Monday, April 28, 2014

Busy few days

Been a busy few days!  WYHI last Friday was a lot of fun.  Sure was fun seeing all the kids skating at the roller skating rink.  Some were just learning how to skate and needed some help, while others skated flawlessly with no problems.  Sure had a great time chatting with some of my former teachers and interpreters, and other folks who are in the deaf education field.  The open-captioned movie showing of Rio 2 was fun as well.  A very cute movie, I liked it.  Friday was definitely a great day!  By the time I got to work after WYHI, I was tired, and worn out when I got home.  So tired that I really shouldn't have been messing with kitchen appliances... uh, oops, made a mess out of my cherry smoothie with the small Ninja blender. 

Saturday, there was Deaf Ice Cream social at the Dairy Queen.  Many ASL students showed up to practice their ASL skills with the local deaf community.  I always like to go to the DQ socials, enjoying ice cream and socializing.  Well, actually, I like going to any of the deaf socials going on.  Just getting out and socializing with the deaf community is always fun!  And eating out is always a bonus for me.

This morning, I saw my CI audiologist and had my CI processors adjusted.  Audie and I talked for a few minutes, so she could find out how I was doing with my CI, volume levels, etc.  Ended up bringing down the volume in general a bit, so that I can get off the 8 o'clock position with the volume wheel (now I'm at about 9 or 10 o'clock position) and still have the option to turn down the volume if needed for noisy situations.  The higher frequencies were also brought up some more.  The first year with the CI, I just could not tolerate the high frequencies at all; it was just too much and overwhelming.  But over the last year/year and a half, the audie has been slowly increasing the higher frequency levels a bit at a time, so that I could get used to them.  Hopefully now I should be able to hear emergency vehicles from a bit of a distance instead of being extremely quiet while right next to my car.  My hearing with the CI was also briefly tested in the sound booth (beeps/tones) and apparently I did pretty well with that. 
When I go home, I'm also to switch over to my brand new never opened T-Mic, just to see if I get better clarity or if the original T-Mic (which I've been using for 2 years now) is still clear enough.  If everything sounds the same between new and old T-Mics, then I'll keep on using the old one and keeping the new one for back-up/replacement for when one of my older T-Mics (I have two, one on the Harmony and one with the T-Com for the Neptune) finally bites the dust.  My mom came to my appointment this morning, since it's been a while.  She didn't really know what was going on though.  She's not quite familiar with the process of programming the CI, the different programs and options available, etc.  Was still nice that she could come though!
Anyway, both Harmony and Neptune are the same again basically.  Same programs.  P1 is the old P2 on the Harmony, P2 has the adjusted volume settings and higher frequency level gains, and P3 is the same as P2 but with Optima added on.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Set for Fall Semester!

I am all registered for the fall semester at the college!  Will be re-taking PreCalc, this time the redesign course with the instructor I had for Elementary and Intermediate Algebra (also redesign courses).  Let's hope I do better and get a better grade for Radiography.  Looks like I'm shooting for Radiography again next year.  Also registered for ASL 2, General Psychology (online), and a PE course.  Should be fun times, right?  Yeah!  I went to the college's Health Science Center on Tuesday after work to register for a time slot for advising day, only to find out advising day was the following day!  Whoa....  So I got to see my advisor yesterday, and discussed a little bit about the math (she knows I was having trouble and worried about the grade) and that sort of thing.  Will have to remember I still need a Computer Science credit as part of the college's general requirements for graduation, so I'll take that class Spring 2015 (and any other filler classes to take while waiting to reapply for Radiography and keep the full-time college course load going).

Been kind of a busy week, with all the running around I've been doing it seems.  Had to take my dog up to the vet today for a quick blood test, see where his bromide levels are at and if there's anything else that's since popped up for whatever reason.  Was told the test takes about 15 minutes, but I still haven't gotten an email from the vet yet.... Will give it a bit more time.  In the mean time, sent off the dog's prescription for more bromide potassium from

My ASL instructor is also interested in having her dog trained, so we might take the same dog training classes this summer if it works out.  That should be fun!  If it works out, I'll have someone that I know, and she could possibly even interpret for me a bit at times if needed.  Either way, it'll be fun.

