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.

Chit-chat January

In December, I decided to quit my home study course. There was still no motivation, but also no desire, or need to do it. Prior to that, I have not touched for about a year, due to circumstances as you know. One being I held off due to grieving for my two family members, that went together when they were hit by a careless driver.

I then learnt just three days later, (after the funeral) as you know, of an ex and the awful thing he had done that left me reeling and feeling sick. This still haunts me.

I tried last November to get back into it, but I couldn’t and then again in December, but still couldn’t, along with no desire, or need to do it. So I shredded and binned the course. Even doing that, I felt nothing, or no regret for doing it.

The year of 2019 for me is just to get back into my crafts, in some way. When I started doing Sharpie Sunday, this first sparked off my crafty side again, while releasing anything emotionally.
I’ve also done other prompts, that I shared on my blog, that got me back into drawing some way.

As well as sketching, colouring and doodling, I will hopefully do a bit of cross stitching and maybe later crotchet. If I do get back into crotchet, I may need to re-learn the basics.

What ever crafts I decide to do, I shall do in my own time and I’m sure I will share something on here now and again.

I hope to also go on at least a couple of day trips, with a possible third, if I can afford it.

I also plan to walk around my neighbourhood.

I loved reading “The Ice Monster,” by David Walliams. I can’t remember the last time I have laughed so much with a book, as I have done with this one.

The ice monster by David Williams

I even read it for a second time. I definitely want to read more of his books and although aimed for children, I bet I am not the only adult enjoying them also. Even my mum has enjoyed reading it.
I was thinking of doing this book as a giveaway on my blog later. But only if there is interest, as a few book giveaways I have done in the past, not all seamt popular. Would you be interested entering, if I did?

My audiology appointment I had after Boxing Day, which I had my hearing test as planned shown my worser ear remains stable, when it comes to my hearing. My left ear I could see there was a change, which surprised me, because hearing wise with that ear I don’t feel there is any change. But I was reassured not to worry about it, because depending on time and day, my mood and other factors, it can seem it looks like it’s changed now, but not necessarily in the long run. I’m not worried anyway, but I was relieved to see my right ear remains stable, which is my deafer ear.
An appointment was made to see the hearing specialist, with regards to the sensitivity to sound I was having. (The right ear being the worst ear for sensitivity.) I went on the 3rd January for this. At this appointment, I talked about my sensitivity to sounds I am experiencing. My hearing aids were then checked and, adjusted and my remote was checked to make sure it was still paired up ok with my hearing aids. (My remote makes it easier to adjust volume and programmes easily, especially when wearing  covers over them.)

First impressions from leaving there and throughout the day, I noticed the adjustment was a positive improvement for me. There was a tiny amount of sensitivity with right ear still, but I did not feel the urge to turn down that hearing aid.
As the week progressed, leading up to now as this post airs, the rest is calming down and in general, that tiny bit of sensitivity in right ear is hardly much. It’s doesn’t bother my general day-to-day as before and not something I notice all the time. So I reckon in time soon, it will completely go that I never realised when it actually did.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I may have ‘Hyperacusis’ after a friend shared me some info on it, after I told her of my difficulties and with seeing the audiologist and specialist, it does confirm this.
Deaf people are known to get this, but more common apparently with late deafened. Reading more about it on the way home from the audiologist, I learnt that a life event, like bereavement can bring it on. So with my own two life events I have had, it certainly makes more sense.

To read more about Hyperacusis, you can find out more about here at The British Tinnitus Association.

What’s your plans for 2019?

(This post, I shall keep open to comments for a month.)

Why do people NOT observe the rule, don’t phone?

Utility provider for my gas, now I am in the process of leaving them for another supplier that can provide customer service, is trying to phone me.
They have been informed by myself several times I am deaf and that email/chat is my preferred choice of communication.
They have also been told by my landlord when he had to intervene, to help get my gas sorted because of cutting me off from chat. They were obviously still asking to speak to me, or phone, because he kept reminding them that I don’t hear in the phone. (Whoever was on that end of the phone were thick, or deaf, to not understand clear instructions from my landlord.)
They don’t try once to phone me, they have tried a few times, regardless that I have them now blocked.

The charity that is collecting my furniture, they require a phone number, so the driver can contact me when he is half an hour away. I inform them to make sure the driver knows to text.
I had an unknown mobile number phoning me. I cancelled call and texted and it was them. They have done this before; phone, when I have given clear instructions to text.

Why do people ask for phone number, when you clearly tell them you don’t have one? Or because you say that is not my form of communication and explain why, that they still ask?

Even HMRC are not fully accessible. They don’t provide email as a choice to contact them and as I seen on Twitter, they don’t accept DM via there, due to security. But you can send a query via Facebook private message. That led me  to apologise butting in on this conversation, but I asked HMRC how can you say sending a private message via Facebook, is anymore securer than via a private message on Twitter? I query because I am deaf and you don’t do email, which is my preferred method. Whether HMRC will respond to this question, is another thing.

Businesses everywhere are stepping up, but HMRC are in the dark ages still, because they don’t do email. The same reason, because of security.

Where I now live, the doctors I have registered at, at time of registering, I discovered they were a little bit more accessible than my old doctors. Providing something that other did not and that’s emailing me, if they need to contact me.

It’s a simple request, when I say my phone number is for text only. Please don’t phone. Yet they try to phone?

But it’s not simple to those that I tell and it’s frustrating.

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?

Job interview went well

So it was my job interview today, for a cleaning vacancy I applied for. Manager interviewed me, while another lady made the notes.

I arrived early, as I do with anything. My interview lasted between 30 – 40 minutes, in which they got to know me, my experiences and what I can offer. Also why I want to work for them and how would I use my experience with them.

I also learnt about them, their in-house training and how that works. My concerns were put to ease about deaf accessibility. They were very happy to accommodate my needs accordingly, if I get this role. So should I get the position, I would have the necessary mobile numbers to use, should I need to text in sick and other ways accordingly that will help me.
I learnt that this pub has people with different needs, that they are proud of to support.
The manager was really nice and she definitely came across approachable. The other staff that work there, are nice too. But I knew that already, from a customer perspective.

There are more being interviewed today, but the manager hopes to make her decision by today.

I have said I can start asap, as this job will be additional to what I have already. I’m not leaving my current job. They know I can do any day except for Saturday, as sometimes I do overtime for my other employer. She seems happy with this.

Although I would have liked my Sundays off, it’s only a two-hour shifts on what ever day I work, 6am to 8am, so I still have my Sundays. I am prepared to work Sundays, if required, for this job. I have done it before, so no problems.
My hours will be 6 to 8 hours per week.

Due to the early start, there is only one bus that will get me there, in time for that start Monday to Friday. Sunday would have to be taxi and in the week taxi, if I felt the bus wasn’t going to turn up. So if this is the case, even if taxi on Sunday, my lunches and cup of teas out would have to stop. I know I would have to touch my savings a little too. But once I am living local, it will be just a 25 to 30 minute walk, to work. So I am prepared to do this, for the job, as it will be worth it in the end.

I should hopefully know today, if I have the job, as the manager is hoping to make her decision today. If I am not lucky with this one, I have agreed that my details can be passed on to the pub around the corner, which is also under same brand chain pub, as they are after a cleaner too.