Of Mom and Music

Arriving at Mom’s in the late afternoon, we said our hellos and quickly unloaded and stashed our stuff.  Once we settled in, Mom ordered a pizza from a local pizza place.  As it turned out, you can pretty much get your pizza anyway you want so, we ordered a Spinach and Chicken Alfredo pizza.  Mom had never had one, my wife and I love them.  The pizza arrived quickly, was delicious, and won the approval of Mom.  So, that’s a win.  After pizza, we settled in to talk a little about our hearing.

I say “our” hearing because Mom was implanted with a Cochlear Implant in January, just shy of four months after I was implanted.  We talked at length about how much we had both been missing over the years and how much we have progressed since being implanted.  I think she was using me as a gauge since I had such rapid improvement that first month after activation and was a little disappointed she hadn’t progressed as fast as I had.  I reminded her, each activation is different and it really depends on the person.  By comparison to some, I had an almost perfect activation.  Compared to others, my activation was woefully inadequate.  It all really does come down to the person and how quickly the brain adapts to the technology.

That being said, I think Mom is doing wonderfully!  We were able to carry on conversations without writing things down, without even rudimentary sign language, without constantly repeating ourselves.  Yes, Mom is doing great!

The next day was spent going through the “goodies” we received when we were implanted.  I drug all my “stuff” with me so I could show Mom and we could go through hers at the same time.  Like me, she has the Cochlear Mini-Mic and Phone Clip.  She told me she had them but really didn’t know how to use them.  After breakfast, and a trip to the fish market, you know the one where they throw the fish, we settled in for a learning experience.

The first thing I did was make sure the Mini-Mic was paired with her processor.  Then I showed her how to turn it on and to turn on the Mini-Mic accessory with her Remote Assistant.  Once I knew she could hear it, I walked around her house, talking to her through the Mini-Mic.  She loved it.  I told her how she could use it in restaurants when she is out with friends, or, during her meet ups for a little wine and chit chat she can give it to others to use.  The versatility is really only limited by your imagination.  Then, I went one step further.

Music has always been a big factor in my family.  Growing up, everyone played at least one instrument.  Mom played the piano and organ, I played the saxophone, other instruments played by family members included the trumpet, trombone, guitar (bass, rhythm and lead), percussion; I think every musical section was represented in our family.  Losing one’s ability to hear music is almost devastating when it is such a huge part of your life.  Bringing it back, there just isn’t a price to put on that.

I turned her TV on and found a music channel playing classical music, as it happened, the piece playing at the time was a piano concerto (I don’t remember which one or who wrote it).  I placed Mom’s Mini-Mic next to the TV speaker and in just a few seconds she looked at me and said, “That’s a piano.”  That is a huge deal for someone who had not tried to listen to music for years, to identify an instrument the FIRST time listening to music, that is beyond description.  Moving to her laptop, I showed her how to use the cable and plug the Mini-Mic into her computer, showed her how to navigate to You Tube and look up music and performances she enjoyed.

Later, Mom told me she watched so many videos she had to recharge her Mini-Mic.  Bringing music back to Mom, yes, that is definitely a win.

We moved on to the Phone Clip.  Mom had been having trouble using it so she had put it away.  I took it and paired the Bluetooth with her phone, then the Phone Clip with her processor, showed her how to turn it on, then called her.  While it wasn’t as big a success as the Mini-Mic, it was a success.  We could talk to each other on our phones, something neither have been able to do for years.

Finally, I showed her how to change to Mic covers on her processor.  I had held off on changing mine as I wanted her to have to the chance to watch me then do it herself.  Between the two of us, we had three processors to change the covers on.  I showed her how on one of mine, then guided her as changed the covers on my second processor, finally letting her change the covers on her own.  She passed with flying colors.  Mom, was set.

Now, don’t think all I did during our visit was teach her how to use her “stuff”.  We had a wonderful visit and I hope we are able to do it again, soon.

After the first night at Mom’s, we moved over to my brother’s house (he has more room and it was already arranged so I wasn’t abandoning Mom).  At my brother’s house, I was introduced to Gunther.

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Sorry for the pic quality but it was taken rather quickly.  Gunther, as you can see is a Great Dane.  A wonderfully loving, forgetful, Great Dane.  Naturally, he didn’t know me when I arrived so, he was a little stand offish until he realized I was a good guy.  Where he becomes forgetful is, the next morning he had no idea who I was.  We had to go through the introduction phase again.  My brother told me this was normal for him.  He would forget people.  Somewhat strange but, he is just too adorable.

When we were not with Mom, we were enjoying this view at my brother’s.

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Yes, that is Mount Rainier in the distance as you look across the Puget Sound.  Beautiful scenery.

Sadly, our visit had to come to an end.  After three days, we loaded up and headed South.

Until next time

Rob … the deaf guy

#wirelessaccessories #CochlearMiniMic #CochlearPhoneClip

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