Wow the summer sure went by quickly - in fact the entire year seems to have zipped by! Far too fast for me - will somebody please slow the clock down???
I'm back in college and loving it. I was able to get A's in my Algebra and Chemistry classes I took during the Summer term, and now I am taking Physics and Calculus. I'm still amazed on a daily basis what a difference my CI makes in regards to the classroom setting.
I can remember taking math classes in high school and it was such a horrendous struggle. I'd *always* be behind, because it was a constant game of 'catch up' - either I could lipread the teacher and miss copying down the notes on the blackboard, or copy down the notes, but miss the explanation as to what they meant. Not anymore - its so fantastic to be able to take my own notes, and at the same time understand my instructors. They are just great, and so easy to understand as well - though my Calculus instructor is NOT easy to lipread - he has a full beard, and I have turned off my CI a couple times to see if I would have been able to lipread him had I been in his class pre-CI, and it would have been impossible.
But most recently, the "highlight of hearing" for me has been my nephew and niece. My nephew is almost 3 years old and talking nonstop, and its so wonderful when he comes up to me and says "Come with me Auntie Neece!" (he can't say Dyniece yet) or "Watch me to this Auntie Neece!" He is just so amazing and its wonderful to be able to converse with him. My niece just turned 1 year this weekend, and she's just learning to talk. She'll say "Hi, Hello, wow, please, yes, no, mama, dada, wama (grandma), and attempts to say 'neece' when she sees me (mimicking her brother).
I still have "CI" moments regularly - two weekends ago, my Mom and I were watching the World Equestrian Championships on TV, and I asked her to turn the CC off because it was blocking the horse's feet during the dressage and jumping competitions, and I was able to understand the announcers perfectly. It was so wonderful.
I'm using the phone more and more - not just for friends and family now, I will call to order a pizza, make reservations at a restaurant, or an appointment at the doctor's office. My confidence is growing by leaps and bounds.
Its so wonderful when I can just casually converse with a total stranger without struggling to lipread them. Its especially nice to join into conversations at college with my classmates, and just shoot the breeze. There's so much I missed out on when I just had to rely on lipreading. Family gatherings are especially enjoyable, because although my family made every attempt they could to include me, there were still so many instances where I'd have to ask my mom to interperet for me, and now that is an extreme rarity - usually only if there is loud music, or background noise washing out their voices (like a fan blowing, or the babies crying.)
In August, I flew out to the States to visit my sweetheart, and although I've flown many times, I was always very nervous about perhaps missing a flight because I didnt' hear an announcement, or not understanding the customs agents, etc. This time it was wonderful. When I explained to the security screeners that I had a CI, (as well as a spare with me) and that they couldn't go through the X-ray machines, they had no problem with that, and did visual inspections and sent me on my way. On the trip back to Vancouver, when I told the attendants that I was deaf prior to boarding (because the entire seating area was PACKED, and it was very noisy,) when it came time to board, she came and got me and bumped me up to First Class!!! Wow that was a wonderful experience as I had never flown First before!
So that's the latest news. Will update again soon!