Monday, July 30, 2012

What happens when someone takes your implants

What happens when someone takes your implants?  Chance found out today after swim team practice.
Chance met me as I was leaving my room and said, "Someone took my implants."  He looked like he was trying not to laugh so I took his face and turned it towards mine and said,"Chance, are you being serious?" I wasn't sure that he was.

Then he hung his head and I could then see that he was not joking around and was trying not to cry, not hiding a laugh.

There would never be an ideal time to have someone take the implants, but this morning was especially challenging.  We had family friends from overseas visiting and it was the day we were taking them to the airport.  There were last minute errands to run and packing to finish up.  To add to the mix, their car, which they planned on dropping off at a relative's house, had a flat tire, so I needed to run them to the tire store and then off to run some errands.  All in time for them to catch their flight.

And now, Chance's implants had gone missing and he couldn't hear a thing.  Chance had put his implants with his shoes, towel and pajamas bottoms that he wears in the mornings to stay warm on the way to the pool.  He does this every morning, usually tucking the implants inside his shoes.  He does not put the implants in a locker because he has them close enough so that he can grab them and put them on for instruction when he needs to. He puts the implants on when he needs to hear, then takes them off to swim.

I immediately set out to find his back-up implants which of course were not where I thought they were.  It turns out I just didn't grab the right box which had been pushed back behind the other boxes.

Chance's brother had asked at lost-and-found before carpooling from the pool but they didn't have the implants.

Chance did not tell his swim coach or any of the people at the pool that the implants were missing. I think he was in shock and thought someone left with them.

I called Chance's dad who ended up coming home from work to help so we could divide and conquer.
We are talking about $16,000.00 worth of machinery here, more-or-less, and only one could be replaced by insurance.

I headed up to the pool and informed the swim coach, many of the staff , the receptionist and the manager that we had implants go missing and if they saw them to please turn them into the lost and found.

I also started looking around the deck of the pool.  Swim team involves a large time-span of kids coming and going, plus, by the time I got back up to the pool, swim lessons were about to begin.  That meant that every half an hour new kids and families would be arriving at the pool.

There was no telling where the implants had gone.  A young child could have picked them up not knowing what they were,  if they had been removed from the shoes, they could have been knocked into the pool.......
On the way to tell the coaches what had happened and to see if they knew where the implants were, I was looking around the pool deck looking for any sign of implants.

As I was searching around the hot tub area,  a woman in the hot tub asked me if I was looking for something.  When I explained the situation to her, she said that she had seen something moon shaped on the deck of the pool over  a few yards but didn't think anything of it.  I went to look at that spot, but didn't see anything.

Now I knew that the implants could be floating around anywhere on the deck, being kicked around as people walked past.

I ended up taking  some of our guests to the tire shop, while the rest of the group joined Chance and his dad to spread out and search the pool deck.

Thankfully, both implants were eventually found.   One was turned into lost and found, and the other was found next to a garbage can, on the other side of the pool.  We are not proud people - we had even searched the garbage cans.  Chance's pajamas bottoms were next to the garbage as well.

The next time Chance met me at the house, he was beaming and pointing to both implants which were sitting on their rightful place on his head.

We have all started to breath normally at our house again.  We are very thankful to our guests who went on an implant hunt with us and to whoever turned one of the implants into lost and found.

I think we've had enough implant excitement for a while and need to take a little break to breath:)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chance troops through a week of scout camp

Chance excited "on approach" to camp.
Chance is a fainter.  Who knew?  On the second day of scout camp, Chance started feeling under the weather so he retreated to his hammock, and laid down.  Then he threw up.  Realizing that he was now officially sick,  Chance pulled himself out of his hammock and found his Scoutmaster.

"I feel sick."  He stated and then fell right into his Scoutmaster, passing out.

The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster then helped a limp Chance walk to the First Aid station where Chance slept for 3 hours.

In Chance's words:" I slept for like 3 hours and then got up and I felt fine!"

The camp's official flagpole and amphitheater
The diagnosis was heat exhaustion.

