Wonderful News!   1 comment

Finally Deaf and HoH Canadians can have a relay service so they can use the telephone!  It’s about damn time.  I didn’t see anything about a voice – to – text relay for those of us who don’t know ASL, but I’m sure that feature will be added in once they start to hammer out the details of the program. 




Posted April 22, 2014 by bettyhoven in deaf, hearing loss

It’s Been A Year   Leave a comment

It has now been a year since my cochlear implant was activated, so here’s an update!

I was able to phone a complete stranger last week and have a conversation with them! I was really excited about this since I  never expected to get to this point.  The next step in the “telephone adventures” will be to ANSWER a phone call from a stranger and see if I can hear what they’re saying without any knowledge of the context of the call.

I have also been listening to music more, although I find that it’s easier to hear treble-clef sounds than bass-clef sounds with the implant on. 

I had my one-year appointment at Sunnybrook hospital on Thursday and Dr. Shipp told me that I could hear 58% of pretty much everything he threw at me, compared to hearing only 50% at my 6-month appointment. So there’s still been progress, just not as dramatic.  Dr. Shipp says he expects my progress to sort of stagnate now at this point, but I still might see some small improvements over the next year.  We’ll see.

Now, I don’t want to say that this will be my last entry, because I never know what deaf-related story will pop up and make me want to write something, but if there’s anyone who checks my blog every day, please note that I probably won’t be writing very much after this point.  Thank you so much for reading!

Posted February 23, 2014 by bettyhoven in deaf, hearing loss

I Liked You Better Deaf   2 comments

Hilarious Christmas video for this guy’s Dad.  I especially love that it’s captioned!

Posted December 29, 2013 by bettyhoven in deaf, hearing loss

Waterproof Casing for my Cochlear Implant   4 comments

When a CI user is caught in the rain….

An umbrella is not always handy.  Nor does an umbrella provide secure protection of a CI in heavy rain or snowfall.

A hat is not very waterproof either, and hats don’t really fit comfortably over CI’s.

Taking your implant off and putting it in a waterproof case is the best way to keep it safe from water, but then you’re deaf again.  Which is fine for the most part, but in certain outdoor situations, you might need to hear something (which is why you got the implant in the first place, right?).  So while I’m proud of being deaf, I NEED to hear when I’m working outdoors for the sake of my career.  Taking off the implant when it’s raining is not an option for me.

So I looked into buying a waterproof case.  Something like thin, hard plastic that wraps around my implant and processor, allowing me to wear it easily, but still have protection.  I was willing to pay $100 for one!  But I searched the internet and contacted Med El (my implant company) and no such product exists!  The best they could recommend to me was a company called EAR GEAR that provides coverings for hearing aids and implants to protect them from dirt, sweat, and moisture. But they are not waterproof.  They are like felt covers. They could not protect my implant from the rain, or even a heavy snowfall.

So what now? I have contacted EAR GEAR asking if they would be willing to produce a hard plastic waterproof casing, but that’s a long shot.  Any custom plastic company I know of would need exact dimensions and they’d probably charge me an arm and a leg.  So what can I do?  Does anyone with an implant have suggestions for waterproofing your implant?  Please let me know!

Posted October 28, 2013 by bettyhoven in deaf, hearing loss

The First Day of School   1 comment

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a good summer!  Mine was a lot of fun.  I went to Montreal, Centre Island, the CNE, the old camp I used to work at, and lots of other places.

Like many other people across Ontario, I returned to school today!  It was interesting to say the least.  I had to pick up “memos” to give to all my teachers that explains the nature of my deafness and the special accommodations I will need (note-takers, captions in videos, etc.). The memos also explain that I read lips and need the teacher to face me when they lecture.  So what’s the first thing the teachers do today?  They wander around the room so that I can’t see their faces!  Ugh…but I guess it’s not fair that I – out of a class of 130 – get all the teacher’s attention.  Still, it made me very happy that I had note-takers typing down what I was unable to see/hear.

The cochlear implant has been helping me every day to better understand one-on-one conversations, but I still really suck at following what groups of people are saying.  Especially when more than one person at a time is talking.  So I’m worried about all the group work I will have to do in school.  My note-taker doesn’t get to join in the “group work” stuff that I do, so I’m kind of on my own.  Even though I am improving with the implant, I still have a lot of trouble hearing without lip-reading.  We’ll see how it goes!

It’s only the first day of school and I can already tell that I will be too bogged down by homework to keep up with this blog regularly.  So if you check my blog frequently, you might want to scale that back to checking it only once a month.  Or once every other month.  I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to write. Consider yourselves warned!

Posted September 3, 2013 by bettyhoven in deaf, hearing loss

I’m Still Here   1 comment

I haven’t been making very many posts lately.  But I’m still here!  I just don’t have much to blog about these days.

I will probably get back into actively blogging when I head back to school in September to earn my latest degree.   So you can expect some posts that are focused on the deaf-student experience coming up in the fall.

But until then, have a nice summer everyone!


Posted July 24, 2013 by bettyhoven in deaf, hearing loss

Sneezing   1 comment

There are some articles floating around the internet right now that say Deaf people sneeze differently than hearing people because hearing people feel compelled to force an “ah-choo” sound, while Deaf people just sneeze naturally.

I have talked to my co-workers about this, and they assured me that all the times I sneeze at work (which is a lot since I work with books and books get dusty!), I make a very defined “ah-choo” sound.  The “Ah-choo” sound is actually a natural sound for some people.  Because I’m Deaf, and I do it.  So I just wanted to put that out there.

Posted July 10, 2013 by bettyhoven in deaf, hearing loss