Accepting and Embracing

I think that I do a good job of “accepting” my hear loss, but I don’t know that I “embrace” it. Embracing a change like hearing loss in my opinion, would indicate that it was a wanted loss. I do not want hearing loss.However, having said that I do believe that I can honestly say I wouldn’t change the past. All the growth that I have seen happen in my life, all of the “small” things I have learned to appreciate, all the wonderful people I have met that have contributed to my growth I embrace without hesitation. If I could choose to undo my hearing loss and be a normal hearing person I would not do so. I suppose this in part due to the fact that I have worked very hard to accept my hearing loss, and that exercise of faith, will, perseverance and determination have made me a person I like! Grin! Before having a “trial” in my life, I was a pretty wimpy individual. Growing pains hurt, but they do GROW you.That does not mean that there are still “bad” days. I still cry myself to sleep on occasion. There are still days that I allow someone to hurt my feelings. There are “bad” days.I am very thankful for a supportive spouse and family. Without trying to sound ridiculous – they are the wind beneath my wings! And you know what? My hearing loss has had a positive effect on each of their lives too! They are stronger, more compassionate, more AWARE of the things that are really important. So see? I couldn’t trade that either! If my hearing loss has made them the very special people THEY are, well – I can accept my hearing loss. Gosh. At this point in answering your question I’ve had a “lightbulb” moment! An epiphany! I can embrace my hearing loss.Denise P.Frederick, MDBi-lateral severe-profound lossCI surgery date: 4/6/05

Touched by an Angel

Funny how when you have a life-changing event about to happen, youfind yourself becoming very introspective about your life as it is -and how it will be. Some life-changing events are sudden andcatastrophic. They are not anticipated, nor can one preparethemselves physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. As Inear the date of a “known” life-changing event, I find that I am ona daily roller-coaster of emotional upheaval. It’s not apleasant “ride”, but I’m not throwing up yet either!I have also found myself reading, and reading, and reading somemore. I am currently reading Journey Out of Silence, by DoraTingelstad Weber, for the fifth time. Yes, you didn’t’ misreadthat – I am reading it for the fifth time! This morning I wasreading the chapter “Leap of Faith”, and in particular the sectionentitled, “Touched by an Angel”. Dora is at “Grandma’s McDonald’s”very near the date to her CI surgery date. She sat writing lettersone morning and noticed a man sitting in a booth opposite her.Remarkably, she noticed that he had an implant and he talked to Dorafor some time. Her chapter continues as she documents howthis “angel” was used in her life so close to her own implant date.I closed the book this morning and was struck with the realizationof my own “angels”. Those who have been used in my life during thisemotional time for me; individuals who are not aware of their ownimpact. Individuals whom I have not met personally, but people whohave shared there lives in a very angelic way.Dora – I want to meet her one day. Although, I suspect I will reachto hug her neck and weep uncontrollably. I will not be able to saywho I am. I will not be able to express how her life has touchedmine. I will be completely incapable of vocalizing anything atall! I hope that she will know `tis me, and that my tears aresaying “thank you”. “THANK YOU” for being a part of a very positivechange in me.I think of the angels named Alice, who have been such anencouragement to me. This angel always has a positive attitude, andalways exudes hope and optimism. She has tirelessly perfected aplace where those seeking information and support can go and findthat they “belong”.I have an angel in my life named Bob M. He makes me think, andmakes me educate myself. He has helped me to grow and to mature.We share a common dislike for Snitz.I have angels named Linda K., and Art N., who have completelychanged the way I view my deafness. Their own challenges ofdeafness and blindness do not define who they are. Their HEARTSdefine them, and they have taught me to do the same.I have angels who share my name. Denise J. has been a bundle ofenthusiasm and a kindred spirit. Answering every single sillyquestion that I have, and I have many!I have a couple of angels named Linda S., and Linda B. One namedBJ, and another named Donna. Carolyn of the Lakes, and numerousothers — all belonging to one big ol’ angel choir. We all respondby saying, “Say What?”, but we always understand and “hear”. Thereare so many angels here, I cannot name them all!I have other large groups of angels that have helped me, one ofwhich is quiet (SHHH) but LOUD. This group has quite literallysaved my life.Angels that are Texans; one named Barbara H., and one named Tommie.I look forward to learning whether or not they have Texas accents.I have angels in my own family, two of which have never thought ofme as broken. I am their mom, which is enough for them. I have anangel who has loved me “for better or for worse”. He has helped mesee that “worse” does not have to be.I am so thankful for the angels who have touched my life. I havehigh hopes that I can be an angel in someone else’s life too.