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Thursday, 5 September 2013

End of Week 1

Today was my Week 1 appointment, after the initial switch on last week. Everyday I am reminded how totally lucky I am & how amazing my journey is. But its times when I go to the specialist for a check up that i'm reminded just how amazing my particular journey is.

My appointment today, was such a reminder of how far i've come in just 1 single week! For those who don't realise just how depressing deafness can be, I can count on my hand the number of times when i've gone out by myself, taken public transport, taken myself to an appointment, or gone shopping on my own.

Today, I took the train, then walked to my appointment (about 15mins from train station). Went into the clinic AND had a conversation with the receptionist! (During my deaf years, hubby would always be with me & usually tell the receptionist that i'm here for my appt. I didn't have any confidence & was completely reliant upon hubby during these times). Then I went into my appointment, my specialist asked me if i'd mind if she brought in one of the other staff members to show her how well I was doing, I said yes! I actually allowed someone else to come into my "safety zone". Something i'd never do or at least never feel strong enough to do with no hearing. Often I would just nod if I was asked & let them do whatever they wanted to do, didn't mean I liked it though (during my pregnancy, there were a lot of trainee doctors etc, so I dealt with this sort of thing a lot. Never liked it though).

I then had a complete conversation with both of the ladies in my appointment! And I really enjoyed it. I understood everything that was being said.I was a part of the conversation, I was the focus of the conversation actually & I was OK with that! Usually I am the person that sits there & stares at my shoes coz I can't keep up with a conversation & lip read everyones mouths when they talk. And I just nod or 'hmmm' or 'yeah' every so often in the conversation as it goes along.

After my appointment, I had lunch at McDonalds, which isn't very exciting, but thats what I felt like. Usually when I have gone there on my own before & not had hubby buying it for me, the registers never have the amount appear on the screen - I usually always look at that. I also usually either hand over a $20 note coz its easier & I know i'll get change when I don't know how much the total is. Or i'll use my eftpos. Not today tho! I used the correct cash amount coz I could hear them! Cool huh! First time i've done that in years. Hearing the amount & then being able to count the money out. Yes, I know I could ask them to repeat the amount, but often I get weird looks at that & really, when i'm deaf, I was always trying to have as little attention put on me as possible! So obviously the $20 note or the eftpos was the easiest solution, other than having lunch at home!!

THEN I went to Pandora! I haven't been in there before because its such a small shop & you can't really browse in there coz its just shelves & shelves of charms but you can only look on the top shelf. But this time, I went in & said hello when they did etc. had a look around & then asked if I could see a particular charm that I wanted. The lady found it & showed me, then I asked if there was any other options. She took out another one which was very nice but more expensive. So I took the cheaper one. This doesn't sound like anything special probably when you are reading this, but from my side - it is huge! To actually have initiated a conversation with the staff member & enquire about something - that was a huge thing for me. I have had my pandora bracelet since my 30th in April last year & the day I bought the pandora bracelet with my birthday money, was the one & only time I have walked into a Pandora shop!!

Pandora Gift Charm - to represent my "Gift of hearing again"
Its a Gift/ present. (The other one had pink "ribbon" instead of being all silver like this one).

The meaning behind it for me is, that I wanted a "gift" charm to represent my Cochlear Implant journey & that I have been given the "gift of hearing once again". So thats what this charm means for me! I have been thinking about it for a while, but decided that I had to do it properly & have done the whole day by myself. I had to go to my appt by myself without hubby, & then into the shop & buy it. Coz I have been hiding from that since being deaf. And obviously it would have been heaps easier for me to have ordered it online & got it delivered to me at home! (Believe me, I went online the night of having it switched on last week & its probably still sitting in the shopping cart on that website!) I did want to get it on the day of the switch on, after we finished the appt, which wouldn't have worked out anyway as the shops were shut by that time. So thats when I thought about it & decided to give myself little goals to get myself used to going out on my own & being independent again. So this was my first step!

What i'm hearing today:

  • Walking to my appointment, I walked past a pigeon on the ground. When I got nearer, the pigeon flapped its wings & flew away! I heard the flapping of the wings! That was awesome!  
  • I heard the station announcement on the train. When the train dude says what station is next stop! 

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