Hard of hearing


July 19th, 2015


Source: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/dream-catcher-1308732

Sometimes I have very strange dreams. Most of these dreams I don’t recall upon waking up. The rare times that I can remember my dream, I often tell to myself that I must tell my husband about it when he wakes up. Sometimes that works, more often than not, I’ve already forgotten it.
As you have probably already experienced, there are certain dreams that come back in different variants. I often dream that I must catch a train, but am always held up on the way, and end up missing the train. Or that I am in a shop looking to buy something but never end up actually buying anything. And people that I am on my way to visit, I never reach. Every so often, I wake up very stressed. So much for a restful sleep…

There are dreams that are quite unmistakable. I took riding lessons for a few years since it had always been a dream of mine. So when the opportunity came, I made my dream come true. Most of the horses were much bigger than I was, and if one is a bit older, then one doesn’t learn as swiftly. I was not a good rider, but it was a lot of fun for me and I loved being around and handling the horses. However, in this time, I often dreamed I was riding and falling from my horse. I was never injured, but in the dream, I felt my body falling hard from the horse. And that was usually the point when I woke up.

Some dreams however are completely nonsensical. Even during the day, I was not able to piece them together. In this case I once dreamed that once, my cousin, who used to have a similarity in appearance with the former Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, and I met up with Mr. Cruyff someplace on the way to a museum in the city. We chatted and then went our separate ways. However, neither my cousin or I have known Mr. Cruyff personally and therefore, this dream could never have happened in reality.

I fear a dream reader would have difficulty interpreting some of my dreams. The one and only thing that all my dreams have in common is that I am not hearing impaired. Don’t ask me why, because I have no idea why it is so. My hearing loss is a non-issue in my dreams. I wonder if that’s the case with other hearing impaired people or if their hearing impaired reality continues on in the dream? I invite you, if you like, to share this with me, without any further details of course.

Hard of hearing

Not stupid

July 18th 2015

Nicht Blöd

Source: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/gogoon-1522415

Do Call centers regularly bug you too? These persistent callers really love to call at the most inconvenient times such as when you are cooking or eating. We have now found a simple way to avoid such calls, since both of us don’t really like to take calls. We first check to see if the number is one we know, that is, saved into the contact list. If not, then we look for the number in a digital phonebook to see where it is originating from. If the number is suspect, we ignore it. If it sounds like an entity or someone we know, then we call back.

These days advertising is everywhere, especially on TV. Sometimes I do not understand the point of an advertisement. Whether the fault is with me or the ad, I cannot say. I have to admit though that there are some ads that are in my opinion, quite funny. For example, for a well known coffee brand with an even more well known actor in the main role. Even so, these ads do not encourage me to buy the advertised product. And yet, some advertisements have become a part of our lives. After all, we all know which brand is meant when one says “das Auto”?!
That’s not mentioning all the printed advertisements that arrives in our mailboxes each week even if we have a sticker on the box that says, no advertisements please. Its all paper that has to be disposed of, and is quite frankly a waste of paper and trees.

Its come to my attention in the last few years that hearing aid manufacturers and audiologists are increasingly turning to TV to market their products and services. Even though I am not a fan of advertisements, it does have its advantages.
First of all, the advertisements can help break through the taboo on hearing aids. Glasses are already socially acceptable, but a hearing aid is still often discreetly hidden. The advertising of the audiologists and manufactures however makes these hearing aids and their function visible rather than invisible.

The second advantage, and also the reason for the advertisements I suspect is because of the increasing competition between different audiologists and manufacturers. Customers have been free for the last 4 years to choose their audiologists and can go to a different audiologist if the service and products of the first are unsatisfactory. Hopefully this competition in the hearing aid market will help lower the prices a little.

In this way, advertising still makes sense for me, instead of trying to sell us for stupid as is the case of most ads. I would like to say to these Call Centers: please stop bothering us! We aren’t waiting for your call… And the advertisers could let themselves be inspired by the slogan of an electronics brand: We are not Stupid after all!

CI, Hard of hearing

Hearing aids

July 17th, 2015


Today I saw an article about the hearing aids of the future, and I wanted to share that with you.

