Hey guys, what’s up and welcome back to Hear and now podcast. Today’s the first day of the Lenten series but it’s also a very special day as well. Today is world hearing day. So in addition to the Lenten piece of today’s episode, I also want to answer some hearing loss questions and talk about some of the myths of hearing loss. Before we jump into the episode, I wanted to give a shout out to Day Designer. They sent me a planner the other day and I’m so in love with it. You guys can head over to my Instagram and the highlight tab community to see my unboxing stories.
These stories, I do have a link you guys can use down below to get your own day designer. They have some free printables and guides you can use to help you on your planning journey. So again, thank you to the designer for sending me my new planner. I’m so excited to use it. Click the link down below to get yours today.
Okay, awesome. So the first thing I wanted to cover was a little bit about hearing loss. On national cochlear implant day I actually asked you guys on my Instagram stories to ask me questions about hearing loss, you guys went crazy and asked me some really really awesome questions, so if you want to see those I also have them linked in the highlight tab called hearing loss on my Instagram profile. I will link that down below as well.
But I also asked you to ask you questions for today’s episode. So, number one what is the biggest struggle is in coping with hearing loss? This is a really good question. I think it’s just coping, in general, honestly. The world is made for sound, and there are some people who unfortunately or, you know, fortunately don’t have that opportunity to have sound.
You know when you walk into a restaurant the waiters immediately just start speaking to you.
There’s usually not a second thought about disability, you know, if that makes sense, like people are just so quick to act naturally, and the natural thing is just acting and speaking with sound. And same thing with public places. You know, TVs are playing with sound but no captions and fire alarms tend to just be sound, movie theaters don’t automatically have captions, like there’s just so many things. And it’s just not accessible.
But fortunately, people are starting to speak up and out about hearing loss and, at least, America is starting to adapt to that. but there’s still some struggles. I have talked about this before, that even in education, it’s a struggle to get what you need to have and what you need to cope with your hearing loss. So all in all it’s really just hearing loss in general in the world that’s the biggest struggle. You have to learn to adapt to a hearing world, essentially, you know, I really don’t know what else I can say about it, in that terms you know without repeating myself, but you know, you just have to find out what’s the best way to adapt for your own personal struggles. So like somebody like me, who has sound, but when I take off my implants I don’t, like I have to find that happy medium that suits all of my needs. So, great question. thank you so much for answering that or asking that.
The second question is How long did it take me to get a full hearing? So, I’m going to try and explain this the best that I can. But with cochlear implants, even though I can hear and speak, I’m not fully cured per se from deafness. I still struggle to hear when there’s background noise or videos aren’t captioned, but sometimes someone, you know, will show me videos without captions and I’ll kind of just stare off because I can’t understand the video. But that being said before I got my implants I was much worse than I am now.
It was even more of a struggle with hearing aids versus implants, because implants essentially replace the little hairs that are inside of your cochlea that allow us to hear. So when sound comes through this little biology lesson, when sound comes through your ear, you have these like little hairs that are vibrating and moving to kind of like transport the sound. And, you know, some people have different stages of hearing loss. So, you know, they might have missing hair cells or a broken eardrum or something or, you know, conductive hearing loss or something so me in my personal situation I don’t have those hairs that are moving the sound so the sound may enter my ear but it won’t go anywhere. So over time the hair started to deteriorate, more and more, and eventually like now I don’t have any left. But, an implant is one that is like, replacing those little hairs and turning them into more electronic neurons, I guess, or they’re called electrodes specifically.
But, but that’s different than hearing aids because a hearing aid is just an amplification system whereas an implant is really replacing the entire mechanical process of hearing.
However, an implant, after you get it you have to kind of have recovery time. So I got my first implant surgery done on December 16 of 2016, but I didn’t get an activated until June 4 of 2017.
And that’s a June 4, what am I saying, and then January 4. It was not that long of a time. But, January 4 was when I got my implant activated because you know you’ve got this internal magnet that is being placed in your head and you want your body to accept it as, you know, and not think of it as a foreign object, even though it is a foreign object in your head. You have the external component of the implant which is attached by magnets. And so the internal piece has a little like silicone tail that is wired through your cochlea. And when you put it, the external piece on that’s where there’s a microphone, and that’s kind of, it looks like a hearing aid but there’s like a little secret piece that is magnetically attached to my head, which is where the sound is transmitted so I’m essentially hearing through my brain like I’m not even hearing, through my ears at all.
So things sound different. When I first got my implants turned on, I had a combination of Donald Duck and Darth Vader, which is what everybody sounded like, then your brain over time starts to adapt and they start to listen to the sounds and make them into words, you know, kind of, like, a young kid experiences.
Listening therapy for me was retraining my brain here. so I don’t have full hearing, but I do hear pretty well with my implants on, that’s something that I won’t struggle but I think I’m doing okay.
When I go back to get my hearing test the last time I registered in like the really high percentile for good hearing. I don’t have full hearing, but I’m using the technology that’s available to me, to make it better. So I hope that makes sense I know I kind of had a long winded answer.
But that’s a pretty common question that a lot of people have asked me and so is this next one, so how can I speak so well, if I’m deaf? that’s question number three. So, to provide a little background for people, um, those who are deaf don’t always speak or communicate in other ways other than sign language. So, if you are able to hear sounds you won’t know how to replicate them and actually produce the sounds yourself. So, I actually had a friend who has been is completely deaf and they don’t use any sort of assistive devices so I was completely deaf. And since he was deaf, since birth. He didn’t learn all of the nuances of language that are crucial to speech development.
