What I use to help me as a deaf person

6th to the 12th May 2019 is Deaf Awareness Week.

Today’s post is about the equipment I use to help me as a deaf person:

My Phonak SP hearing aids

Hearing aids will never give back my normal hearing, but they do assist. I would be worser off without my hearing aids, than hearing with them.
I still rely on lipreading, even though I am wearing them. So I do need to see your face clearly. No covering of your mouth as you talk, otherwise I will have to politely request you to move your hand away and for you to repeat what you just said. I shared a link here, about Communication Tips.

Flashing doorbell

My flashing doorbell is loud, but I have it set so it flashes too. (Pictured above.) It is portable, so when I used to live in a house, I would take it to every room in the house. Including my bedroom.
Now I live in a flat, it stays in one room, which is the living room mainly. But if I was in the kitchen for a while and the washer is on, then I would take it with me, to be sure I won’t miss anyone at the door. But I don’t take it to the bedroom now, as so my sleep is not disturbed.

Vibrating clock

My bedside clock (as pictured above) can be set with a loud ring, vibration, or a combination of the two. I just set mine on vibrating as so I don’t disturb neighbours with the decibels of this clock.
The vibrating bad goes under my pillow and you definitely won’t sleep in with this one. The vibrating clock I have is a Sonic Bomb, by Sonic Alert alarm clock.

If it’s not changed in my area, you could get a bedside vibrating clock from Social Services. But I am happy to continue buying my own clock.

Fire alert (pictured above)

I have to admit that since moving in my flat, I do not have this set up and I don’t plan to now, until in my new flat. I know this puts me at a huge risk, because I do not hear fire alarms, with, or without hearing aids. This is a risk I am taking, I know.
My fire alert is a Silent Alert SignWave Portable Receiver, which came with my smoke alarms. It’s a wireless signal and in the day my alerter is easily portable.
Should there ever be a fire in the day it would make a noise, as well as flash and the fire icon would flash to show it is a fire for the reason it is going off.
At night, it goes on a charger and I have a vibrating pad connected to this which would go under my mattress.
If it was to go off at night, it would flash and ring out as in the day, but also the pad would vibrate too. The vibrating pad is strong. Even under the mattress.

This same alerter can be connected to other things, but being an old unit, you can’t seem to get other things available widely.
One time, years ago when I had a landline phone, I had an attachment that was connected to my phone line and if the phone rang, my unit would alert me, by flashing and making a noise. Before even looking at the unit to see the phone display flashing, you would know, because the alert would be a different tone, of an old fashioned phone ringing.
I had this unit arranged by the Social Services, who contacted the department in the fire services to provide fire alarms and alerter. Social Services provided the device for my phone line and one time a door push, so it was a doorbell too. But the doorpush wasn’t great and so this is why I have my own set up.

Vibrating travel clock

When on holiday, I take my Sonic Alert vibrating travel clock with me, as pictured above. It can be set to alert, or vibrate, or combination of both. I don’t hear the ring, so I only use the vibrating option. The display folds down flat and it goes inside my pillowcase.
This is a very good vibrating clock, so there is no lying in with this one.
There is a light on this clock, if you require to see the time in the dark, but I always have my mobile phone near for that part.

As well as these, I use email like anyone else, the difference for me is, that this is my preferred communication over a phone, as I cannot understand well over the phone for a conversation. Not even my mum.

I also like to text and is equally my preferred communication, as email is.

When text, or email is not available to me, then face-to-face is another way to communicate with me. With the hearing I have left and the hearing aids I wear, I also lipread and I do use fingerspelling letters of the alphabet.
I did a post on Communication Tips earlier this week, that gives tips to help people like me, hear you. These tips work very well with me, so do refer back to that, so you can help keep someone like me involved in conversations.

That’s my last post as part of Deaf Awareness Week and this year. As it is the first time I have gave you more insight into my life and as part of Deaf Awareness Week, I hope you have learnt more about me and the topics in general, that I shared this week.