Music of the future for the hearing impaired: Researchers in England are developing a hearing aid that can read lips. The preliminary research for this is led by the ETH Zürich. A hearing aid that can read lips: in the next few years, this futuristic technology could become reality. Researchers and doctors at the University of Stirling in Scotland are developing a lipreading hearing aid in a pilot project that should help the future generations of hearing impaired individuals.

With the device, sounds aren’t just strengthened acoustically, but mouth movements are also registered by the device. A miniature camera, mounted on a pair of glasses, chain, or earring records the mouth movements. The visual pictures are then transformed into auditory signals. This device should be of particular advantage in noisy areas.

(Source: http://www.gesundheitsforschung-bmbf.de/de/reiskorn-im-ohr.php)

This is good news for hearing aid users. Even though I have gotten used to lipreading since the beginning of my hearing loss (lipreading is not just reading the lips, it also focuses on body language), such a device is welcome for me. Everything that makes the life of a hearing impaired individual easier is a huge step forward.

Did you know that one of the most common complaints among the hearing impaired is tiredness? That’s because an enormous amount of energy is expended listening to and trying to understand others. After a day of communicating with others, I am usually ready to call it a night. Since I am conscious about it, I set up my calendar with a view to that. This means that I try to schedule important meetings or phone conferences for the morning or early afternoon so that I am still alert. I also try to space out the effortful events as far apart as I can.

Of course there are sometimes situations where it doesn’t always work, and then I try to make the best of it. I don’t smoke, so I cannot withdraw for a quiet smoke if I am overwhelmed. However I sometimes make my escape to the toilet if I am a bit overwhelmed from all the noises and listening. Short breaks are important for hearing impaired people. Because of that environment, it doesn’t attract attention when I disappear for a short while. It’s not always easy to do, but there are courses and resources available to support you and help you learn to better deal with your hearing loss.

Each time I need new hearing aids, I notice that the technology has advanced, and quickly, especially with CI’s. This happens every 6-7 years. I profit from the technological advances and I am eager to see what has gotten better in the few years I have left before I get an upgrade to current HA’s which I have had for a number of years.

Hard of hearing


July 15th, 2015


Quelle: ID 16412243 © Jslavy | Dreamstime.com

My mother read to me countless times in my childhood. Often before bed. It was never long enough for me. It was a lot of fun for my mother and I could often get her to read yet another story. Then when I learned to read, I was lost to that world. In elementary school, I sometimes took a book outside to read during lunch break, and when the break was over I often returned it, having finished. The teacher did not want to believe that I had already read the book and quizzed me on its contents. She only believed me after I answered her questions. And its been this way ever since. I still read quickly, and love to read as much as I can. Its brings me peace and distraction from everything that has gone on during the day. If I cannot read at least a few pages, then I don’t sleep well. I am, so to say, a bookworm.

When a book grips be within its lines, then I am lost to the world. Sometimes I regain consciousness, with a white cheek and a red cheek, from being so concentrated. Books give me joy, and it speaks for itself that I have a few shelves stuffed full of them. To save some space, otherwise the apartment would be too small, I bought a so called ‘Reader’. One can read books electronically on the device. It may not have the romance of a book in ones hand, is lighter and has a lot of storage space. Besides its easier to bring along n vacation or travels.

As I have shared before, I read to a group of seniors in the retirement home once a month. Most do not see well and are very happy to have a book read to them. Not all books are suitable for this purpose. The best books are short stories that can be read within an hour. Biographies are especially popular. A journalist once wrote the life story of about 50 elderly people, bundled in a book. Their lives are very varied and most of the time very interesting. While reading those stories to „my group“, I try to get them to share their own stories amongst each other. This usually works and they love to tell from their memories as I love to read to them.

I cannot fathom a world without books. It’s possibly in my genes: my mother also loves to read, and her mother also loved to read, and when she became blind, listened to audiobooks. My curiosity for history likely also played a role. In any case: for me personally, books are just as essential to my life as hearing aids, whether or not I read it for myself or for others.