Well, I said, and by said I mean I barely signed it to him. But I said something funny to him. And instead of him laughing out loud. He made the facial expression of laughter but no sound physically came out because if he’s looking at us, and people who are hearing and they’re laughing. They only detect the facial expression, which is why that’s more natural but there’s no sound associated with it, which I actually saw a funny meme on Pinterest. That said, I wonder if deaf people think that those who are yawning are actually screaming, you know what I mean like somebody who’s yawning might look like they’re screaming. So they just don’t know like they have no way of knowing if there’s actually sound coming out.
Um, and so, anyway, back to the question, How do I speak so well I’m deaf? So this is actually two part answer and question and answer, but number one I didn’t begin losing my hearing until my until I was eight years old. So, this means that my language acquisition skills were already pretty developed and it didn’t jeopardize my speech. You know, you start to learn to talk when you’re younger. And because I had already learned that crucial piece. It wasn’t going to jeopardize how I was speaking. And number two, I, I actually have been to speech therapy myself. before I got my implants I used to have a very like not drastically different but very like noticeable difference in my voice. So those who are deaf, often have something called a deaf accent. So you can kind of tell that they’re Deaf because they miss crucial pieces of words and stuff like that. And simply by like looking at words. I often struggle with repeating things. So, this is funny and I actually can’t believe I’m actually saying this out loud. But, the word mortgage, you know, the house payment that you pay.
I used to. I used to think that it was pronounced mor-tidge, because I didn’t realize that there was an extra sound or syllable you know what I mean, that’s probably a bad example but even words that are. I believe it’s homophone so like words that look the same, but are pronounced different I forget what it is but but you get what I’m trying to say. So I actually changed myself a lot in music and it’s normal speech therapy to work on clarity and missing sounds and all of that stuff. My mom and I worked together a lot to retrain my brain etc. And that’s really why one of my biggest accommodations and middle school was requesting vocabulary ahead of time, if there were new words that were going to be introduced. I could take it home and I could talk it over with my mom and like we can figure it out so that it’s not the first time that I’m hearing that word, and not knowing the sound in my head.
That was a long answer to what the question is. But when I actually take my implants off, I do have a very different voice than without. Um, so it’s kind of funny, but yes I can speak and no I don’t know sign language. So, that’s kind of where I was going with that. But again, it’s because I didn’t start losing my hearing until I was eight years old, that it really didn’t have much of an impact on my speech, but I’m just going to answer those three questions, because I wanted to move on to the Lenten section of this episode and I already took some time to answer them. So Happy World Hearing day to answer that part of it but let’s move on into the Lenten section of this episode.
The Lenten section of this episode, I wanted to talk about Lenten sacrifices. So on Friday I posted a blog, a blog post of 50 ideas for Lenten sacrifices so I’ll leave the link down below if you want to check that out if you need some ideas, but I asked you guys on my Instagram to ask me questions about Lent, I liked doing that because I like hearing your feedback. But the first one that I got is what did I personally choose to give up for lent? So, I also mentioned this in my blog post that I don’t actually like the idea of giving something up for Lent.
I personally would rather make sacrifices to add in things that are difficult for me like praying something like 500 times a day or making extra effort to get to mass, you know, things like that.
The whole purpose of lent is to essentially bring us closer to God and just know that I’m not judging those who choose to give up candy or chocolate because that is a sacrifice for some. And if that is what brings you closer to the God that I’m cheering you on but personally in my relationship with God I like to add in things like reading my devotional or praying for people who have hurt me so I want to grow closer to God and I feel like that’s the best way for me to do that. So, in, in theory, in conclusion, my Lenten sacrifice is adding things that will bring you closer to God so praying, every day, reading my devotional reading my Bible, trusting in God saying Jesus I trust in you, you know things like that, there’s a whole long list of those as well.
But actually this brings me to my next question of how do you actually stick with what you gave up? This is a good question. It’s going to be different and difficult for every person, but for me personally, in my room I actually have a whiteboard that I wrote out my Lenten sacrifices and so every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed I see the whiteboard and it reminds me to keep forging on in my sacrifices. I’m making it a habit to pray before I do you think so, even the simple word of Jesus, I trust in You, who aligns your heart and your mind with God. So it’s all about what works for you but maybe setting your phone alarm alarm to remind you, or writing it on your calendar or someplace, you’re going to see it every day will really keep you going.
Can I not talk today?
I’ve seen some people set it as their background on their phones so that every time they open their phone they can see it. So, we’re almost a week into Lent, which is crazy but the countdown is on to Easter. So keep going. You got this. I’m cheering you on in your Lenten sacrifices and if you fail, It’s not the end of the world. God forgives you which is great because we all need forgiveness and mercy.
But try your hardest to do things that are going to keep you closer with God and keep your relationship with him. Awesome. So, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert for us before he died on the cross, so you can do this, I believe in you. But that is all the time that we have for today. Thank you guys for joining me this week on the podcast, but let’s end with a prayer. Before we close, so in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Awesome. Okay. Happy Tuesday, everybody and I will see you guys next week. Bye.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
It’s the 30th episode of Hear and Now Podcast! Thank you for joining me this week as I answer your questions about Lent and celebrate World Hearing Day by answering your hearing loss questions!
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