Nedsatt hørsel? Sliten? Kurstilbud

Nasjonalt senter for hørsel og psykisk helse arrangerer mestringskurs for deg med nedsatt hørsel. Oppstart januar 2013.

Nedsatt hørsel innebærer for mange en kontinuerlig kompenseringsinnsats. Du må kompensere mentalt for den informasjonen du mister, du kompenserer for muskulære anstrengelser i nakke og skulder, for nedsatt balanse, du bruker energi på å lokalisere hvor lyder kommer fra osv. Stress og følelse av utmattelse forekommer ofte i kjølvannet av nedsatt hørsel.

I forbindelse med doktorgradsprosjektet “Mestring av psykososialt stress ved hørselstap” har vi utarbeidet en kurspakke basert på kognitiv terapi og erfaringer vi har samlet fra hørselshemmede gjennom studien.

Dersom du er interessert, nysgjerrig på dette kurset – eller kjenner noen kurset kunne være aktuelt for, nærmere informasjon:
Sidsel Haaberg, tlf. 22 92 35 02/951 57 782
Maj Volden, tlf. 916 20 315
Jenny Meling Hansen, tlf. 941 54 472

Kurset koster egenandel (for tiden 307,-) pr. samling – opp til frikortsgrensen.

Se for øvrig: her.

How am I doing, 8 days after bi-lateral surgery

A lot of people asks me how I am doing, so I better post an update Smilefjes
If you want to know more about Cochlear-implants, click linked image below to read more…

pic-cochlear

Compared to the first surgery I underwent in 2009, this operation was a walk in the park. My surgeon specializes in gentle surgery, and I can tell you, my first CI-surgeon was a butcher compared to Dr. Med. Marie Bunne.

Some of my blog posts from the days after my first surgery (listed by date of publishing): day 3: Feeling beaten up… , Day 5 – From dull to sharp – in many ways , On the operating-table , Post-Surgery and The Day after , Tinnitus maximus terrorismus and some of the other posts from 2009 mentions the problems with balance (Oct., Nov. and Dec. 2009).

The upside

I have been up and about ever since day two. Today, 8 days after, I’m starting doing the annual accounting work for my company, nageldata.no. In other words, back to work, even if it’s just tedious easy work… First surgery had me bound to bed for two-three months!

The surgery-wound dressing fell off two days ago, and I didn’t bother replace it, since the wound is dry and looks beautiful. I mess as little as possible with it. It is itchy from time to time, but I just rub the skin close to the stiches, that’s enough.positive-attitude

Sleep has been good, except for the pain. The first nights I was, just like after first surgery, just deep into the sleep (medication plus recovering from surgery trauma). Bliss. Now it’s slowly getting back to normal, that is; waking easier by smell, light or movement. I expect pain from pressure from head lying on pillow on the “wrong” side disappears in a day or three.

I’m looking forward to a much quicker recovery this time, and that is not wish-thinking. I have plans to take up swimming as soon as the wound is healed and stitches are gone. That will speed up balance-recovery as well as improve the tinnitus-situation.

Speaking of tinnitus, there has not been much difference in tinnitus this time. The first surgery was followed by an explosion of tinnitus, mostly in the operated ear. But also in my left ear, due to the sudden silence (I could not bear to use the hearing aid, it wasn’t of any use. On the contrary, it was outright painful. This time it has been a few episodes in the newly operated ear, but they have been mild, like they were before the surgery. And there is the same constant sound it has been the last two years, sounding like a power relay station, that humming sound.

The downside

negative-space-9I’m dizzy, on the verge of nauseous. It’s quite constant, but I can’t move my head too much, or it’ll get much worse fast. Especially looking up/down, is a movement my balance-organ doesn’t like very much.

