Sunday, May 31, 2009

WSD Archive Website

All right! I managed to find a version of CuteSite Builder to use to make the Wyoming School for the Deaf Archives website. I started the website oh 2 or so years ago, and for a while I did actually focus on it and work on it. But since then, I've seriously have gotten sidetracked, it's not even funny! But now, I'm getting back on track. Afterall, I did pay for the web domain and for the hosting (which I'll have to renew this coming November I believe...). Anyway, now that I have the site builder, well it'll be smoother and easier on me. Doing a website in full fledged HTML is time consuming, and well, my HTML knowledge isn't as good as it used to be. And there's also the fact that webpage design seems to be changing constantly, with XHTML, flash, java scripting, CSS and all that jazz. Say what? Um... pft how about I just use a site builder? Yeah. And with 1 GB USB jump drives, I could possibly save the entire site on 1 (the current site is saved on a 256mb jump drive with no more room for additional files).

So the current website will definitely be renovated. I'll even play around with the Coppermine gallery and change the layout for it. I may even create a youtube account specifically for this website, as I do have a bunch of footage of random events in relation to the Wyoming School for the Deaf. I'll attempt getting in contact with those who have attended the School for the Deaf and see if they have anything they want to contribute (info, articles, photos, etc.) and go from there. As for news articles, I have plenty! I'll double-check with the current Star Tribune editor and make sure it's ok I use their articles. I'm sure it'll be no problem, as long as I credit the Tribune, which is easy. Any articles that are already on the Star Tribune website, I just link to those. Anything older, I publish onto the website with a link to since the Tribune is the source.

Now if I can just remember the plan I originally had for this website. Well... I'm not even sure where the original jump drive is. Oh that's not good, I better find it! All of the photos are on it. Hopefully it's been in my desk drawer all this time, but only time will tell.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Had my appointment today to apply for SSI. I showed up, and sat while waiting for my name to be called. Of course, I never did hear my name being called, another woman thatw as also waiting asked me if I was Meghan, then told me I had been called. Oh! Made my way over to the desk and sat down. From there, the SSA person proceeded to ask various questions and getting information and stuff off his computer. Back and forth, questions and answers (and having him repeat what he said a few times as he was quiet and I had a hard time hearing. At one point, he had to turn the computer screen so I could see a doctor's name as I thought he was saying Dr. Grit or Grint or something when really it was Green). Gave him my hearing test results (copies, of course) to be included in the file and all that stuff. He said as long as I don't make over $980 a month, I could qualify. I'm at about $850 average on a monthly basis, as long as I don't actually work up to 29 hours a week (I was approved to work up to 29 hours a week in January, but I have never made it to the full 29 hours yet as I run out of things to do at work, so I average 25-26 hours per week). He says he'll get everything sent off to the Cheyenne office, and they'll make their decision within the next 60-90 days.

This past week, I was emailing a deaf friend who had been through the SSI process. Was nice to hear from her and get some feedback. Hopefully things will work out. I'm just not going to think too much about this, I'll just stay focused on other things, keeping busy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sidekick LX 2009

I got my brand new Sidekick LX 2009 from T-Mobile yesterday. I was at work when I got the email from UPS stating they had delivered my package. After receiving that email, I was motivated to get my work done as quickly as possible so I could run home and play with my new "toy". I was so excited when I opened up the packaging, really truly excited. I have never upgraded to a new device through a mobile company before, ever. I opened up the box, and took the LX out of the plastic coverings and basically dumped everything else out of the box. Wow! It's a really nice, slick device. A definite improvement over the Sidekick 3, which I've used for over 2 years.

(click on the photos to see them in full)

I noticed there wasn't a new SIM card, so I wasn't too sure if I was supposed to use the old one from the SK3 or not. I got onto my desktop computer and logged into and used the chat support to get that question answered. "You just use the old SIM card from the old device and it'll work!" Awesome! Transfered the SIM card, installed the battery and the new teeny tiny micro SD card, plugged the LX into an outlet and powered it up. Got the LX registered under my T-mobile account name and all that jazz, and I just played with it for a while. Man it was one noisy device for a while, as I went through the settings to turn off the sounds and use the "subtle" alerts (where the trackball flickers for new messages, etc.).

the micro sd card and a nickel, so you can get an idea of the sizing of the card, in case you've never seen a micro (I was shocked to see how tiny it was!).

difference in battery sizes, and the new battery is supposed to last longer.

