Confessions of a Chataholic

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What Kind of Kool-Aid did You Say would Come Out of My Ears?

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I haven’t really said a whole lot about my 2nd cochlear implant procedure.  I’m excited I was able to get one, grateful I had the time to take off work, and looking forward to ‘A-Day’.  But, it also hurts a little more than the last time.  Dr. Berryhill told me afterwards that it took a little longer and would hurt a little more because he had to use hand tools instead of the electronic tools he used the first time.  Apparently, the electronic tools would mess up the first implant.  The surgery itself took about 3 hours and I wasn’t ready to go home for almost an hour and a half afterwards.  The anesthesia was very hard to recover from. 

I’m doing a lot better today.  My right ear still feels like someone took a metal rod and shoved it into my ear canal.  I can feel the fluid moving around in there.  When I was discharged, the nurse wrote that I might have some “Kool-Aid colored discharge” from my ear in the first few days.  I wasn’t able to ask what flavor of Kool-Aid was going to be coming out of my ear though.   

The papers also said to “sneeze through my mouth”.

Ohhhh Kaaaay…

I haven’t learned how to do that yet. I usually sneeze through my nose.  And last, to try not to cough. Excuse me, but you gave me 3 hours of anesthesia.  I’ve got a little phlegm building up in there and need to get this loogie out NOW before I choke on it.

(Hack, spit)

However, I’ve managed to get through today without using the narcotic painkillers despite feeling like an elephant is sitting on my ear.

Charlie bought me a new pillow made from the memory foam and it feels incredible. He also got me a new heating pad, which I have yet to use thanks to COCOA, who keeps hogging it up.  I had lunch with my friend, Jennifer, from MNTC.  I got my hair trimmed by the incredibly talented, Ashley, at Ihloff Salon.

And I watched American Idol.  You have NO idea how exciting it is to be able to actually hear the difference in the bad and good singers now that I have at least 1 implant in place.  I can’t wait to hear with both implants activated!


Written by ChattyCathy867

February 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm

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My husband, Charlie, tells some of the funniest stories ever from his childhood or his Army days.  Even though I’ve heard it multiple times, the following story, which I call “The Popcorn Story” never fails to make me laugh. One time, I laughed so hard, I actually peed my pants. 

 Here’s the story as he told me (with some embellishments of course):

Once up on a time, a long time ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, and my husband was a teenager, he had a friend named Ralph. Ralph wasn’t the smartest guy in town, but he had a nice car. One evening, he took a local girl to the drive-in movie on a date. While they were waiting for the movie to start, Ralph went to the concession stand to buy popcorn. Remember, back in those days, popcorn came in a paper box, not a cardboard tub, and the bottom of the box could be opened.

 When Ralph got back with the popcorn, he got it in his head that it would be funny to take his wee-wee out of his pants and put the popcorn box on top of it, so when he dated reached in the box for some popcorn, she’d get a “surprise”. Sure enough, when she reached in there and grabbed his pee-pee instead of popcorn, she got a surprise.

 Then Ralph got a surprise.

 She took her hand out, reached over and opened his car door, pushed him out, scooted over to the driver’s side, shut the door, started the car and drove off. Ralph was dumbfounded that she didn’t find it as funny as he did. He eventually called his dad to come pick him up at the drive-in. When his dad arrived, he wanted to know what happened to the car.

 Embarrassed to admit the truth, Ralph confessed about the trick he played on his date. As they drove home, they passed the girl’s home and there was Ralph’s car sitting in her driveway. Instead of pulling over and getting Ralph’s car for him, his dad told him he deserved what he got for such a mean trick and to teach him a lesson, he was going to let the girl keep the car and drive it for a week.

 Poor Ralph. A couple of years later, he got my husband and some other friends in trouble by telling them they could borrow the car…but that is a story for another blog.

Written by ChattyCathy867

December 1, 2010 at 10:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Vision is the Art of Seeing What is Invisible to Others

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T. Adam Geurkink, OD

For the first time in YEARS, I’ve finally found an eye doctor that takes my insurance AND offers quality, friendly service! Dr. Adam Geurkink, of Norman Eye Associates, and his staff were so nice to me and so helpful. Not once did I feel uncomfortable in their office, like I have at my previous eye doctors. Dr. Adam made sure I could understand what he was saying at all times. He actually asked me if I had any questions about my eyes. Yes, I know most of you are used to the doctor being professional like this, but my experience has not been the best when it comes to eye doctors.

 The last doctor I used (and I haven’t been back for 2 years despite desperately needing new glasses) wouldn’t talk to me at all. I mean AT ALL. He seemed uncomfortable with a hard of hearing patient.

 My eyes are doing wonderful, just getting older and now I need bifocals. Michelle helped me find a pair of glasses last night that my husband, Charlie, actually liked. Unfortunately, she had to recommend a different pair based on my prescription and the fact that I have bifocals. Then she pulled out a pair and told me I needed to find something similar to the pair she had in her hand. I tried them on and OMG they fit perfectly! I have so much trouble finding women’s glasses that actually fit. One problem: they were purple. Ugh! 