The suspected migraine aura thing is just around the corner most of the time. It feels like pressure behind my eyes, and the eyes feel very dry and almost as if it has been overexposed to direct sunlight (the words snow blind comes to mind). I have become much more vary of the symptoms now, and make precautions such as turning lights off, resting or taking time-out. The surgery didn’t make it worse in itself, but the dizziness combined with this migraine aura is very tiring and debilitating.

glassy_soundSound in my first CI is different these days. First i thought it was because I had a flu-bug since 3-4 days before surgery, and finally got rid of it on day 6-7 after surgery. But the “glassy” sound is still there, and makes me a little bit annoyed with speech-sounds. I isolate rather quickly these days. (Sorry about that, wife Trist fjes ) While writing this I’m force feeding myself with Pearl Jam, even though sounds make me feel dizzy. I just want to give it massive amounts of sounds in order to get my brain to get over being seasick. It’s really exhausting work, listening to something I really like, while the sound itself makes my head spin Trist fjes Something has changed inside my head again, that’s for sure. I think the pressure from the fluids inside the newly operated ear has an effect on both the vestibular system, as well as my inner ear. I suspect the situation will normalize sooner or later.

Tired, or constantly near-tired, is my mainly prevalent condition these days. I’m somewhat used to it, but after being on my road to (very slow) improvement the last 12 months, I realize that it comes with a rather significant mental price.

grumpyI’m back to being grumpy, quickly irritated. Having said that, these mental symptoms are milder this time, compared to after the first surgery. I think being aware of the above mentioned is half the cure. Also previous experience helps. I know somewhat what is happing, the anxiety isn’t as strong because of that. The rest of the cure comes when my physical condition improves and I’m going back to cognitive therapy in February again. Well timed, and I hope it will not be too many sessions. I hope to be finished with it for good before summer 2012.

Family life

My wife (we got married December 18th 2011 Smilefjes ) is my greatest support. I might have days where I just want to be left alone and not have to relate to anyone, especially in these recovery weeks. Having a family, including a 10 weeks old baby: Joanna, is more a boost than a burden. It reminds me of what I really want in this life, and how it could have become: without CI and the chance to hear again, I would be in a very dark place. Sure, I would have found a way to be happy and function, but it would probably been a much longer and harder road.

Ulf_091010_0204_biggerNow I get to be a father of a wonderful baby girl (not forgetting our two boys eitherSmilefjes), I have a great deal to look forward to, and I have the special one to share it with Smilefjes and her family as a new branch of my social network as well Smilefjes

I feel I have beaten the odds (of my life) in many ways, but half of that victory belongs to my beloved Mette too… Without her never ending patience, her loving care, her endurance, her positiveness, her stubbornness, her dedication and all those other things, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Thank you for your love, love!!! ♥♥♥

Shy? Investigating social phobia…

Social-Phobia Social phobia, also know as social anxiety, is the third largest psychological problem in the world today… This diagnosis has a higher representation among people with hearing difficulties (and other populations segments), than in the average population. This site offers more information: http://www.socialphobia.org/

Background: Katharine Cecilia Peterson (Kate for short, brief presentation further down) has asked me (and others) to join her as a co-therapist for a research project looking into social phobia and the effects of cognitive therapy.

social_phobiaDisclaimer/personal experience: I can not claim expert clinical knowledge regarding social phobia, other than that I have experienced it on my own. To what degree I experienced social phobia is also a subjective matter. Also I am not an expert on cognitive therapy either, other than that of my own experience with such therapy, and it’s effect, regarding my tinnitus (reference to earlier blog posts relating to this matter: No cure for tinnitus, Life gets easier, Difference btw recruitment and tinnitus, Tinnitus cognitive therapy) I was open minded about the cognitive therapy approach, and did all the training by myself, in addition I had three hour long sessions with a professional advisor.

The text after the double line has been copied, translated and adapted from http://katharinececiliapeterson.wordpress.com/ , she writes her blog in Norwegian.

She is a psychologist, and has been a valuable contact for me personally through the years, since I have met her on various occasions/courses, and she works at the place where I received psychological therapy: Nasjonalt Senter for Hørsel og Psykisk Helse. She played a small part (HUGE gratitude on my part!) for my mental wellbeing today, as she helped me get in touch with the right people when I needed it the most. Currently she is heading a research project I will write more about in the time to come (since I am a part of the project, obviously)

Ok, let’s get down to the business at hand 🙂

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Read the rest of this entry »

What happened with the “recruitment”?