I'm really impressed with the new LX! A huge improvement over the 3, that's for sure. The LX has Facebook, Myspace and Twitter applications, all which you can use for free now. On the 3, you could download the Myspace application (it didn't have Facebook or Twitter so you'd have to go onto the internet to use those) and pay a monthly fee. The instant messengers are all upgraded/updated on the LX. I can now see and use all of the standard smilies on MSN now (before, my mom would use a random smilie on her side on the computer, but it'd show up as symbols on the SK3 for me). There is 3G capabilities on the LX, but of course Wyoming doesn't have the 3G coverage so I'm still using the same networks as before, but that's fine with me. Changing of text sizes on the LX now, small, medium and large. Mine's on the medium setting. Camera has been updated, and you can now take short videos with it. Hey, you can even view videos on Youtube on the LX! Wow! I'm still using the exact same plan on the LX that I was using on the 3, the Sidekick unlimited plan.

Only downside is that there's no Relay applications on the new LX's just yet. I did shoot off an email to about this and asked if they were going to have the application available soon enough. I never did use the relay on the SK 3 really, but sometimes you just never know when you're going to need the relay, so it'll be nice to have i711 on the new LX (the previous Sidekicks all should have IP-Relay and i711 applications, it's just the newest versions that don't have them just yet).

Looks like I can now text photos from the LX as well. Hm! I haven't tried this out yet, but I will someday.

Overall, I'm really impressed with the new LX 2009.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

SSI stuff

I'm still amazed that there's no ossification at all in my cochleas. Still. I just can't get over the fact!

Anyway, I basically ramsacked the computer room downstairs looking for the SSI stuff that I had gotten in the mail a couple months back. I did fill out the disability report stuff at the Social Security website in February and sent it in, and they sent back a notice with an appointment time. Of course, then, I didn't take up on the appointment and had it canceled. But today, I got online and looked real quick for a phone number, then started up a i711 relay call online. The automated stuff took a while to get through, then finally the relay operator got a hold of a live representative, and went from there. Appointment has been set for May 22 at 12:45 p.m. to fill out an SSI application, to go over the disability report that I sent in, and to go over the stuff they are asking me to bring in. We'll see how this works out. I'm going to do as much research as I can, and try to find people that have been through the process so I can get feedback from them, so that I'm not all completely clueless of what I'm doing with the process.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More stuff

Leave it to me to forget stuff, ha. :)

I'd still rather have the left ear done though, just so there's sund
coming into that ear. If it takes a while to make sense of anything, so
be it, I'll work at it.

Now, just need to figure out insurance and such. He's surprised I'm not
on any medical assistance program of any sort from Wyoming already with
the very profound loss in the left and severe to profound in the right,
and encouraged me to check SSI again. Now, if we know of anyone that
could help walk me through the SSI steps, great. I'm not even going to
ask vocational rehab, again and again Amy has not been of any help. if I
could afford the $360+ a month for the BCBS Wyoming health insurance
pool, I would have definitely gone that route. But since I can't, will
definitely look into SSI some more. He says he'll be more than happy to
provide the proof of my deafness to them. He also says the CNI can get
the implant device donated, and he himself would charge me for his part
as the surgeon, and would work with the hospital on bringing their costs
down if I still can't get the insurance.

Todays appointments

We found Swedish Medical Center and managed to find a parking spot in
the garage. Went inside the building and made our way to Rocky Mountain
Ear Center. I checked in, signed some papers and waited. Soon enough,
Allison took me back for the hearing test. We talked a bit on the
insurance situation, yada yada. Did the hearing test. I did a lot better
this time than the last time, since I had ....Shane..... adjust the
hearing aid almost 2 years ago. But I'm still in the eligibility
criteria. Sentences I did ok with, as I guessed and whatnot. Single
words, though, not so well haha. And as always, no results for left ear.
We talked a bit more on insurance and ssi, and of the different
implants. Then I was done with her.