British Sign Language

6th to the 12th May 2019 is Deaf Awareness Week.

Yesterday, I talked about Communication Tips. Today, it’s about British Sign Language. I am no expert at this, so I share a link below that will take you to a page on Action on Hearing Loss and where you can learn more about it there.

Learn more about British Sign Language, at Action on Hearing Loss.

What I can share though is misconception that people assume I use sign language because I am deaf. I don’t. I have tried to learn it, but because there was no one to practice with, meant I could not keep it up and remember. Even some small parts I remembered well are now slipping, because it’s not used.

What I do remember though, is fingerspelling the alphabet. I learnt this before I became deaf. No one uses it around me though, including my mum. But if they did, by fingerspelling the first letter of that word I am struggling with, while repeating the word, it would help me.

Blog post re-share: ~💚~ Welcome to Mental Mingling ~💚~ Mental Health Awareness Month Meet & Greet! #1 May 3, 2019 💚

This is something I have participated in this year.

This is something that Beckie started creating last year and is doing again this year, For “Mental Health Awareness Month” and to give other mental health bloggers a chance to meet one another via their blogs and through Beckie’s blog.

Beckie's Mental Mess

Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does.- - Unknown - Inspirational Mental Health Awareness Quotes #quotes #quote #happyquotes #postivequotes #inspirationalquotes

Hello!  Welcome to “Mental Mingling” The first out of five weeks where you get to meet old and new bloggers alike in the mental health community.

I had started this a year ago, and I found that it was a great resource to all bloggers that deal with mental illness/disorders to meet one another, learn about one another’s stories, show support toward your fellow blogger, make acquaintances, and in most cases… Make Very Dear Friends! 💚

Related image

May 3, 2019, R.S.V.P.’s Are As Follows:

Barb of  “Bipolar Barb”
http://bipolarbarb.com

~💚~

Ashley of “Mental Health @ Home”

https://mentalhealthathome.wordpress.com

~💚~
Angela of “I Am My Own Island”
~*~
Ummi of “Too Sweet Site”
~💚~
Smita aka dharkanein of “My Expressions”

~💚~

Liz of “My Well Being And Learning Journey”

https://mywellbeingandlearningjourney.wordpress.com

~💚~

Candace of “Revenge of Eve”

https://revengeofeve.com

Alright, Folks, if you would like to partake in the…

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How has stigma around mental health affected you?

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is how stigma affected my mum. This affected me because of the awareness mainly from my childhood, but still parts as an adult.
My mum has paranoid schizophrenia and having the title schizophrenia is enough, because of the stigma I remember around it. The stigma may not be as bad now as in my childhood, but I believe it’s still there, like any mental illness.
I remember as a teenager that schizophrenia would get bad press in the newspapers. It gave those with this condition a bad name, making it look like they were all dangerous, or violent if you had this condition, when it isn’t true. This condition would always be mentioned in the bold part of the newspaper when someone with this condition killed someone. I remember seeing this making the front page at times. This was newspapers in that time trying to give a sensational story line that sold their papers, not realising just what damage you were causing. I remember feeling really angry how the newspapers did this.
Thankfully now, newspapers have to watch how they word things, but I feel the damage from those days is still there. Do you?

People with schizophrenia are not violent people, but they can be a danger to themselves. But there are some people who will be quiet by withdrawing into themselves, as in my mum’s case.

I don’t like the word schizophrenia. But when I came to not liking this word, I don’t know. I don’t know if I hated this word when understanding my mum’s condition at a young age, or if it was the bad press if the newspapers.

But as I say, I think there is still stigma around mental health and because of this, it’s not something I will bring mum’s mental health particular condition into a face-to-face conversation with someone and mum is wary to do the same.

