Monday, March 28, 2011

Constrained to the back of the van

After pulling into the garage after driving carpool, I heard Chance say to his little brother, "You have to get my implant back."

"Why does he have to get your implant back?" I asked.

"Because he took it and put it somewhere in the van," Chance replied, remarkably calm about the whole situation.

So I turned to my youngest son and asked,"Where is the implant?"

"Back there." He said pointing to the back of the van.

"Back there where?" I asked.

He shrugged.

"I think it is in the very back of the van." Chance replied.

Unfortunately the very back of our van which usually only has a stroller in it, had a box to go the thrift store and several play items which had not yet been removed after a week end family get together.

The search began with my youngest son at my side after I told him that he was not allowed to go into the house until we found the implant.

Chance soon joined us but we found that flat little implants can hide really well. Maybe getting a bland beige color so that it would blend in with Chance's hair better was not a good idea. Maybe we should have gone for neon green or something.

I started to imagine the reaction of the thrift workers as they came across the implant in the donated box:  "Bob, Look! I found a CIA earpiece in this here box!"

Finally, the implant was located in the bed of the stroller where it had slid down and was only visible if you actually unfolded the stroller.

Problem solved. After Chance's little brother spend a little time in his bedroom, gave Chance a big hug and promised never to do that again.:)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let the questions begin!

I found myself in the lunchroom at Chance's school sitting in the middle of a table with several kids who had questions about Chance's deafness.
I had gone up to the school to help out in the writing class like I do each week, and Chance and I had eaten lunch together. I had to go to the office to take care of some things, so I sent Chance out to enjoy recess with his friends while I finished eating.
I noticed little kids around me looking at me so I said hello and asked them how they were doing. Then the questions started.
"You're Chance's mom huh?"
"Is Chance deaf or is he hard of hearing?"
"Was Chance born deaf?"

I explained that Chance was deaf and that they think his deafness was caused by a virus he caught when he was about 13 months old.

"What is a virus?" One of the boys wanted to know.

I explained the best I could what a virus was and how sometimes if a virus gets into our bodies it can make us sick.

"That DOES happen." One little boy turned and said to the others while nodding his head and looking very serious.

I have found that kids are very accepting of Chance's deafness, they are just curious about it which I think is great. I don't mind questions or conversations about Chance and his deafness. I am curious about things I see around me that I don't know much about too.

"I'm here every week so if you have any more questions let me know." I said.

"You're here on Wednesdays?" One boy asked.

When I replied in the affirmative, he nodded and got up to take his tray to the lunchroom.

So I wonder what we'll all talk about next week?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm dreaming of good vibrations...

It was a dark and coldish night. Two people lay on the living room floor where they have dozed off. Suddenly, an unfamiliar noise rips through the house originating in the hall threatening to wake up all of the sleeping children in the bedrooms.
It is a rattling, no wait, banging, no wait, metallic kind of noise. Is it a machine gun? Is is a window being pelted by BB'S or rocks? Furthermore, where in the world is the noise coming from? Is someone with intent to do harm outside trying to flush us out or are they just going to storm the house?
After some searching, we realized the noise was coming from a metallic case in the hall. One of those money cash boxes with a handle. Do we want to open it to see what is inside? It could be dangerous. However, when faced with being maimed by an unknown force or having all 5 children awake in the wee hours of the night, it was an easy call to make. Open the case.
After bringing the case out into the living room and being now fully awake, the case was opened.
Uncertainty is now replaced by laughter.
Chance's vibrating alarm clock had been put into our metal cash box that the kids use when they are playing.
I do not recommend putting your vibrating alarm clock inside a metal box. Although it will wake up those who can hear it, it may also cause a heart attack if exposure is prolonged while coming out of a deep sleep. It may also possibly work to wake the dead.  (However, it would still prove useless to those for whom it was bought - Chance would still sleep right through it)

The vibrating alarm clock may have been bought with Chance specifically in mind but it's vibrations did a great job of waking up his parents. Job well done.

Monday, March 07, 2011

The hat

Chance got a new hat and he really really likes it. It is colorful and has flaps that hang down past his ears. Covering them.
Chance sometimes forgets that he is deaf and that wearing hats with flaps that cover his ears can impede hearing.
He looks really cute in the hat and I can understand why he would want to keep his head toasty here in the wintry wonderland that is our landscape some days.
He thinks he is hearing everything as usual. The irony of being deaf is, you don't know when you are missing out on things sometimes BECAUSE you can't hear what you are missing:)
So while Chance walks around looking all cute in his hat, he is not hearing as well as he does with out the hat.
If you ask him though, he will insist that he is hearing just fine.
This has been a theme for Chance this winter. He keeps his coat on and his hat over his ears when he enters school.
He wears a hoodie with the hat up to cub scouts.
At home, he likes to wear his hat with the flaps.
Hats are where it is at for Chance.
He just needs to realize that all of these hats impede his hearing when he keeps them on during school and scouts etc.:)
With spring on the way, maybe we can help Chance fall in love with a baseball cap type hat. Those leave the ears out and uncovered so the implant microphone is able to do its thing(namely catching sound) the best it can.