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….