I got this question from a reader (Candy):

Kim’s post send me here, and I really like your post.  What gets me amazed is that I do have that problem some of the time and I never knew there was a word for it!  😉
Do you have implants now? and, if so, does it helps get rid of recruitment?  If it does, then it would be a good reason for me to get it and stop procrastinating!  😉

Instead of answering Candy directly, I think everybody who has read my original post about the phenomenon called “recruitment”, also deserves to see my response:

Read the rest of this entry »

Revisiting old demons (emotions) part II

1594255-1-angels-and-demons-or-angel-of-light These demons used to be much bigger for me before I had sessions with an psychologist for two years prior to my CI-surgery. The reason I want to write about them now, and share them with you all, is that it is my belief that the social handicap a dysfunctional hearing represents also makes these emotions (and others as well) grow bigger and more difficult to handle, unless focused on and talked about. (Be advised: I do not know what is “normal”, and I do not have any formal education in the field of psychology, only my own life experiences including two years in psychology therapy for a moderate depression. I’m not an expert.)

If left unattended and with unfortunate social climate (lack of compassionate, patient and understanding people around you), these emotions represents ultimately bigger issues than the hearing dysfunction in itself!

11FA89-apologetic In the aftermath, where I said my apologies (there has been many of them in my life…) the flashback feelings appears. And they are not nice. I thought I buried them a while back (in the context were talking about here), but evidently not. I guess I had hopes that I too would feel like a “normal” person in the aftermath of the CI-surgery (just to inform you all, I have not been activated yet). I think that these thoughts have been part of my what-I-hope-the-surgery-will-fix-thoughts. Anyway, a reminder to myself, that despite I’m now actually a cyborg, and I have prospects of hearing better than I have ever done in my life, my old demons will still be there, lurking and waiting for another episode where I loose my temper.

Why, I ask myself, do I succumb for the anger again and again? I have felt humiliated due to misunderstandings a million times, and every time it’s followed by all these other bad feelings.

covering-shame-for-blog I feel ashamed of myself, most often I have wrongly insisted on being right at the expense of someone else.

I am embarassed and feel guilty because I was wrong. I feel like I did something bad. I don’t like being wrong. I see myself as an informed and knowledgeable individual, but that doesn’t help one bit in a social context where I have to rely on my hearing and ability to lip-read and interprate situations and bodylanguage etc. And take guesses!

I feel sadness, because the misunderstanding and process of clearing things up first kills any good moods and happy conversation for everyone present. Secondly I feel sadness because I think it is bloddy unfair to both myself and anyone involved. It doesn’t have to be like that? OR?

I feel humiliated because I am, despite my intentions not to be so, has been mistaken about something, and it is public knowledge that I screwed up and made an ass of myself.

pity20partyweb800x6001 I feel sorrow (selfpity) because these kinds of situations are always hard reminders that I am not like “everybody else”. I’m a deaf person. An outcast.

Lastly I have regrets, because I feel personally responsible for getting wrongfully angry or righteous in the first place, and that I hurt someone and feel bad about that. Secondly i have regrets because I’m a stubborn person and in the heat of an argument, I’m pretty strongheaded and easily dismiss others arguments even before they have been completed. I’m sorry about repeating that mistake over and over again.

I had a thought about dwelving further in these matters, kind of debate with myself, but right now my head feels like mashed potato, så I will leave it hanging, and perhaps pick it up again later.

(Note to self, when I’ve been wrong so many times, I can begin to automatically take blame and say I did wrong?)

In the meantime, a little poem about regret:

A Farewell to Regret

This is my farewell to Regret,
Who served to teach me lessons
I shall not forget-
For now I have been acquitted
From the mistakes and the wrongs
I have committed
This marks the end of self-loathing
I’ve shed my tattered pieces
Of blame-stained clothing
Instead, I shall wear your pardon
Like sunlight falls upon a
Victory garden

Revisiting old demons (emotions) part I

emotions01

Post-surgery day 7. A good day. Dizzyness has significantly decreased.

