Friday, March 27, 2009

Interpreters For The Challanged.

Tinnitus has seemed to raise it's ugly rubber extrusion factory sounding head lately.
No stranger to this am I. But now it is getting rather annoying. Especially now that I need better comprehension , all the time, in my cochlear challenged world.

Being back in the world of business and commerce, reinforced my view that passion or compassion for "hearing challenged" lasts but a few seconds. After my third "Again?" or "excuse me?", I get the look that we all know too well. "Oh man, this is going to be interesting explaining something to Mr. Deaf as a wheel of cheese" look.

Out and about away from the insensitive world of spread sheets and marketing plans, life is a little kinder. Gentler. 
Shop keepers, eager to have some of the doe rae me that you are willing to part with, will give you all the compassion and understanding one needs, when you explain that the magnet on your melon is not for decoration. So I am given a few more graces than a coworker would.

In old times, Janet was my "interpreter" . She would give me time to try and get the bulk and meat of the conversation or question. But as soon as I would fire her "the look" of puzzlement and "please help me", she would jump in and repeat the words for me in lips and eyes that I was familiar with. 

Dan is too quick on the draw and his patience is like mine was in past.
When the clerk at Blockbuster/EB Games/Best Buy, asks a question at the cash that may or may not have something to do with an extended warranty/credit card issue/mailing address; and I miss a chunk of it, I start into my "sorry I am hearing challenged can you repeat..." but  before I get my first "Again?" in, Dan is grabbing my arm to turn my face to view his beautiful youthful eyes and lips and gives me the repeat/interpretation far too early.

"Dad, he said...."
"Yes Dan I would have got that eventually, but you have to give me time"

Not sure why the tinnitus has ramped up. There are as many theories as there are traditional Chinese Herbs that promise a drop in volume of the nasty noise the brain manufacturers in the absence of analog sound I suspect. Perhaps recent life altering events have contributed to a bit of stress that kicks the air force in my head into action.

I read recently that caffeine can contribute to Tinnitus, but I am a 2 cup O'Java guy. Only on occasion will I treat myself to a "Fourbucks" to add stimulus to my day. 
I am good about the amount of caffeine that enters me daily. In fact I just tried and went through a box of "Morning Thunder" by Celestial Seasons. 
I read about this amazing brew in the paper a few weeks ago. It has half the caffeine of Java, but the herbs or whatever natural stuff is in it, has an amazing effect.
It kicks serious ass!
I was buzzing and flying around like I had slept for days, after just one cup. I am now a regular "Morning Thunder" guy, and encourage others to try it, to confirm my suspicions that this stuff is the cats ass of "pick me ups"

So my Number 1 interpreter is gone, and Number 2 is quick lip McGraw. Speeder the wonder dog was no help, so I can't put him in the "really miss his help" category. 

Driving is a challenge with passengers. My cochlear implant is on my left side, so I get the sound of the road on the left. The conversation of passengers on my right, not so much. I have to speech read, and in traffic that causes some problems. 
Turning head constantly doing 120 Kilometers and hour can scare the bravest of souls. And as the saying goes "friends don't let friends, lip read and drive"

So whatever the reason for the upswing in auditory factory noises is, I am getting a little frustrated, as I am sure many of my conversing peoples. 
Matters not I guess. Life moves on, and sound comes in, although drowned out at times by the second shift at the Goodyear plant.
I have sound.
I have people in my life to give me sound.

I have an interpreter (albeit an impatient one) that turns 15 in 3 days.

And we will celebrate in song and Cherry Chip cake.




Anonymous said...

How is the cherry chip cake experiment going? I've been wondering about that.

My teens challenge my hearing on a daily basis. One talks a mile a minute, too fast for me to catch half of what he is saying, while another has a tendency to mumble. Factor in my gradual hearing loss (my mother and her father also experienced this, so I'm not sure if it is genetic or due to a few rock concerts at a younger age) and you have a recipe for frustration on everyone's part.
On a very small scale, I have perhaps an inkling of what you struggle with when asking others to please repeat what they just said.

I suspect you have plenty of stress right now that might be triggering the tinnitus.

I've been wondering if you might get another dog. Would this ease some of your need to be constantly listening at home -- or just add to your stress?

Government Funded Blogger said...

Tinnitus is a strange condition. Mine started after being put on BP medication.

Morning Thunder sounds interesting.Don't know how it would affect a 71 year old tho.It might make the wife cower in terror ,lol

bobbie said...

Tinnitus is something I experience occasionally. Lately I have also noticed some slight hearing loss. The doctor and audiologist don't seem to think it's enough to worry about - yet. But I do find it annoying.

I guess I have to develop more patience. Your example is there for me. Thank you for that. I so hope that things continue to improve for you.

sara said...

I put "Deaf as a wheel of cheese" on my list of favorite phrases.

Do you think a CI MAP adjustment would help? Tinnitus often pops up when it isn't being masked as much by incoming sounds.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip! Need to cut down on the coffee - will give Morning Thunder a try!

Apropos tinnitus, an acquaintance had great success with cranio-sacral therapy. To be honest, I have no idea what it entails, but you seem to enjoy exploring new avenues...

Anonymous said...

