Sunday, October 25, 2015

The power of hearing

This time last year, I was scrambling to find motivation for Ammon to wear his hearing aids.  It was not uncommon for us to arrive at a store or at grandma's house and find that Ammon had not brought his hearing aids.  I was constantly checking that boy's head to see if he had them on.  He did not like to wear them and he often avoided wearing them until we made him put them on.

Last Halloween, a dear friend of mine who goes all out when decorating for Halloween offered to have Ammon come to her house to help put up Halloween decorations as a reward for wearing his hearing aids consistently.  It was a great plan as Ammon LOVES Halloween and loves to decorate.

Flash forward to this year and more specifically tonight at bedtime. Halloween is only a few days away but things are a little different now.  Ammon thought that his hearing aid batteries were all gone as the ones in the case he has been using have all been used. I thought we had more but since I wasn't sure where they were, we told Ammon that we would get some hearing aid batteries first thing tomorrow morning. That brought on much anxiety for Ammon along with some weeping and wailing.  He told us in no uncertain terms that he could not wait until morning to get his batteries because if the battery currently in his hearing aid went dead, he would not be able to hear when he got up.  Nothing we could say would console him.  He wanted hearing aid batteries and he wanted them now.  He was really upset so I told him to go lay down on his bed and I would look in one more place that could have batteries. That place was my purse.  Mom's purses are equipped with all sorts of life saving devices.

I walked back to Ammon on the bed and showed him the case full of batteries from my purse. It is difficult to have a conversation with your deaf child in the dark when their implants and hearing aids are off, but I could see that he was visibly relieved and would now be able to settle down enough to sleep.

What an amazing turn of events.  Last year I was bribing Ammon to wear his hearing aids and tonight he could not rest until he knew he would not have to go without them even for a few minutes in the morning. Our boy likes to hear and he now sees that his hearing aid is a vital part of that process.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Chance and his mountain bike

Chance bought a new mountain bike.  His brother found one in a pawn shop and it was in great shape so Chance pulled some of his money from his bank account and got himself a bike.  Chance has wanted a bike for a while, especially one that can help him keep up with his brother when they go mountain biking.

Chance took his bike into a local bike shop to get it tuned up and has taken his bike out for a test drive. The bike is apparently working well. Chance headed up a mountain by his grandma's house  with his brother and a friend. His friend broke his brake handle, but in the end everyone returned home okay and in one piece.  There are few things that can match the beauty of the mountains in the fall when the leaves are changing colors.  Riding through the  fall trees on a mountain bike is exquisite.

Chance went out for a ride again this weekend and came back with some battle wounds from falling off his bike while coming down a challenging mountain trail.   He got right back up on the bike and told us when he got home that the fall was worth it.  The mountains were beautiful and he was having a great time with his brother and a friend.

I think Chance is quite happy with his mountain bike purchase.  And it is a great way to enjoy the fall weather and mountain colors.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Costco crisis

I took Chance's brother Ammon shopping with me to Costco along with his younger sister.  All was well on our shopping trip and we were almost done.  We were on the very last isle at the back of the store, the furthest spot from the front door, when  Ammon told me in a panicked voice that his implant battery was dying.  He then informed me that we were going to have to go out to the car to get a new one.

I told him that we only had two more isles to shop and then we were done so we would get the battery when we got back out to the car.

Ammon didn't have his hearing aid in, so when the implant died, he wasn't hearing.  And he didn't like it one bit.  Three separate times as we made our way to the front of the store to pay for our goods, Ammon yelled,"We have to go get a battery right now mom!" or "Mom! We have to go NOW!" and "I am leaving right now mom even if you don't come!"

Ammon of course couldn't hear my responses and since Ammon is deaf and all, he was louder than your average shopper and he is 9.  To the typical shopper at Costco, he looked like a rather snotty child who was telling me what to do. He was telling me what to do but that is because he was panicked at not being able to hear.  This is why I am very careful about judging other parents in stores or anywhere else for that matter.  You just really never know what is going on.

One special thing that deaf children can do when they can't hear you, is look away so they can't see you either.  This effectivlely cuts off all communication.  With your hearing kids they have to hear you even if they don't want to.  It is their curse.  Deaf children can block you out by looking the other way and that is what Ammon did.

I thought to myself that it had been a long time since I had a meltdown by a deaf child that couldn't hear me in a store.  What parent wouldn't want to experience that again?

I ended up putting my arms on Ammon's shoulders as he leaned against some crates of books.  He looked away, but I put my mouth right next to his right ear and told him he would be able to hear soon, and he needed to stop yelling.  Then I told him a little private joke that he and I share.  I don't even know what he heard of what I said, but he tried not to laugh and accidentally made eye contact with me again.

We made it through the store and as soon as we were in the car, his implant was full of juice again and my happy boy was back.

Wow, he doesn't like not being able to hear.  I can't blame him, he has heard all of his life until the last year.  I think he is attached to this being able to hear thing.