Chance is the trailblazer on fainting in the family as none of  the rest of us have ever done it.

With with the exception of the fainting/sleeping episode, Chance had a very productive time at camp.  He earned 6 merit badges, cooked some meals, and had a great time with friends.

Around the camp fire one night, the boys were asked to talk about something that they liked.  Chance has a friend who is on the autistic spectrum and he wasn't talking when they asked him what he liked, so Chance offered,'He likes to tease me about girls."

A view of the scenery from camp
At this point, his friends eyes lit up and he outed Chance telling all of the boys the name of the girl that Chance thinks is cute in our neighborhood.  Her dad happens to be Scoutmaster so he now knows too:)  Apparently, Chance caught some teasing about this girl for the rest of the camp and it didn't work in his favor when the cars pulled up in front of her house to unload their gear when they got home.

Chance is taking it all in stride though.  He just smiles when he tells the story.......and kind of smacks his forehead.  Rumor has it that she thinks he is cute too so at least she won't be completely horrified if the rumor gets back to her.

Chance's shadow - just for fun
Chance got to participate in several water activites while he was at camp including canoeing, sailing, rowing, and fishing, getting merit badges for the three boating activities.  The camp staff was wonderful working with Chance around the water.  Chance's dad headed up to camp to help out for the last two and a half days of camp and got to see first hand how great the camp staff was.

Chance would get to the water and the staff would explain the day's events, then Chance would hand over his implants and the staff would place them in a box, inside of a box, inside of a box.  How is that for protection?

They all knew that Chance could not hear at this point and just worked around it.  Chance didn't feel left out, he just put his incredible lip reading abilities to work and the boys in his boat worked with him.

5-star lodging, right here !!!
On the last day of camp, the boys had to demonstrate that they could dock their boats. To get to the dock, they had to row the boats from their beach around to the dock - about 150 yards.  There was a wind blowing against them and several of the boys were unable to get the rowboat upwind.  Chance just hopped in, and guided his boat around to the dock without a problem to the amazement of the other boys.

Chance also shared his feelings around the campfire about how much he enjoyed camp,  and how he knew that with God, we can get through any of the difficulties in our lives.

Growth, learning and bonding with the other boys, and merit badges.  Sounds like a successful week at scout camp.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chance packs a pack for the mountains

Tomorrow, Chance will head out at 5:00 a..m. for the great outdoors for 6 days of scout camp.  He is so excited that every time I pass him on the bed and do sleeping motions to tell him to go to sleep, he smiles and says,"I am trying, but I am too excited!"
It is an exciting time in life to go on your first week long camping adventure as a youth.
I remember my first week of camp quite vividly.  Obviously I was not a boy scout, but I went with my ward or youth group.  It was awesome and I have about 200 pictures of pot guts(ground hogs) to prove it.  My friend and I were quite taken by  the cute little critters.
I am excited for Chance to have this new adventure.
I am not overly worried, but I have had some thoughts come into my mind since Chance wears implants.
One,  Chance will not hear wake up calls no matter how loud they blow the horn or whatever.

Two, Chance will likely miss out on some of the ruckus in his tent since once those implants are off, he won't hear anything.  This is good and bad.  Chance may get more sleep.  He may also miss out on great jokes.

