Monday, 2 October 2017

Goodbye HOH, Hello Deaf Sleep

As part of my work, I have recently become very fascinated with how Hard of Hearing (HOHs) people sleep. When we go to sleep, we essentially become deaf - meaning we are completely oblivious to all sounds (in my case I am).

Specifically, the differences between how HOH kids sleep versus HOH adults. This brief article will be based on my personal experiences as I haven't heard all the stories out there about HOH sleeping patterns. I'll start with the kid version of myself.

This isn't me, but I like to think I was that cute once. (Photo credit:

Kid Monique (let's assume ages 4 to 18)
  • Night light: I used one until I was well into my teens! Am I embarrassed by this fact? Maybe only slightly. My blinds were your basic shutter blinds - no black out curtains involved!
    • It was essential as I am a visual person and not being able to see my surroundings as a hard of hearing person left me feeling nervous.
  • Heavy blankets: I liked them from the get go. Even though it's not recommended for young kids, I enjoyed them because it meant I could wrap myself in a cocoon - and then eventually kick off the sheets as the night went on.
  • Having mom and dad stay in the room with me until I fell asleep (ok - this only went on until I entered intermediate school, thankfully!)
  • Mom always helped me put away my hearing aids - knowing that they were tucked safely away gave me a sense of security. To this day, I have never ever worn my hearing assistive devices to sleep. It's just way too disruptive!
  • Mom was my alarm clock.
Some really cool tips are presented here for parents with kids with a hearing loss on how to achieve much needed sleep (and actual adult time in the evenings): Tips for establishing a bedtime routine for deaf children.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Happy 15 years!

Today marks the 15th anniversary of my partnership with a certain piece of technology - my cochlear implant! I am very thankful to have this wonderful partnership as it has been of huge benefit to me, despite a rocky start with it.

With Cindy Gustin, my audiologist on my switch on day. (Can you tell I looked like an impressed 17 year old?)
I was activated 15 years ago for the first time. After taking a month to heal. My 17 year old self was smart enough at the time to keep a journal of my initial journey. On this day in 2002, I wrote:

Saturday, 12 August 2017

An Advantage or a Disadvantage?

Is it an advantage or a disadvantage for the hard of hearing person if they don't hear a fart?

Case in point: my husband recently told me that he often farts in front of me - especially at night when I don't have my hearing assistive devices on. The only time when I do know if he farts without my hearing assistive devices on is when there's a huge stink involved.

Other case in point: We were watching TV and out came this big boom. Me = "what on earth was that!?!'" Husband = *snickering* "I farted" Me = *face of disgust and groan*

So what do you think? Advantage or disadvantage?

I vote advantage. Ignorance can be bliss.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Ava Scribe

If you're deaf or hard of hearing, you'll know that reliable transcription (voice to text) services are valued, and often comes at a hefty cost! This article is about a new transcription app that a new audiologist friend of mine introduced to me not long ago. It's called Ava Scribe (I'll call it Ava for short)! You can find it on your iPhone or Android devices. I have a Samsung, so that gives you a bit of perspective where my technology use is at.

The logo for Ava Scribe
At first, when I heard about Ava I was intrigued. First off, it's free (yay! But there is a slight catch... more on that later), and had the ability to transcribe conversations in real time. Wow. For the deaf or hard of hearing consumer, this could be life changing. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Journey to Alaska

Oops. There goes my #mombrain.

I just realized I forgot to write about our adventures to Alaska! A week after we returned home from our month long road trip, we found a smoking hot deal to go on an Alaskan cruise on Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam! A bucket list trip for my husband, who has always wanted to do that cruise.

In front of our ship in rainy Juneau
Fresh from unpacking, it was a strange feeling to be packing again - except this time we had to bring warmer clothes (sweaters, toques, extra pants!) and evening clothes for the dining room. I'll be honest...we actually brought slightly more on our 1 week cruise to Alaska than we did for 4 weeks in California! Weather makes a huge difference. Though note to self: glad I brought more underwear this time.

The four of us hunkered down in a single cabin, mom and dad in a queen size bed, toddler in a pull out bed and babe in a pack&play. There wasn't much room to spare. Originally our stateroom was set up in a much more space efficient configuration (pack&play was placed next to our bed), giving us ample space to move around. The biggest problem for us was that there was no outlet nearby. Most cabins only have one or two outlet spots for hairdryer and cell phone use. This is usually located in a very obscure spot, far away from the bed. 

What's the importance of having an outlet nearby anyhow, you may ask? 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Biracial Cochlear Implant

My Cochlear Implant is Biracial!

When you're out and your rechargeable battery dies... 

And then your SPARE battery dies...

My last resort was my husband's SPARE battery!

All I can say is: thank goodness I have a hard of hearing husband.

Enjoy this hot weather everyone!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A HOH Wedding

Wedding season is on! And a few of my fellow Hard of Hearing (HOH) friends are getting hitched. 

They've also been asking me what kind of accessible services I had at our wedding, in 2011. This is a great question, as it could mean missing out on important things - in particular the wedding vows! Now who would want to mess up on that anyway?

Communication Access Realtime Translation, or CART for short, is our preferred method of verbal translation. CART can produce over 200 words per minute, and is to date, the fastest translation system we Canadians can access. In essence, the Captionist operating a stenograph machine translates what's being said in verbatim - similar to what you would find in court reporting.