Deaf YouTube Videos and Deaf Jurors

I’ve seen these videos on various blogs.

I would have loved to see these sort of videos as a kid……

The second one is in Chinese sign language.

Has anyone heard about how NC is trying to prevent deaf people from serving on a jury?

Talk about conflicting messages. A deaf person can be a doctor but can’t serve on a jury…….very…..sad……

Puff Fish and Needle Laughs

I haven’t been feeling too great for the past week and half. I finally started feeling better this afternoon and am hoping I continue to feel better. Last night was the first night I didn’t have a fever over 100 in about a week and half. I did go to the doctor last Thursday and got some antibiotics. Those antibiotics made me puff up like a puff fish (which btw, I think would be cool to own one…just not as cool to look like one) so I stopped taking them over the weekend.

I live in an area that is amazing about providing sign language interpreter and my family doctor actually refuses to see me without an interpreter present. Anyhoo….I had to have some blood work done. So, I went to the other room and sat down and waited for the nurse to jab me so she could get 3 tubes of my precious blood. I could tell that this nurse wasn’t used to interacting with deaf patients. She just didn’t seem comfortable and seemed unsure (c’mon, us deaf people aren’t THAT scary……).

I was trying to distract myself by reading the comics on the walls until I realized the nurse wanted my attention. I then looked at her and was expecting her to say something. Instead, she just stared at me with this cheesy grin and waved at me literally 6-10 inches away from my face…exactly the way adults wave at babies while saying “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” with a really high pitched voice. She said nothing else to me the whole time I was there.

Sometimes moments like these rub me the wrong way and sometimes they just crack me up. I almost found myself in a laughter fit while sitting there but I was able to gather myself. I smiled back and looked at the interpreter….I let a giggle or two slip. The nurse then turned around and did the exact same thing to the interpreter. The interpreter and I had to avoid making eye contact the rest of the time we were in that room otherwise we would have started laughing. Trust me, you do not want to in the middle of a laughing fit when you’re about to be stabbed with a needle.

We weren’t laughing at her per sec but more at….the random stuff I get as a deaf person from people who are so unsure how to act around deaf people. You just never know when it will arise and how it will arise. Half the time it just catches me completely off guard.

Now I know how babies feel when adults wave to them like that. I would like to apologize to all the babies in the world I’ve waved to like that. 😉

Btw, my friends signed a Get Well card for me! That sure put a smile on my face!! 🙂

The PCR Song

Ok ok. Here I go again showing how geeky I can be at times. 🙂

So I blogged a bit back about how I was going to try to subtitle songs.

I now have 2 that are available for public viewing. I was working on Boom Boom Pow until I found someone had already done it. I still need to finish We Walk by the Ting Tings.

Then today I ran across The PCR Song video and decided I would subtitle it. Why? When it first came out it was the talk among my graduate school classmates, supervisors, instructors, etc. It even found its way onto list-servs. I was annoyed that it wasn’t subtitled. I understood the concept as to why it was funny after I found the lyrics but never felt like I fully appreciated it as much as everyone else did. I never really appreciated it until now. It somehow makes a difference when listening to it. So, I’m enjoying this 2 years later……a bit delayed…. 😉

Once again I would like to clarify that I do this with the lyrics in front of me and by lipreading the singers. Subtitling isn’t perfect and I know there are some time issues in a few places….but I think it’s close enough. Let me know if you see any major errors!

For your listening and viewing enjoyment:

Would You?

I have asked several of my CI user friends if they would implant their baby (if they’re deaf).

So far, most of their answers have been “no.” Most of them were implanted later in life and were involved in the decision making process. They do very well with their CIs.

They want their child to have a choice.

On one hand, it is an elective surgery and there are surgery-related risks. On the other hand, children with CIs tend to do so much better (generally) if they’re implanted under the age of 3.

What would you do and why?

I could go on and on about this topic but I want to hear YOUR thoughts and opinions.

Colorado Trip-Part 1 of 3

Brace yourself for a picture overload! Mike, Tara, Dennis, and I went on a 9 day camping trip to Colorado. Between the 4 of us, we took oodles of photos and it was really hard to narrow it down. These pictures are a mix of all of ours so I can’t claim credit for all of them. 😉

Day #1: Drove to Denver where we met up with some other people for dinner and crashed at a hotel.

Day #2: We woke up to discover that we had a dead battery and had to call AAA to come to our rescue. We then did some camping supply shopping. It was quite a task to get everything to fit into the car. Stuff would just fall out whenever we opened up the trunk. We made our way to Rocky Mountain National Park and did some hiking. Later that night, we discovered we weren’t the….best….camping cookers. We struggled with cooking dinner almost every night the whole trip!

