Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Thoughts

I've got a lot of different things on my mind, not necessarily related except that they've popped into my head throughout today.

I went back to church for the first time in weeks.  It was good to be back.  Sacrament meeting was loud as always.  I tried to listen to the talks as best as I could, but the effort was tiring.  Listening out of one ear (which is basically where I am while I'm getting used to the implant) and trying to lip-read from afar, while keeping an eye on two girls in constant need of attention or snacks, amidst dozens of other families also trying to manage their noisy small children, was a challenge.  So, if you were to ask me what the talks were about, I would not be able to give a terribly articulate answer.  But it was good to be back.

The closing hymn was "Come, Come Ye Saints," which we Mormons sing whenever we need something pioneer-y.  It was written during the Mormon trek westward to the Salt Lake valley and was inspired by the always present challenges and hard to recognize joys along the trail.  The second verse touched me today.

Why should we mourn, or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins, fresh courage take.
Our god will never us forsake.
And soon we'll have this tale to tell--
All is well! All is well!

Now, it would be presumptuous to think that my lot in life is terribly hard, because it isn't. Not by a long shot. I'm just trying to learn how to hear again, which is tricky, but I'm told that it's not impossible.  The last few days have been discouraging nonetheless because my progress is so hard to recognize.  Nothing sounds much better than it did on Wednesday, and the effort of listening is so mentally tiring. I usually go to bed with a headache. I'm going to stick with this, though, because I have hopes that there is indeed a great reward in store somewhere at the end of this road back to hearing.

Turns out that my audiologist Amy is reading this blog, too!  She emailed me this morning to respond to some of the things that I described in previous posts.  (That's great customer service!) She also shared with me the steps back to hearing. It's a nice little checklist that I hope to get through eventually. Right now, I'm definitely past step 1 but not quite fully into step 2.
It's great to hear you are doing your homework!  I know it's going to be frustrating, but that's the only way to get your brain "adjusted" to all the new input. It's similar to learning a new language – you have the language in your head, but you have to associate the NEW sounds with the words already in your head.  Keep in mind the stages of sound identification, since this will help you figure out where you're at.  Here's a quick summary, as simplified as I can make it:
  1. sound on vs. off
  2. Syllbable identification  (single words) - given the topic
  3. Vowel identification (single words) - given the topic
  4. Consonant I.d. (multiple levels of this actually, in words) - given the topic
  5. Word I.d. (single words) - given the topic
  6. Word I.d. At the END of a sentence only…and later in middle, then beginning of a sentence - given the topic
  7. 1-2 word I.d. At end of a sentence, then middle, then beginning - given the topic
  8. Single word I.d. WITHOUT a topic given
  9. 1-2 word I.d. WITHOUT a topic given
  10. Sentence I.d. WITHOUT a topic given
Interesting stuff, no?

My Primary class was happy to see me back.  (I teach three 9 and 10-year olds each week, kind of like junior Sunday School.)  One of the girls asked me how my ear was doing and seemed concerned when I told her that I still couldn't hear very well out of my ear. I wonder if she thinks that my surgery didn't work.  Sometimes I wonder that, too. Ha!


  1. Sorry that Micah was so noisy and distracting today at church!!! We recently took his pacifier away and church as been a struggle since then...but hopefully it'll get better.

  2. Just to reassure you, thanks to all the noisy kids in our ward, I usually can't hear what the Sacrament meeting talks are about either.

  3. We sang the same hymn, and I started crying during the 4th verse. Gets me every time. Glad to hear of your successes, big & small :)