Okay - sorry to spam you. Go to this link, and read what it says. Must say it seems to fit the bill.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which charmed me more, your previous "deaf as a three bean salad" or the new "deaf as a wheel of cheese"!

Either way, I'm sad to hear the tinnitus is raging but so glad to catch up with your news.

Perhaps Dan will become less of a quick lip as he gets more practice...

Annieofbluegables said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't tinnitus a ringing that starts up suddenly. I think I get that occasionally, probably caffeine as well from the ol' Mt. Dew. But I read a tip somewhere when that happens to put your index finger on the tragus, that little part that covers the actual entry. Then with the middle finger gently tap the bone in front of the ear.
My dad used to have this often. After he died, I heard about this cure and tried it. I think of him often while I use that cure. I hope this works.
the following is a link to the parts of the outer ear, so you know which part I am referring.
fondest regards,

sara said...

Tinnitus is very common with a hearing loss - I've read that it's the damaged hair cells (cilia) in the cochlea moving, dying, making phantom noises, what have you...

Kay Dennison said...

Dan will learn and hopefully, the tintinnitis will subside as you adjust to the changes in your life. Stress can be a big issue with your mental and physical well-being.

And yeah, we want to hear all about how the 15th birthday party goes.

Take care!!!

Sylvia K said...

I love the way you deal with those little/big annoyances in day to day life. And they do come in one way or another - some big, some small to all of us. I do appreciate the inspiration you offer. Thank you, David, for your wisdom and your courage! I'm making notes of some of your expressions, by the way! Love them!
Happy Birthday to Dan! Hope you guys have a great time, and eat a piece of cherry chip cake for me!

Anonymous said...

Morning Thunder, with a name like that it has to be good! I'm looking into it because I need to try something new around here.

I've got a friend who experiences tinnitus and it nearly drives him mad, so it must really be loud. I hope Ethan doesn't have it, though it would explain why he is such a poor sleeper.

Happy early Birthday to Guitar Boy. I hope you guys enjoy his day together.

Nature Girl said...

I have a friend that suffers from tinitus as well...that's something I can't even imagine....the constant ringing would drive me mad!
Dan will improve in time with his interpretation skills...but in the meantime I hope the frustration is minimal.

Thank you so very very much for your kind words about my race the other day. MOST appreciated!

Keep us posted how the cherry chip cake turns out. and don't forget to take photos!

dellgirl said...

Children and their speech (some grown-ups too), one of mine mumbles to the point where I have to ignore him before he speaks loud and clear enough to be understood (and heard). It's aggravating because he's no kid, he is grown now.

Thanks for the update on how things are going with you. You're doing a great job.

Lori said...

I am going to have to find this tea that you speak of. I had been wondering how your cake experiment was going. I suspect that your son will get better with having more patience over time. Hope he has a great birthday.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I know tinnitus can drive people spare. I hope it passes.

rennratt said...

Life in the South requires "Sweet Tea" in lieu of water during the summer.

I have found that mixing Morning Thunder with citrus spice sunset (or other herbal fruit tea) is the best combination of all!

Could a portion of your tinnitus be caused by allergies due to the onset of spring? [Many of my spring allergies cause hearing loss/Eustachian tube issues].

Best wishes and Happy Birthday to Dan!

themom said...

I, too have been wondering how the cherry chip cake has been going. I'm sure you have been practicing like crazy. Make it a wonderful day for the lad. You sound upbeat and I am happy for you.

Patricia said...

Hi Dave, It's so nice to read your posts again...It's Patricia from HJ and you and Dan have been in my thoughts and prayers...Happy Birthday to Dan, my son just turned 16 and just you wait my son's already passed his written driver's test and raring to go (enjoy your precious guitar boy - hope he's not rushed next year to drive) just wanna grow up so fast, and i'm trying to encourage him to s l o w way down and let me catch up (lol) hope you got the cherry chip cake recipe.

I can and am totally relating to your tinnitus experiences recently. Last month, Friday the 13th of Feb..(of all days)I had an awful mapping leaving me with vertigo...still recovering from this and it has left me with tinnitus now but not sure if it's from my unimplanted or implanted side...I'm trying to cut down on the java and salt that I heard can trigger it or make it worse.

My son fills in the gaps at all shops, he's done it since I lost my hearing suddenly 4 years ago...I hate to have people repeat to me and he quickly jumps in gets my attention and tells me what I need to know.

Could use some of the Morning Thunder you're referring to...can I find this at Walmart (don't ask, seems I spend my life there recently)...

Colin said...

Hi Dave, Unfortunately tinnitus can be the big ugly reminder of being deafened so suddenly in the weirdest of ways. I have read they are trialling (FDA) aproval implants for tinnitus. Mine sounds like a 737 engine up real close like a bear almost with its teeth on my neck. I'm hoping for my 3rd Switch-On to be successful in tinnitus reduction.

Wish Robyn the best its her third implant in the same ear today. I so hope its successful.



jeanie said...

Oh - happy birthday Dan, good luck with the cake - and you have taken possible reasons for silence in the car to a whole new level.

Patience is a virtue that needs more kudos - and it needs to be spread around.

You were so lucky to have had Janet there to be your interpreter, and I bet she will be sending you interpretations in all sorts of ways.