Day #3: We did some hiking around Rocky Mountain National Park. We hiked Flat Top Mountain (a 12Ker). There were still mounds of snow that we had to hike through. Let me tell ya….it’s fun to have snowball fights in June!

To be continued…..

Hear, Sound, and Listen

I’ve always used the words “hear”, “sound,” and “listen.”

For example I may say something like “oh, I heard she went to the store” or “she doesn’t sound like she’s going camping” or “I’m going to listen to this lecture.”

Even though I may not really be hearing or listening (e.g. no CI or hearing aids on). It goes to show that there are many different meanings of these words.

Why am I bringing this up?

I will use heard/sound/listen with deaf friends and most of them use these words themselves also. Every once in a while I’ll get chewed out by a deaf person for using those terms with them. I’ve even had it pointed out to me by hearing people. Is it really wrong for me to use these words? I think not.

I hear. I listen. Just in a different way.

On another note. I’m not feeling great today and have declared today a CI-free day. I think most of you know what I’m talking about. Even hearing people want peace and quiet when they don’t feel great.

Flying Deaf

I met up with T and G for lunch today. The topic of airplane crashes came up and we somehow got onto the topic of embarrassing moments when flying which then lead to us swapping war stories (flying deaf experiences).

Let me just say that…as a deaf person, I just never know what to expect when traveling. I never know if I will run into ignorant employees or if I will be at a complete loss as to what’s going at (due to not being able to hear announcements). Although in the end it does keep life exciting and interesting. 🙂

For some reason my carry on luggage always seems to get searched. Airport employees are trained to zoom in on anyone who may be acting “unusual.” Oftentimes I end up being watched like a hawk when I don’t answer to auditory comments because I’m busy looking at something else. For some reason not responding to a comment seems to rise a red flag. So I oftentimes make the mistake of being too overly alert to ensure that I don’t miss any instructions. This then results in employers watching me like a hawk once again thinking that I’m going to make a run for it through security or something.

I flew pretty often when I was attending graduate school in NYC and I quickly learned the importance of flying with the same airline. Why? Because every airline does their check-in and boarding differently. That drives me up the wall. I remember one time I ended up flying with a different airline because it was a lot cheaper than my usual airline. Their check-in process was for you to “check in” at a computer and then if you had luggage to check in they would call your name. Uhhh whaaa?!? So I’m standing there with a crowd of people waiting to check in my luggage and trying to lipread 3 different people who had their back to me half of the time and were walking up/down behind the desk. Somehow I managed to catch my name…so I went up with my luggage. I wasn’t 100% sure they had called my name so I tried to verify with the lady that she was putting the correct tag on my bag. She refused to look at me (I couldn’t lipread her from the angle she was at) and she wouldn’t write it down. It got to the point where I had to literally be rude and just grab the tag out of her hand to confirm. Sorry, but I don’t want my luggage to end up in China when I’m flying to Kansas.

Once I was given the wrong boarding ticket. I had been looking at something when the ticket person was talking to me and I didn’t bother to check my ticket. It wasn’t until I got to security line that I got a threatening look. I then explained that I was deaf and asked him what he said. He said that the name on my driver’s license didn’t match the name on the ticket. Whoopies. I scurried pretty quickly out of there and got the correct ticket.

Announcements. Seriously. I hate them. I can hear them coming on but can’t understand them. I hate when my flight’s delayed and I have no idea why. I hate when it’s delayed and I don’t know how long the delay is. Some airport employers are kind enough and will write down information. However, their priority is…honestly…to serve the hearing customers first because that’s what they’re more comfortable doing and that’s what they’re trained to do. So I always get the information last. An example: I was flying to Kansas for Thanksgiving and found out that my flight was delayed. I notified the desk person by the gate that I was deaf and to please keep me updated. She failed to do so and I kept having to nag her. A couple of hours later I saw a couple of people from the same gate get up and walk over to the next gate. A couple of them had Kansas (KU) sweatshirts on. I put two and two together and figured that there was another flight to KC and that a bunch of people originally on my flight had asked to be put on standby for the later flight. I jumped up and rushed to the desk asking if there were any seats left. Of course there weren’t any.… I had been the first person sitting there for my flight and I could have very easily gotten on the next flight as a standby if someone had been kind enough to keep me updated or if the airport had visual announcements. I was not a happy camper when I finally made it to Kansas at 3 or 4 am when I was supposed to arrive at 8 or 9pm.