As you know I suffer with depression and anxiety. Depression has been good but anxiety shown itself since last year, as I blogged about. The past month or two, anxiety has not been too bad.
I have experienced stigma with my own mental health, things like people saying “chin up,” is not exactly helpful. Also, when you start talking about how you feel to some people, you realise from their responses they don’t get it after all as you first thought and that I am expected to snap out of it. Snapping out of it is not easy as you think.

It’s bad enough when people have to deal with their own mental health day in and day out, but when you receive unhelpful comments, cruel remarks, or just plain ignorance, that can create as much damage as the illness itself.

We have come a long way since when I was a child, but there is still more to be done. The royals are doing good with their Heads Together campaign I think.

How has stigma around mental health affected you?

Blog post re-share: Why Those of us That Can, Must Fight — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

I would like to share this post with my readers, from The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

I also agree with the first commenter in that blog post too, by Alanpenrose5654.

Do take a read of this blog post and the comments. Also, if you are not already following this blog, I totally recommend you do.

I hope that all of us in the mental illness blogging community have the same goals–to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. I believe that to keep the fight going and maybe educate those that have never walked a day in our shoes, it is imperative to share your story. We are all unique, and though we may share similar symptoms of our collective illnesses, it is how you deal and your past that might help future mental illness sufferers.

via Why Those of us That Can, Must Fight — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

I really wish others knew this about me…

I’m not boring and I am approachable

People in the past and some probably now, not that I don’t care what others think now like I once did, but some thought I was going to be boring. These were proved wrong and they held their hands up to their wrong assumptions. The conclusion to why they thought I would be boring, was because of me being quiet and also how I was dressed, as this particular occasion was my hen night, all those years ago. (The first relationship, that I was abused in.)
I would like you to know that I am not boring because I am quiet to start with and you will find me approachable, should you choose to speak to me. We may even find common ground.

I do have a sense of humour

Just because you may find me quiet at first, as I have mentioned​ above, when it comes to talking to me, you will also discover I do have a sense of humour.

I people watch

I people watch sometimes. Imagining what they may be like. Observing their relationships with their family, or friends.
I especially like seeing elderly couples holding hands, while walking in the street. It’s so lovely to see and I wonder just how many years they may have been together.

Just because I have an invisible disability, doesn’t mean it don’t exist.

I am deaf and, I have depression and anxiety.

Unless my hair is tied up, you won’t see my hearing aids, until I mention I have a hearing loss.
People say, ‘ I speak ok,’ but like my hidden disability, it doesn’t mean I am not deaf. I am deaf, but to hear you better, I have to see your face to lipread, while hearing what I can with my hearing aids.
I would also like to add that my hearing aids assist me, but they don’t magically give back my hearing I once had. I also watch your face expression and your body language.
I will need you to be patient with me, as I may need you to repeat if I miss something and I will be very appreciative of this.
I will be able to tell if you don’t have the patience to chat with me, don’t want to be there in general. I may also pick up on if you are not feeling yourself, which if I do, I am known to ask if you are ok

Depression is another invisible disability. On the surface, I may seem fine to you, but underneath, I could be the total opposite.
My depression is not bad like it used to be. Being in a new job has helped greatly, as well as counselling for other matters already blogged about here.

I have anxiety and depending how it is, you may see it, or you may not. Again, like my depression, it’s not bad as it was, but it does like to creep up more, than my depression.

I can sketch

From the age of 9 to early 20’s, I was regular sitting at a table sketching. After that, I stopped, until the artist side of me crept out again with ‘Sharpie Sunday’s‘ and other prompts. Although it’s not got me back to my sketching route I once did. I would like to though.
I am not saying I am good to sell as an artist, but if I had kept it up as I once did, then they may have been.

One time, I couldn’t look in a full-length mirror

I hated looking at myself in a full-length mirror one time. This started after I left the first relationship. Although I don’t own a full-length mirror still, I know I wouldn’t have a problem looking in one.

I give 100% in the workplace

I give 100% in the workplace, but sometimes I will give a 110%, because I love my workplace so much.

What do you wish others knew about you?