a third party to get into programs and to get general help. People who should have information and give suggestions (like primary physicians (your medical doctor) and bureaucrats in the well-fare system) more often than not, FAIL to do their job in this aspect.
  • Near-deaf people need to REPORT their needs even if it’s not there in the first place, in order to make the needs visible to politicians.

I might add more later if I remember more….

A lot to digest

Just came back from a 3-day course about CI for people who are waiting for CI-operation. For now I will just note some points that I’ll explore further at a later time.

* Debate on 1 vs. 2 implants – how can anyone think that one implant is sufficient?
* Physical impacts over time on body for hard of hearing/deaf people
* Excercises and equipment to prevent further physical symptoms
* Collection of information about resources for deaf and hard of hearing people
* About the course itself, a subjective analysis – lessons to be learned
* My status – sorry for not being able to write for some time now…. Been too busy…
* Insert more links – places to meet on internet? Forums? etc etc
* Collect experiences – both pre- and post-operation, create a databank of some sort?

As for today I’m way too tired to think or write intelligently about any of these subjects….

What is Cochlear Implant? The video answer

Curious about what a Cochlear Implant really is and how it works? Well, here’s the answer! 

The importance of the eyesight when deaf

Three days ago I tried contactlenses for the very first time. I’ve been using glasses since the age of 13, so this was a new experience… Because of my reduced hearing I rely heavily on lip-reading as an aid to understand the spoken words.

My use of eyesight does a great deal of compensation for the lack of hearing since I learned lipreading techniques as a kid. The “IOWA”-test I did about a year back showed that with the hearing-residue I have, combined with lipreading I got a close to 90% score on understanding speech without ambient noise present. (I fill in the remaining 10% with qualified guessing) With noise present it dropped to 60% and without lipreading it was 0% perception of the spoken words… Conclusion: I rely heavily on lipreading.

Mother nature has given me eyesight that has declined throughout the years. Last time I got my eyes checked was three years ago, so it was long overdue. The new lenses give me much better sight without the hassle of scratches, fingerprints and greasestains from the frying pan.

It takes a little while getting used to, but after three days I can say that I wish I did this two years ago. I think some of my fatigue, headaches and general strain derives from the lack of following up on my eyesight. To be honest, I didn’t think of it before my girlfriend asked me to consider lenses since the glasses get in the way all the time when we want to kiss 😀

As with mye hearing, the eyes also degenerate into poorer performance so slow that it is virtually undetectable in everyday life. I’ve learned a lesson: do not assume that your senses are allright, go get it checked at least once a year!

So yet again, something that I have to thank my great fabulous girlfriend for!!!!

Thanks for being in my life sweetheart!