Today I want to dive into a very heavy subject: psychology. Or to be more precise: the psychological impact of hearing dysfunction in the social context.

I might begin to generalize, and if someone reading this should feel I’m plainly wrong, please feel free to leave a comment. I’m always open for arguments, and I might even edit my post if need be.

I had a very strange day yesterday. I feel my physical shape is improving rapidly and started yesterday with daily chores like the dishwashing (we have no dishwashing machine yet) and laundry for the first time post-op. Of course, I got tired really quickly, and the dizzyness didn’t make it easier to do things. First part of day was good and up-beat.

The latter part was more downbeat, and in an attempt to analyze myself I will tell you about an episode that gave me much to think about (yes, this is the therapeutical part of my blog ;-)  )

settlers We sat down for a game of “Settlers of Catan” in the evening, and things weren’t going my way, gamewise, so I became a little grumpy (I don’t like to loose…  “shocker” :-)  ) and I felt my opponents were conspiring against me. Then, during the game, I caught my opponents talking about what I had done in my last operations (in order to figure out what kind of cards I might have on my hand). I confronted them with this, did I hear correctly? And I got an immediate confirmation. That fired me up immediately. I got angry, and asked them not to do that, and that it was deeply unfair, since I could not follow their conversation properly. They tried to tell me somethin more, but in my I-was-right-about-my-suspicions offended game-rage, I brushed them off. What I failed to learn at that time, was that the conversation that had actually taken place, was a mock-conversation. One was thinking out loud, and the other made mock comments.

After the game I made some obviously unwelcome comments (still being angry, and feeling victimized by a unfair conspiracy that I believed at that time to have been acknowledged and apologized for) about the game strategies of my opponents. The result was that I hurt some feelings and we had to work our way through my misunderstandings. (I react strongly on unfairness, and therefore also have great compassion for others when I’m being unfair to them)

circle4 After understanding and acknowledging the REAL situation, and that I had been somewhat mistaken, I had the visit of what I call my old demons; the emotions called: SHAME, EMBARASSMENT, GUILT, SADNESS, HUMILIATION, SORROW and REGRET.

(this post got too long, the next part will be published tomorrow.)

Status update IV – early autumn 2008 – part 5 of 5

The mental aspect

After a continuous rise of mental health throughout 2007 and the beginning of 2008 I think it is good in one aspect to get a setback. Life contains both ups and downs and what defines people is how they deal with both. I did a good job on the upside, and now I want to do an even better job on the downside. I owe it to myself, my son, my family and all my supporters out there.
My psychological therapy started in 2006 after a full breakdown. At first it was about getting myself up on my feet, and then I needed to learn to walk.
This down period I’m into now, told me one thing clearly: I need to learn to walk on my own. I have become somewhat dependant to the psychological therapy, which can not be good in the long run. So the goal for me now is to start detaching from the whole therapy thing. Time to think about throwing away the crutch.

I’m still afraid of the CI-procedure and what will mentally happen to me during the fight for bilateral which I expect will end in a clearly defined NO.
(I know I’m pessimistic, but to me this is the reality I need to face: it is not common procedure these days to get simultaneous bilateral CI in Norway. I don’t want to raise my expectations, because I know the disappointment will be difficult to bear. I’d rather fight the bilateral fight, and then become positively surprised if I manage to argue well with the deciding bodies of the political and medical bureaucracy. So the process of detachment from therapy starts now, with a goal of ending it sometime next year. I don’t go there every week, so I have a good starting point in that manner.

Political development

Things will happen this autumn and winter. I think I will save the details about that for later more detailed posts. But I think it will be interesting and maybe a little bit exciting. I can tell you this much: I have been interviewed about the whole “waiting for CI”-thing, and it will be published some time next month, I think… Will of course translate this article from Norwegian and post it here for you all to read. Hope it stirs up some debate, that is for sure!