DecibelMemos

Perspectives Absent of Sound

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G is for Games (with the Gameboy Geek)

Recently I was invited over to my friend Dan’s house, “The Gameboy Geek”  gameboygeek.com, for a gaming party.   Never been to a gaming party before; therefore, I didn’t know what to expect – this would be the first time I’ve actually played board games with hearing loss.  (Yea, It’s been a few years….hahaha!)  I admit, I’m not usually one to sit still long enough to play board games, but I decided to go and check it out.

There were several tables set up and a different game was being played at each table.  Quickly into our table game, I realized I couldn’t keep up – I forgot how interactive gaming was!  As a matter of fact, one game we played involved quite a bit of collaboration.  I admit, I was lost and decided to just observe, but it made me sad because I wanted to be a part of the fun.

After the gaming event, I reached out to Dan (or “Geek” as I call him) to share my difficulty in playing games at his party.  I asked if he could suggest some games that would be good for people with hearing loss and here are his suggestions:

Happy salmon. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OrM7qspTSrs

Reverse Charades https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DPyKCjHzpzQ

Letter Tycoon https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hw1VU28CApE

Dan makes it easy by showing you how to play each game in the videos, I like that and look forward to having a gaming party of my own very soon!  What’s your favorite board game to play?

F is for FM System #AtoZChallenge

While hearing aids these days are (in of itself) some pretty awesome technology, they can also be enhanced by the use of an FM System to help a person hear distance or in a noisy environment.

You may recognize FM in terms of radio – FM Radio (Frequency Modulation).  The reason FM transmission is used to help hearing aid wearers is that it’s resilient to noise and interference, which helps preserve the quality and clarity of the sound being transmitted.

Here’s my SmartLink .
It’s a three-in-one device: an FM transmitter, a mobile phone Bluetooth link and hearing aid remote control. It’s pretty cool!

How does it work?  As you can see it’s small and portable, which makes it very convenient to use in a variety of daily situations where hearing assistance is needed.  When I am in those situations, I turn on my “SmartLink”, it syncs up to my hearing aids (via Bluetooth technology) and I’m quickly able to hear better – sometimes a few tables over, so be careful if sitting next to me!

Just like any part of the body (ears no exception) if you’re straining to hear, you will suffer mental fatigue – I am often exhausted after being in challenging hearing environments.  This is why I like using the FM system because it reduces my mental fatigue and allows me to have the energy to do other things as opposed to collapsing at the end of the day.

You can purchase an FM system online, in electronics stores and through your audiologist.  If you don’t wear hearing aids, but struggle to hear, you may want to consider getting a hearing test! (Also, read my “A” post about my audiogram experience – haha!) Have you had a hearing test lately?

E is for Egg Explosion #AtoZChallenge

My husband and I have been on the low-carb way of eating for a few months and with that, you eat A LOT of eggs!  I’m often boiling eggs so we can have hard boiled eggs ready for consumption on a moment’s notice.  The thing about boiling eggs on the stove is (with my method), it takes a bit of time and attention for the perfect hard-boiled egg.  My little process isn’t hard, but it’s that waiting for the pot to boil that gets me every time!

Here’s my method to get the perfect hard-boiled egg:

  1. Put the eggs in the pot and cover them with water.
  2. Place the pot on the stove and let the water get to a rolling boil (Here’s where I get inpatient)
  3. Once at a rolling boil, set the timer for 6 minutes
  4. After 6 minutes, pull the pot off the burner and let the water cool down w/eggs in it.
  5. Once the water is at room temp, the eggs are done!

As I said, I get inpatient and begin doing something else while I’m waiting for the water to boil – like a few weeks ago.  I was distracted by getting on the computer, couldn’t hear the water boiling (surprise, surprise) and BAM, Egg Explosion!

Eggs exploded – Ruined a good pot too!

You can imagine the smell in the house!

Nothing a little incense can’t take care of!