Ah yes then there’s the time I got chased down the ramp because apparently I boarded at the wrong time. People, it would make both my and your life easier if you would make eye contact and didn’t mumble when talking. Not just for me but for hearing people also. If you don’t make eye contact and you mumble I’m going to just assume you’re talking to yourself and not me…which will result in me going against your instruction and boarding when I’m not supposed to which then results in a huge scene when I end up getting chased down by an employer.

There was the time where I had a connecting flight in Ohio and I was running like a crazy lady through the airport trying to catch the connecting flight. I ran for a good 3-5 minutes with a bunch of people screaming at me (and not hearing them) before I happened to turn around and saw a few people standing behind me….with a long trail of all my stuff that flew out of my backpack (the zipper broke in middle of my high speed run). Yes, I missed my connecting flight because I had to turn around and collect my scattered items. I got on a later flight but wasn’t even sure I was on the correct flight. It was at one of those airports that had several different flights from the same gate. I was relieved to find myself in NY a couple of hours later and not Florida.

There was only one time where I got worried because I couldn’t hear what was going on. I was flying to Hawaii and had several layovers. I heard an announcement come on over the speakers right when we were supposed to land. I then saw people’s reactions and knew something was up. However, I was stuck way in the back…in the corner and couldn’t get the stewardess’ attention. We landed half an hour late but no one was getting off the plane. Finally this old couple next to me explained that we had landed at a different airport and had to chill there before heading back to the correct airport. They failed to explain WHY…so of course the first thing that comes to mind was that…this can’t be good (it was sunny and everything outside). I thought maybe something had happened and they had to ground all flights. I found out 2 hours later that it was the weather (even though it looked perfectly fine at that time).

I have been yelled at several times when I try to board with the wrong boarding group. 75% of the time I can stalk people and find someone else with the same boarding number and discreetly follow them. Seriously, it would be so much easier to lipread if they made announcements without holding the thingy right in front of their lips….makes it a bit difficult to lipread when one doesn’t have x-ray vision 😉

T and I flew a lot when we backpacked in Europe last year (flights were $10-30). I can’t remember where we were at (maybe Ireland?) but we spent a good 15 minute trying to convince the ticket person that we did not need any special assistance. Even then they didn’t believe us and wouldn’t give us our tickets until they made a call to their supervisor/boss.

I still haven’t had my hands held while being escorted to my gate nor have I been ordered to sit in a wheelchair…yet… I’ve heard of this happening fairly often. What experiences (if any) have you had as a deaf person traveling?

It can be frustrating but one has to laugh when these things happen. It certainly spices things up.

Sooooo…..I’ve always talked in my sleep. I tend to fall asleep when flying. Sometimes I wake up to a bunch of people staring at me funny.

Are Cochlear Implants Experimental?

Are cochlear implants experimental devices?

I more or less have always been a CI candidate. They were definitely experimental the first time I was considered to be a CI candidate in the early 1980s since they weren’t even FDA approved at that time.

They were still considered experimental in the 1990s.

Are they still experimental devices?

I don’t view my CI as an experimental device per sec. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen all the changes/improvements there have been over the years. However, on the other hand as my CI surgeon told me…there’s no way to know the outcomes/side effects that a CI may have after 20 years because it hasn’t been around that long. Then again I’m more used to the idea of a CI than the general population because I grew up knowing about CIs. Or, is it experimental in the sense that no one really knows what the long-term results will be for me?

Hmm….. I’m just curious as to if any CI users view their CI as an experimental device? The reason I’m bringing this up is because it seems like anti-CI people are still hanging onto a statement made in the late 1980s/1990s saying that CIs are experimental devices. They really like to emphasis this point.

When does an “experimental device” stop being experimental?

Also, does anyone know the total number of CI users worldwide? The only number I could find is 100,000 (as of 2006) and I’m not sure how reliable that number is. Another number I found that seems to be quoted a few times is 59,000 worldwide which just doesn’t seem right to me.

Either way, even though it sounds like a large number….it really isn’t when you stop and think about how many people are in the world. There has been a huge growth in CI users since 2000 and if anyone could point me in the right direction as to where I can find out how many CI users there are in both the U.S. and worldwide….that would be awesome!

The Troll

Every time I go over to D’s place I hear this constant clicking sort of noise in the TV room. For the longest time I could not figure out what in the world the sound was. It seemed like every time I got ready to ask D would be in the middle of a conversation or someone would strike up a conversation with me.