Tomorrow is WYHI, yay!  Should be fun to see all the deaf and hard of hearing students from all over the state coming together for a day of fun!  Roller skating, open caption movie showing.  Should definitely be a lot of fun.  I've always loved going to WYHI, and being able to interact with other students with a variety of hearing loss levels as a kid myself.  Great opportunity for students to make new friends, connect with old friends, socialize, and just be themselves.  I've been to plenty of interesting WYHI's myself while growing up..  A Deaf Russian theater group came one time, and showed us some of their Russian signs, which was neat.  Deaf magician, a Deaf theater group from the U.S., Billy Seago was a guest and showed the kids how to be expressive and interactive with their signs, etc.  WYHI is now only held once per school year, whereas when I was in school myself, it was twice a year (once in fall, and one in spring).  There were 2 or 3 WYHI's that were done via webcams from different base locations (I think 5 or 6 locations), and that was interesting as well.  Kids got to learn more of the technology and resources available to communicate with others via webcams and such.  I may no longer be a K-12 student, but I still enjoy going to WYHI, sometimes to help out, but mostly to socialize and have fun.

Now, regarding Optima and my Neptune... I think I know why Optima didn't work all this time.  I had Neptune on Program 1, which does not have Optima added to it.  I am always getting Programs 1 and 3 mixed up!  I'm on Program 2, and put in a fresh battery yesterday at about 10:15 a.m., and it's still going today.  How much longer will it last, I wonder?  With a non-Optima program, an AAA battery lasts me about 14-16 hours.  D'oh!  Don't know why I didn't realize I was still using an old program on the Neptune and not P2 or P3.  P3 is too loud, so I'll stick with P2.

Also, today is World Meningitis Awareness Day.  I was 2 when I had HIB meningitis in November of 1987.  That was what caused my deafness.  No one should ever have to suffer from this horrible illness.  Vaccinations are available to prevent most strains.  Be educated and proactive in preventing meningitis, if possible! Visit Meningitis Angels and the Meningitis Foundation of America websites for more information on the different types of meningitis, and of the vaccinations that are available.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Random ramblings

Oh yeah... Forgot to update my blog lately with the ongoings of college life.  Turns out I didn't get accepted for the Radiography program this year.  They didn't like the grade I had for Pre-Calc (a C), so I would have to retake Pre-Calc and get a better grade if I want to reapply next year.  Still debating if I want to try for Radiography again next year, or if there's another direction that I could go in.  I need to see what else the college has to offer.  I do think Audiology would be neat and fascinating, but I'm not sure I want to go through all the schooling.  I don't know yet.  At least I can focus more on getting the basic requirements out of the way.  Still need to take psychology, and P.E.  Were there other courses I still need to take? Um, I'll have to find that out.  Advising day is coming up soon I believe, so I can find out then.  The college also offers Psychology of Deaf Persons, which I'm rather interested in taking.  Would have to take general psychology first, of course, before I can register for that class.

ASL has been going great, for the most part.  There are a few students who do not seem to take the class seriously, and will have side conversations and forget to sign during class. Not very respectful.  ASL isn't an easy-peasy class, for those who might think it is.  Oh no, it can be hard!  Just understanding the grammar structure of ASL is challenging.  That's my biggest problem with ASL, I can't remember all the ASL grammar rules.  It's based off the French language or French Sign Language, rather than the English language.  It's hard for me to turn English off in my mind and convert to ASL grammar.  I've literally have had English crammed into my head at the deaf school that it's been quite challenging for me to make the transition.  But it's been a fun class, interesting... just interacting and practicing with other students, and making the ASL instructor freak out when I bring up SEE signs during class has been fun.  And this class of ASL students have been SPOILED in terms of exposure to deaf people.  The evening class is when deaf people are very likely to pop in and visit, so that's been fun too.  I plan on continuing with the ASL courses offered at the college, and will sign up for ASL 2 in the fall, and continue on from there.