So, at the recommendation of a friend, I decided to buy an egg boiler that you can use in the microwave.  You just set your eggs in it (with a little water), microwave for 9 minutes or so and DONE!  No more worries about eggs popping, pans burning and a horrible smell in the house.

My new microwave egg boiler – Problem solved!

Please share your kitchen mishaps so I don’t feel alone…….

D is for Dog – One Spoiled Dog that is! #AtoZChallenge

After having a few incidents at home, not hearing the doorbell, oven timer beeping, family walking in (scaring me half to death), etc.  I realized, it was time to get a dog.  Not just any ol’ dog though, I had a few requirements for my future companion:  I definitely wanted an older, small, lap dog – because sadly, it’s harder for rescue organizations to adopt out the senior dogs; therefore, I had to make sure I found one to love.

The hunt began with several failed attempts at the county animal shelters.  Yes, there were an abundance of dogs, but very few small ones that caught my eye (I mean, this is a serious commitment!).  I decided to look at a couple of the animal rescue sites online.  That’s when I found an ad for a small, female senior dog that had been an emotional support dog to a deaf lady.  BINGO, I had to have her!! There were no pictures posted, I didn’t know her color or her breed.  All I knew is that dog was going to be mine.  So, I quickly sent off an email requesting to meet her.  There were a few email exchanges and then nothing……I was devastated!

Several weeks went by and I reluctantly searched the county animal shelters again with no luck.  I even went to a rescue event at a car dealership and found a small senior dog there, walked the dog around for a while and thought I may want to adopt it, but something kept me from doing it that day.

It was several days later, when I received an email from the same lady a few weeks earlier, she was inquiring if I was still interested in the dog.  I confirmed this was the dog that lived with the deaf lady and she said yes.  Within an hour of that email, I was down at the shelter to meet my Bonnie!

Here’s Bonnie after a visit with the groomer – All clean!

I must say, Bonnie is the perfect dog for me.  We bonded instantly and she’s been by my side ever since the first ride home in the car.  She’s helped ease my anxiety when I’m home alone – she’s my “ears”, lets me know when something is up!

When I look back over those couple months of searching for Bonnie, I see how everything fell into place and was meant for her to be with us.  Yes, I rescued Bonnie, but she also rescued me.

C is for Coach (not a Coach purse, Ha!) #AtoZChallenge

So many different types of coaches these days.  Here are a few off the top of my head:

  • Life Coach
  • Relationship Coach
  • Health & Wellness Coach
  • Spiritual Coach
  • Career Coach
  • and the good ol’ fashioned Sports Coach

When I started my journey with hearing loss, I took a “time out” from a career I had in banking which brought me a lot of satisfaction, as well as a pretty good income.  I held various job titles:  Mortgage Loan Officer, Teller, Personal Banker and my last position was an Assistant Banking Center Manager.  Yes, I left banking at a time when I was really starting to “climb the corporate ladder” so-to-speak.  Then as life would have it, things changed and my focus wasn’t on my next job title at the bank, rather it was just finding my next steps in living my new life with hearing loss.

It’s been 4 years since that time and I have a new job title, Job Coach – Imagine that?!  What does a “Job Coach” do you ask?  Well, I work specifically with people who have disabilities.  I provide one-on-one training tailored to the needs of the specific individual.  We may start with a job analysis to identify areas of interest and then specific job duties, followed by developing a plan so they can be completely self-sufficient and able to perform the job without assistance.  It’s rewarding to help and watch my clients grow through these steps.

Here I am at the library where I meet a lot of my clients

As I look back, through my time coaching various bank teams and now working one-on-one with people with disabilities, it comes down to this one key element:  Whether you have a disability or not, it doesn’t matter, what matters is being a coachable person!

It is my belief that being coachable – even if it makes you feel vulnerable – is the secret to achieving many or most of your dreams!  Please share your experience.  Have you used a coach in the past or are you currently?

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