It started bothering me the other day when I was at home working on something. I finally e-mailed D randomly in the middle of the day asking if he knew what I was talking about. He had no clue what I was talking about and referred to it as the troll who lived in his house.

We finally figured out it was his wall clock tick-tocking! Granted it is a pretty loud clock. So loud that I can pick it out over the TV.

Annoying…..especially when it’s in the background of TV dialogues. 😉

Sometimes I can just ignore unknown sounds and sometimes I just can’t.

Colorado: The "Hearing" Part

A while back I blogged about how I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take my CI with me to Colorado or not. I ended up taking it with me and figured this topic deserved a post of its own. At some point I will do a more fun post that has nothing to do with “hearing” or CIs! 🙂

To recap I went on a 9 day trip to Colorado with 3 other people. We did tons of hiking including a 14Ker (had to get up at 3:00am for that one, ew) and some whitewater rafting. Good times!

Basically, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to mess with taking my CI on the trip because it’s a time to relax and get away from everything. I usually misplace my CI at least once a day at home….let alone out in the woods! While I was on the trip I read an article that talked about how people like to go camping and hiking to get away from all the noises of the world. A bit ironic that I purposely bought my CI along so I could hear things even though part of me didn’t want to hear anything at all during that trip.

In all, I am glad I did bring my CI. I wore it about 60-70% of the time and enjoyed the remaining 30-40% break in my wonderful world of silence (no, I’m not being sarcastic here). I only went one whole day without wearing the CI at all. I loved the break until the evening when I started missing the CI.

The first of many hikes we went on had some streams and waterfalls. It was fun to just walk along and go “hey, I think I hear water” and then 5 minutes we would find ourselves in front of a waterfall or a stream. It did kind of take away the surprise of a waterfall/stream just popping up from nowhere without a sound to “alert” me.

We also hiked a 12Ker where I didn’t bother putting the CI on at all. It was a nice break and I was able to just take in what I was seeing without getting distracted by wind noises and birds.

The 14Ker we did…..wellll…..I was definitely having one of my hear vs silence internal battle moments the whole hiking trip. There wasn’t much to hear aside from some birds, us walking, wind……and……me huffing/puffing/wheezing. I have asthma and hiking up a 14Ker at 4am with an injured knee (loose knee cap) and nasty blisters lead to several “where’s my O2?!?” moments. Let’s just say that the sound of me huffing/puffing got on my nerves. It was just a constant reminder of how difficult the hike was….although it did remind me to slow down at times to catch my breath. I couldn’t tolerate the sound most of the time so I hiked a good 90% of it without the CI turned on. I did turn it on at the top and all I could hear was how windy it was.

We spent some time in the car driving from one place to another and I listened to a friend’s Zune during some of that time. While I cannot recognize lyrics or instruments I discovered I could identify certain songs without knowing in advance what was playing. Of course those songs are songs I listen to about a zillion times and I’ve read the lyrics. Interesting thing was that I would sometimes identify them as soon as the singing started even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying. Makes me wonder if I’m picking up more things subconsciously than I realize. Another interesting thing I noticed was that if I didn’t get the song correct I would get the band correct (only and only if the songs are very familiar to me)…now that one, I haven’t figured out how….

I want to point out that it helps when I’m listening to my own iPod because I know which songs are on it whereas I wouldn’t be able to identify a familiar song that just came on a radio randomly. Anyways, the other night a song came on that I hadn’t listened to in a couple of months and without even thinking about it…I said to myself, “oh, I used to love this song let’s see if I can remember the lyrics”….”wait a sec, did I just recognize a song I haven’t played in a while?!” Sure enough. I recognized it correctly within the first few seconds of it playing without really making an effort. I know I did not recognize the lyrics auditory….unless my brain is playing tricks on me.

With hearing aids I would identify most familiar songs by the beats themselves. Now I’m finding that I’m identifying some familiar songs by the lyrics even though I cannot understand what is being sung. This just confuses me. Am I identifying it by the sound of the voices with a combination of the beats?? I haven’t figured that one out yet.

Anyways, hopefully I will get photos from others soon so I can make a picture only post of how beautiful Colorado is! I had a blast hanging out with Tara, Mike, and Dennis. Epic trip. I’m all ready to go back in the winter to do some snowboarding with my snowboarding buddy, Tara!

Ok, I’m off to S’Mores night! We ended up with tons of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers….so a bunch of us are going to stand around a grill in a suburb backyard making s’mores.