Spring is here.


Weather

We had such a mild winter here in Central New York it sometimes fooled us into thinking it was just a dirty brown spring. Of course when you’re hitting freakish 70-degree temps mid-February I think that assumption is understandable.

The first official day of spring March 20th and the days the followed were cold. It dropped back down to mid-30 and 40 degree temps. Complete with dreary rain, and occasionally hail. Only recently did I actually think “ahh yes, now here is spring.” We might not have Sakura tree’s sending blossoms everywhere but we do have an obscene number of flowering tree’s that I always manage to forget about. Purple, Pink, and White blooms are everywhere. Even the apple tree has begun flowering.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you its spring; how about the itchy eyes? Warm-er weather and rain storms complete with thunder. No, wait. I have the perfect way to know it is spring here in Utica, NY.

The runners are out. Packs of college women, older ladies pulling a good clip past them on the wide sidewalk, and grey haired men eight times as fit as either of my grandfathers were at their age.

Boilermaker Training season has begun for the locals. The 15km road race is an annual biggie, in fact the website seems to indicate that the cap for the 15k race has already been reached. That’s 14,000 people registered to run. The 5k doesn’t seem full yet, but they are only allowing 4,000 registrants for that.

I can also say for certain that the anime-boob bounce is entirely possible. She wasn’t the stereotypical anime-babe built like a toothpick with a massive chest weighing her down. However, it was the same motion. The chest became air-born, wiggled around, and flounced back down. Proof positive someone knew what they were drawing and dare I say ‘dreaming of.’

If your out as early as I am you might just run into the fire-fighter trainees, or one of the many cop running groups. I swear all the trainee’s and younger looking cops look as though they joined their careers just to be featured in a men-in-uniforms calendar. Even though men in uniform don’t make me tingle like that… a pack of men in shorts and sneakers deserves some oogling time. Don’t get carried away I said ‘some!’

Hearing

 

For the first time in what could be a dozen+ years my mother got a new hearing test done. Not only did she get the new test done, a new digital hearing aid will follow. I’d breathe a sigh of relief except I’m not sure I can. There is nothing left to work with in her left ear. As for her right she retains 28% of her hearing and 0 speech recognition.

Ok I will be the first to admit I knew it was getting bad but I never figured the number for so low. Then again she reads lips. Which apparently explains how she gets by. The hearing aid being digital won’t really help restore whats gone, but will hopefully give her more meaningful information for what she does hear, clearer even?

Cochlear implant time? Yup, she may just be a prime candidate for one. IF the insurance company can see their way to approving such a thing that is.

The cause of the hearing loss is hereditary, my Grandmother had moderate/profound hearing loss. Of her 4 children 2 had the same. My uncle, and my mother who began to loose her hearing in college. Out of the 3 kids in my family I’m the only one who’s shown signs of having the same condition. My natural hearing appears to be hanging on for the ride, progressing slower than accounts of any other family member. Though I do have a level of loss that qualified me for hearing-aids – digital ones like Mom will get.

For me, I can now hear the high-range notes in music I’d forgotten about. Birds chirping. In short I hear a LOT which is frequently overwhelming. Do normal people actually hear this much and how do they sort it all out without going insane? Well that’s my own adjustment issues there. I could only wish that digital aides would enable my mother to hear the same things… sadly I’m aware that they can’t.

The hairs in the ear just don’t function like they should anymore.

So can an implant help her? I know almost nothing about a cochlear implant. What I do know is that after so long not-hearing well at all could she adjust to hearing? I believe the implants have a different ‘sound’ to  them, described as robotic voices… but in my mother could or would that be noticeable?

Better yet if they think the implant would really help her understand speech, over the phone or in person isn’t that a reason all its own to look into it? Personal fears aside. Seriously it could make a huge difference.

Especially considering recent problems like the fact she really struggles on the phone. She likes to text but we still haven’t found a phone she can use the keyboard on well. So she insists on typing with the numerical pad, which leaves a lot out in conversation.

Then there’s the fact that for some  unknown reason A&E never captioned Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman when they released the complete box set.  So here I am buying her what was her favorite show, except she can’t watch it. Even with the volume on the TV turned all the way up.

I’ll tell ya one thing the audio in that show and the speech patterns don’t make understanding easy. I should know I’ve spent hours trying to caption one episode myself and there are some characters (like the perpetually drunk mumbler, and the old guy) that I just have a hard time figuring out what they said. Replay, over and over… /fail. Anyone up for the challenge?

 

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