Katie found the frames listed on the computer and discovered they came in brown. Hurray! Michelle showed them to Dr. Adam and he said they would work well with the bifocals. So we ordered the new pair and they cost about the same as I’ve paid at the other doctor. I’m getting the no-line bifocals at the doctor’s recommendation and not getting the transition lenses this time. Michelle recommended anti-reflective coating instead because I find myself shading my eyes INSIDE to see people’s faces. I’m not getting them tinted at this time, but Michelle said I could add one later if I wanted.

I’m so excited! And in a couple of months, I can buy a pair of prescription sunglasses as well. 

Thank you, Dr. Adam and Staff at Norman Eye Associates, for helping me improve my ability to see the invisible.  (And I mean that literally, I’m freaking blind these days.)

Written by ChattyCathy867

December 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

Posted in Local Services

Do you have the time…to listen to me whine?

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Last week, I had to file a complaint on my captionist for unprofessional behavior, because I had 3 incidents with him IN ONE WEEK that pushed me over the edge.

First, he was told to use a specific plug and he decided he wanted to use the one under my desk, which my boss had said NOT to use. I told him this and he blew me off. And yes, I tattled on him. Damn skippy I did. I wasn’t about to have my boss fire ME because he wasn’t following the rules.

Two days later, he answers a question asked by the trainer that was directed to the class not to him. Are you kidding me? That’s one of the big no-no’s of not just interpreting, but he wouldn’t have dared to do that in a courtroom. What makes him think its ok for him to do that in my classroom?

And finally, he actually yelled at me. I was busy working and he started typing, but it wasn’t for the classroom. It was him telling me he talked to my supervisors about needing more frequent breaks. “That’s fine,” I tell him. “That’s between you and the supervisors.” He snaps at me, “Would you at least let me finish?”

Really? You’re going to yell at me when I need to be working not having conversations with you? You’re going to yell at the person who is the only reason you even have this job? And you’re a freelance who has to take what he can get? Plus you’re new in town and need to develop a good reputation, not piss off the few people that actually request CART services.

And come to find out, he’s not doing the CART correctly either. He wouldn’t put any hard returns in the narrative for easier reading. The new captionist does this plus she adds things like “speaker” and “question” so I know who is talking.


Unbelievably, this guy also had a hearing loss and used a hearing aid. He couldn’t hear the questions from the other trainees and would get extremely agitated. He finally started asking the trainers to repeat the questions, but he would be very aggressive and demanding. Even the guy across from me could tell he was getting mad when he couldn’t hear. And get this…he actually started typing to me during a lecture that the supervisors didn’t care or understand that he couldn’t hear the questions.

I’m sorry, but hearing is a necessity for court reporting, transcribing, and CART services. And I’m sure you don’t yell at the judge to REPEAT THE QUESTION during court.


I swear, I must be some kind of magnet for overly sensitive men. In addition to the captionist, I’ve managed to piss off someone I dated in high school. He kept saying something about an “ear dude” fixing me on my FaceBook status. My response was, “I’ll be sure to tell my female audiologist you called her a dude.” He deleted me as a friend after telling me I wasn’t very nice. Who the hell says “dude” anyway? Besides Michelle Tanner on Full House, that is.


Two days into having a new captionist, I’m in heaven. Her equipment isn’t new and fancy like his, but I can read her screen better and can keep up and take notes much easier. I take notes while reading along because it helps me retain the information and then I have it right there for the quizzes we usually have almost immediately after the lectures.

I get along with everyone but that captionist, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me.

Written by ChattyCathy867

November 9, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Cochlear Implant, Deafness, Work

Tagged with ,

Weekly Update for Oct 24th

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I got a tattoo Friday. It’s my first tattoo and probably my last because it hurt like a SOB. I don’t like pain. PERIOD. But to show my support for Breast Cancer awareness, the pain was worth every minute. My daughter and I both got the Breast Cancer awareness pink ribbon in honor of my Grandma Marcella (who passed away in 1981) and my Aunt Rita (who is now in remission).


I was finally hired by the Disability Determination Division of Social Security and started Oct 1. Work provided me with CART (Computer Assisted Real-time Transcription) for training and it’s helping me so much. Many times, the speakers tend to wander away from the front of the room or need to demonstrate something on the computer and I can’t see them anymore. It’s a complicated situation because we have computers in front of us and until they find a place to put us in the building, we’ll be doing our actual work in the training room.

Disclaimer: NO I cannot look up your case on my work computer! We are only allowed to look up the cases we are assigned. And yes, they do keep tabs on where we’ve been in the computer system.

Cochlear Implant

As part of my new job, I recently learned that Cochlear Implant recipients are considered disabled by Social Security for a period of one year following the implantation just like any other organ transplant. I had NO idea and this is a fairly new change. It was effective Aug. 2, 2010.