We went down to the cafeteria quickly, for a quick lunch. Got lost for a
bit but managed to make our wa back to the Ear Center. Another
audiologist checked my ears pressure, then I waited some more wit
grandma in a room. Nurse came in, answered some questions for her and
she did a few quick balance tests and such. Then waited for Dr.

Came in and recognized me! Took him a while to realize that it was my
grandma with me and not my mom. Shock! He said the cat scans of my ears
looked great! No ossifications or blockages or anything. That was a big
surprise. All these years, everyone has suspected thered be some
ossification in my cochleas, but there isn't any. Wow! Kelsall says we
could implant either ear. Right ear would definitely get the best
results quickly, the left year could take a long time to get any real
benefits. We also talked of the different devices too. He says he's seen
more internal device failures from Advanced Bionics, even nowadays, that
the fail rate is 1/100 where with Cochlear its 1/1000. Hm, makes you
think. Allison says Cochlear has a really good internal device, but the
external does tend to break, and Advanced Bionic's external device is

I'll have to do some serious thinking. I'm stil intriqued by the
Advanced Bionics evice, but will definitely contact both companies and
get feedback from them.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I'm at work right now. Have been for a bit over an hour, which is unusual for me since I'm NEVER at work at this time. I don't normally get to work until after noon. But today, since I am leaving for Denver, I thought I'd come in earlier just to get everything taken cared of before I leave. Make things easy on my supervisor for while I'm gone so she doesn't have to do as much for me (she won't have to worry about calendars, they're all done through Thursday!). Still waiting on the rest of the public records, la de dah.

Funny, I forgot my iPod when I left the house this morning, oh well. While driving the dog to the vet, I had to listen to him whine and cry from the kennel in the back seat the entire way. Such a baby, he is. He does not like being in the kennel. But, the kennel is safer for him. And at work, I'm listing to everything going on around me. Computers, people typing, doors opening and closing, people walking by, the fan/air conditioner? Or maybe that's the computer fan I'm hearing. I can't tell. Normally, all these sounds are distracting for me, distracting me from my work. But today, not so much, probably because I'm still not fully awake.

While I'm waiting for the public records, I'm sitting here, lurking on a bit, and pondering. Is there anything I should ask Dr. Kelsall when I see him tomorrow? Hm. Then I remembered the incident from last year when we were in North Carolina, when we encountered this deaf gentleman with the bone conduction hearing aid. Would this little test be worth mentioning to Dr. Kelsall, how I did hear something with the bone conductor behind my left ear? I have no idea, but it couldn't hurt, right? I am still hoping the left ear can be implanted, that there is some hope of hearing something with the left ear. I've already printed off the April 22, 2008 "Whooaa..." entry from this blog to share with Dr. Kelsall. And I'll have paper with me in the car so I can write down any more notes or questions. I'll have my sidekick on me, so I can browse back through blog entries and see if that sparks any more thoughts that I should mention to Dr. Kelsall, etc. I'm also bringing the CNI Cochlear Implant Assistance Program application, and I'll probably be asking him about that as well, and if he knows of any other funding options I should consider. And possibly, Allison might have an idea of how I could deal with the local audiologist situation (my refusing to go back to scamming audiologist, etc.).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Coming up...

My appointment with Rocky Mountain Ear Center is May 5. Hearing test at 11:30 a.m., and Dr. Kelsall at 1:30 p.m. to go over the CT scan results. Awesome! My grandparents will come and get me on Monday after I'm done with work, then we'll head towards Denver. Do as much driving as we can, spend the night somewhere, then get to Denver for my appointments on Tuesday. Then after the appointment, we'll leave Denver and start heading back as much as we possibly can.

Yesterday Rocky Mountain Ear Center called our house. I saw them appear on our caller ID, and debated whether or not I should answer. I decided I would just let the answering machine pick up. The machine picked up, and from there, it seems to be an automated message being left for me. I listened to it, but could barely make out what the message was. The time of the appointments I was able to hear, but the rest of the message I didn't get. Mom told me they just wanted to confirm the appointments. Ah, ok!

Darn it. I missed the chat last night. Completely forgot that yesterday was a Thursday. Oh well, there's plenty of other Thursdays to catch the chat.