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.)

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?

Getting glowful again

I used to own the Sonic boom analogue clock and I absolutely loved it, because I could switch off the back-lit display and not see it clock in the dark. But now, it’s getting glowful again. My analogue clock failed to wake me up. The clock ticks, but after a couple of goes, it’s clear the clock will not go off at my chosen alarm. From giving it a go, it is clear it’s the alarm part button, or the part I turn to set my chosen time I want to get up at, as it is hit and miss when I play with it trying to get it to go off. The clock just won’t go off, so in the bin it had to go.
It’s a good job I still had my previous clock, as I need to get up early on Saturday. But it means now my nights will be glowful again, as you can tell in the photo. The clock, you can’t dim anymore than it looks already and with me having my Silent alert, (green glow in the background,) which has to be here, because while it is on the charger the vibrating pad is under my mattress, that will wake me up in event of a fire it’s now makes my dark nights, lighter. Which I hate. I doubt I will get this analogue clock one again, because I don’t want the same risk happening again. This clock has not been good long term, compared to previous couple of models that were still ok and I had passed on, when I wanted a change of clock.
When it was just my Silent alert glowing, while using my analougue clock, I got used to the dim of just that one, but the clock, it glows. But I am going to have to stick with this, because I am not buying another now for some time, or when this one is ready for the knackers yard.

DSC_0081

I recommend watching film, “I, Daniel Blake.”

I recommend anyone watching the film, “I, Daniel Blake.” The film is about 59 years old carpenter; Daniel Blake, who after suffering a heart attack has to fight the system in order to receive Employment and support Allowance. daniel Blake also befriends a single mum who is also fighting her own battles with the system. I watched this last year on 16th November 2017.
It was after watching this film, that I was able to write the following on my Facebook wall, which I made public. This film obviously stirred up something in me, to find I could write what I shared that day. I share this here on my blog, that I written that day.

“I have watched “I, Daniel Blake,” this morning. If you have not seen this film, then I totally recommend for different reasons; if you are struggling yourself, knowing you are not alone, an inspirational film, truly hitting, inspiring.”

Although the film has inspired me, for my own personal situation, I still don’t have the energy to appeal. Too may things have gone on and I have to think about my mental health. To do that, means I am not appealing PIP.

But for people who have no choice, but to appeal and face hardship because of this system being so fucked up that someone who was denied ESA because they made them fit for work, regardless that medical people have said they are not fit for work, this film shows just what goes on in our country.

Today, this still happens and I would like every Government member sit and watch this film. I would like every person who works at DWP to see this film. The Government have created this mess, the DWP are of no help. You treat us as numbers, as service users still. But we are not. We are citizens as this film explains. Yet this is still going on.

I am one less person currently that you the Government and the DWP will be happy to hear that does not have the energy to appeal. I have too much happen to me in a short space of time and that is not including applying for PIP. I was given DLA for life, but because you created PIP, (this was just to save you money in your pocket, regardless what you say,) I now not seen worthy. My deafness and the difficulties remain the same. PIP does not support the deaf as it is made out to be. People that see you to assess you and make this decision are not qualified enough in my eyes to decide how to decide whether I am entitled to PIP or not and mess with my life.

There will be many more that will face possible hardship due to this fucked up system and I could be another to the system.

The Government and DWP don’t give a shit and as much as they try to say they do, sorry I don’t believe them, because I have seen it too many times where lives have been fucked up. There are also too may people now on the streets than I have ever seen and people using food banks. Seeing all this and my personal experience is proof how they don’t care.”

#IDanielBlake #PIP #disgraceful #welfarereform #DWP #Government