I tried using an ALD (Assistive Listening Device) during training, but the processor doesn’t seem compatible with the ALD. I used one when I had a hearing aid and thought it would help to use it in training, but the ticking noise was overwhelming and I can’t use it. I’m going to be looking into this over the next few weeks and have my audiologist recommend some products.


Now that I’m working full-time, Charlie is taking a more active role in meal preparation. At least he’s making sure the kitchen is clean and helping me choose what to cook. We discovered McCormick’s Recipe Inspirations recently. I absolutely love the Sage Porkchops and Apples and the Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes. Each one has a reusable recipe card so all I have to do is stock up on the spices in the future. This week we’re going to try the Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas and the Spanish Chicken Skillet.

Advanced TV

Cox finally upgraded OKC to Advanced TV and I love it! I’ve been able to catch up on my shows and even watch a few shows I’d never seen before. We can only record 2 shows at a time. Plus now we can search by typing in the name of the show instead of having to SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL through the listings.

Written by ChattyCathy867

October 24, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Real Housewives Don’t Exhibit Much “Model Behavior”

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Real Housewives seem to have anything BUT Model Behavior. I see them for the most part as an example of “how not to act”.  

What’s up with Kim Z saying “That’s Retarded!” to tell someone she likes their outfit?  When did this become acceptable? 

NeNe and Dwight

Maybe Dwight screwed up and maybe he didn’t. Maybe he overstepped the boundaries of the friendship. But where does she get off confronting him at a public event instead of calling him up on the phone and asking him to sit down with her at her home and talking about the issue? If I have a problem with someone, I don’t meet them in a public restaurant or whatever and talk. Even if I could hear better, I wouldn’t do that because privacy is a requirement for having a real conversation to resolve a dispute. At least in this episode, they got together in a private room at the restaurant owned by Cynthia’s boyfriend.

NeNe and Bryson

As I watched NeNe go off on Bryson about how lenient she’s been with him, I could see myself saying the same thing. I have an 18 year-old daughter who still lives with us. I’m so grateful she at least works a part-time for the moment despite on-going health issues related to the car wreck she was in last October. I’m so thankful the Health Care Reform Act passed because my daughter can stay on my insurance until she’s 26 – and not have to be enrolled in school full-time. As much as she wants to go to school, she may have to do part of her classes online because her back hurts her all the time. The new medication makes her excessively tired. But we had a comparable moment when we asked her to have her guests leave at 2 am. I basically told her, “You’re not my roommate, you’re my daughter.” If she pays 1/3 of the bills and for her car, we’ll consider her a roommate.

Kim Z and Kandi

I was glad to see that someone in this world doesn’t allow business to get in the way of friendship. Kudos to Kandi! She admitted to making a mistake by not having a standard agreement put in writing regarding royalties of Kim’s “Tardy for the Party” song. She’ll know better next time she works with Kim Z. According to her blog, Kandi and Kim Z had an agreement that shared a portion of the royalties with the original author of the song as well as one of Kim’s daughters.

Phaedra and NeNe

I feel like I’ve gotten lost somewhere along the way…why does NeNe hate Phaedra so much? Obviously they know each other somehow; but, according to NeNe, not when they were children living in the same town.

Phaedra and Apollo

I honestly don’t know what to think about Phaedra, an attorney, being married to a convicted felon. You’d think she could do better than that, right? Does she have self-esteem issues? Her blog reads like a legal brief and mentions that Malcom X was a felon. Malcom X didn’t marry his attorney, though.

A New Mapping

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Today, I had another mapping. Kela (Miller, my audiologist at HELP) had to try a completely different program than the one she set last week because I was nauseous all the time, almost like morning sickness. (If you’ve ever had a baby, you’ll understand my misery.) Fortunately, she was able to eliminate more of the background noises, so the Emergency Broadcast System isn’t constantly playing in my head.

I almost didn’t leave the house this morning because I was busy putting my head between my legs trying to overcome the nausea. But when I got home a couple of hours later, the nausea was gone. On the way home, we stopped by Walgreens and I walked over to the cosmetics area where two salespeople were talking and turned off my hearing aid. From 10 feet away, I was able to pick up their voices.

No, the sounds don’t sound right yet. Speech doesn’t sound like speech. It still sounds like “bells and whistles”. But the important thing is that I’m actually hearing the sounds. Kela told me it was more important to find a comfort zone right now than to try to understand the sounds. I can tell the difference between male and female voices. The sounds aren’t as loud as they were with my hearing aid, but if the processor is set any louder than now, I get sick to my stomach.

And because of these minor issues, I don’t feel like I’m ready to go back to work. Charlie and I both think the best thing I can do is take the summer off and try for admission to OU Graduate School next January.

Another doctor visit this afternoon, this time to make sure my incision is healing properly. I bought a new tube of Aloe Vera that doesn’t contain lidocaine or menthol. My incision feels very dry, almost like stitches are popping out of it.

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Cochlear Implant