Also, English... we have to write a 8-12 page paper on a topic of our choosing, which will count as our big Final.  Of course, I got to thinking of different deaf or cochlear implant related topics, and settled on "Why is the Deaf culture against babies and young children getting implants?", and have a variety of sources at hand to help me with this paper.  I plan  to cover some of the history of deaf culture in the United States, the backlash against Alexander Graham Bell and his oral method and mistreatment of the deaf, controversies over technology among the Deaf (hearing aids, CI's in general, and now CIs in young kids), that sort of thing.  I'm pretty excited to work on this paper.  I have books, documentaries, contacts with the State Department of Education-Education of the Deaf and HOH, audiologists, various articles and resources online... should be a fun project!

Have been in contact with a dog trainer on facebook, finding out costs and whatnot so I can get my crazy dog trained and hope he'll have better manners.  I certainly have the free time this coming summer, since I didn't get into the radiography program, so I'm gonna work on teaching him some manners!  He's such a brat outside when there are other people around sometimes, it needs to get better.  He'll bark at anyone that he doesn't know, even little kids.  Meanie... No, I get he just doesn't know who they are, but there's no need to be so rude!  The trainer does group classes for 6 weeks, and also offers personal one-on-one training.  Group classes would be cheaper, and Bryan would certainly be exposed to other dogs and learn how to socialize better.  But at the same time, I think one-on-one would be better, just because of my deafness, and that way we could focus more on problem areas that needs working on (his jumping on everyone, I still haven't been able to break him of that habit).  The trainer also has experience with training dogs to be hearing dogs as well, so that could be useful.  I'm sure my neighbors would appreciate not having to hear Bryan bark up a storm every time someone knocks on my door (practically scaring off pizza or UPS/FedEx deliveries!).

CI Audiologist from Denver is making another trip here later this month to do appointments with her Wyoming clients.  So I shall be seeing her on the 25th at... 10 a.m. I believe it was?  Something like that.  She should have a new laptop with the updated software for AB implants, and we can figure out if something went wrong when she tried loading up Optima on my Neptune.  Couldn't hurt to add Optima to my Harmony as well, even though I do get 2 days use out of a PowerCel Plus, and about 16-18 hours on the PowerCel Slim.  And I swear, as soon as the pool on the apartment grounds opens for the summer season, I'm taking the Neptune for a swim!  Have had my implant for 2 years and I still haven't swam with the Neptune yet.  I'm going to fix that this summer!  Still wish I could get the Naida CI from AB....  3 more years before I can upgrade, and by then there should be an even newer BTE processor available from AB.  Awesome!

I-Angel Sound training available on iPads/iPod Touches/iPhones for auditory rehab!  Fairly simple and straightforward app.

been working on my ASL/Deaf/CI related DVD collection.  A couple of movies from ASL Films, both very good films to watch!  100% pure ASL, no sound.... fun to watch, for sure! I ordered "The Legend of the Mountain Man" which has Sean Berdy and his brother in it several months ago, another good movie to watch!

Ordered more color caps for my Harmony from AB in February I think?  Buy one set, get one set free deal! Now I need to get more color caps for the Universal Headpiece so the match the Harmony color caps.  Yup!

And Deaf Jam just arrived in my mail box the other day.  Saw this with open captions for WYHI 2 years ago, and now available on DVD for home viewing.
Oh and just for fun, see that teddy bear with purple hearing aids?  His name is Rudy, and my aunt Brenda made him special for me.  Well, she made teddy bears for all of us kids, each with a different colored sweater.  When I unwrapped Rudy, I thought it was the neatest thing ever, and very awesome of my aunt to make him his own set of hearing aids.  He originally had tan and pink hearing aids (tan hearing aids with pink earmold type), but a cat of ours destroyed them.... So she had to make  a new set, which have held up since.  I found him in a bag full of stuffed animals one day and just had to put him up.  I love this bear!
Ok, have I rambled on enough by now?  I think so.  :)  Happy Easter weekend!