Three, Chance may not hear people calling him in the vast out doors if he should get separated from the group.   I have tried to tackle this fact and prepare Chance with out making him paranoid.
For instance, I told him to stick to the buddy system and take another scout with him should he need to use the loo or go back to camp from an activity.  And I gave him an orange survival whistle to put in his day pack which will be on his personage most of the time.  That way, if he gets separated from the troop, he can call out to them instead of relying on them to find him.
I did tell him one kind of scary scout story to help him see what could happen if he is not careful.  It was as a word of caution as it is hard to understand the vastness of our beautiful mountains nor the ease with which one can get lost.  This is the same story I told his brother to help him maintain a certain respect for our mountains.
The high Uintah  Mountains that Chance will be camping in are a great treasure.  Their majestic peaks tower over our valleys and provide a beautiful display for each season.  Snow covered peaks hang over us in the winter, with each snow storm dropping the snow level ever closer to the valley floor.  Spring and summer find an erasing of the snow replaced with blankets of greenery and ever green trees.  Then in the fall, the mountains give us the beauty of bursting color as the changing leaves put on an artistic display of red, orange and yellow.
Those mountains also demand respect with quick changes in weather and sudden drops in temperature year round.  They are also vast and one peak leads to another peak in one continuous chain of rounded mounds.
It is easy to get lost in the vastness of it all.  And every once in a while, that lost person is a scout.  A few years ago, we had a scout who was camping with his troop and his dad was up with him as well.  They were by a lake and the scout got wet or something and decided to go down the short path to camp to get some dry shoes I think it was. His dad nodded and off he went.  He was never seen again, and his body was never found even though hundreds of people responded to search and several searches were made over a period of weeks.   This boys father is now an expert  in searches and is often called in when someone goes missing in the mountains.  I am sure he wishes the need had never arisen for him to learn those skills, but he has been an invaluable resource for other families.   
 This is not a typical scenario, and most scouts return home from camp with priceless memories, having learned vital skills and grown in significant ways.  It is good for boys to get away and experience cooking outside, Indian lore and plant identification.  I absolutely love the Boy Scout program and feel it does a superb job of helping boys grow into decent men.
Camping in the mountains comes with needed precautions no matter who the group of campers is.  A deaf scout who does not hear when his implants come off or may not hear when he is called as the wind blows the trees or groups of boys laugh and joke around needs to be a little extra cautious.
 I think Chance is prepared.  He is a level headed kid and he has fabulous leaders who understand  that he won't hear wake up calls etc.  He also has two of  his best friends as tent mates and they have each others backs.
Chance is very excited and I am excited for him. I am curious to see what kinds of pictures Chance has to show us at the end of the week.  Maybe pot guts will feature prominently, you never know. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

I've got to get me some of those!

I have got to get myself some implants.  Chance has taken to finding a quiet spot in the house, taking off his implants and reading.  The reading part is great, but he does not tell us he is going "off-line" so to speak so we have had some frantic searches at our house.

One time I had to go to an appointment and Chance was going to watch his siblings.  When it came time for me to leave, I could not find him.  I called Chance's name,  searched his bedroom, downstairs and the yard.  Not a trace of Chance could be found.

Chance and his Dad on Scout backpacking camping trip
in our local mountains.
Chance's siblings fanned out through the cul-de-sac, asking at friends' houses for him and peeking in backyards.

It turns out, Chance was under the stairs, implants off in silent bliss.  Good for him, not so good for me.

Then, another time Chance was laying on the couch downstairs, back to the door, reading away while we all called him and tried to figure out where he was.

There have been phone calls for him and friends coming over where after calling out for Chance, I have had to admit to people that I did not know where Chance was.

My favorite was when I was downstairs putting away clothes that no longer fit the kids anymore.  Chance and a friend were right across the way from me and I could hear them chatting away as they made Lego Creations across an extra table Chance has converted into his personal Lego land.
Some of Chance's siblings wanted to join in the Lego land experience, but Chance and his friend wanted to create alone.

Then Chance's dad started calling us all up to start an outdoor movie.  Then he added,"If you all don't come now, we won't have time to finish the movie before  bedtime."

Chance didn't move or respond which was weird since he had been so excited for the movie.
Finally, I got up from where I was packing boxes and looked over in Chance's direction.
It turns out that Chance had his implants turned off and was signing to his friend about how they could build alone now since his brother went upstairs.  The friend he was playing with that day wore an implant too, so they both went offline together.

I had to wave like a madwoman to get his attention so I could tell him the movie was starting.

With these sort of instances happening at our house, I am wondering if I want an implant that I can remove when I am involved in a good book or just want to let my creative juices flow with out interuption.:)

We have told Chance that he needs to tell us when he turns his implants off just so we know he will not be available to hear our voices.