Thursday, March 3, 2011

Upcoming weekend

Hey All--

Well end of another week, so glad Friday is here! I have been busy typing up a paper for my LAST Saturday Class of the Semester! It was an airport planning class, that met every Saturday from 8am to 4:30pm, very long but since it talked about aviation I didn't mind it too much. Just dragged, and waking up at 6:30am, for an 8am class is not fun to do but it was only once a week.

We had a chilly week, but then it started getting nice again. We had another Tornado Warning Sunday, so we had to go to the basement and take cover. The storm ended up being only literally 5 minutes passing our city so we were like "that's it?!" Oh well it did kind of screw up the TV and Satellite, so our TV actually kind of froze for 2 days. I missed all my shows I normally tape! :(

Thursdays means Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice for me, glad I get to watch those again. I miss Glee, can't wait to see it again next week.

I got four more Plane models in 1:400 scale. They are American Airlines MD80, Virgin America Airbus A320, Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300, and finally my personal favorite, TWA L1011. Cost about 95 bucks total, YIKES! :(

I am still trying to get my plans for Spring Break a bit more concrete, Chicago is still where I am planning to fly to, it's a matter of can I make it on the plane with the flight loads, and during Spring Break? It;s very risky but I'll try it! Will be quite an adventure.

I work Saturday Night from 5-9pm, and Sunday 12-5:30pm, typical weekend. Looks like more rain, I wish the nice weather would come back! It is march for god's sake!

I had a craving for Oreos and Twizzlers, so unhealthy for me but you know how you get a sugar rush craving so, I had to buy it. I'll regret it later I am sure.

Until then, hope ya'll have a great weekend! :)


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend is over!

Hey All--

Weekend has now come to a close. It wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be, friends were out of town, I had to work all weekend too.

I did figure out some plans for maybe going somewhere for Spring Break, hoping to hit up Chicago to see some friends if the flight loads work out.

I worked 12-6pm Friday, then 12-6pm also Saturday, then today, Sunday I worked 12-5:30pm.

We're supposed to be getting some storms, wind and Tornado's. As good as an implant is, I still sleep with the implant off, so I hope I wake up if there is a Tornado siren going on somewhere! Maybe Dorothy can give me a call to wake me up!

I read that Glee won't return for another week, kind of sad! :( I really love Glee, anyone watching the Oscars tonight?

Lady Gaga will be in Chicago tomorrow, but still too far away from me, her new "Born This Way" music video will be released tomorrow, I cannot wait for it!

Hope you all had a great weekend!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekend So Far

Hey All-

Saturday here, not much to do. Been working all weekend. Trying to think of places to fly to. I had a funny incident with my Cochlear Implant the other day.

I was holding my Umbrella in the rain, and suddenly everything went quiet. I felt around and realized the magnet on my head detached itself and flew off my head and attached itself to the metal rod of the Umbrella...Guess it didn't wanna get wet either!

Yesterday, I had to decline a State of Illinois Credit Card at work. Little ironic that it got declined, shows the financial ruins of our state doesn't it?

No plans for Spring Break yet, I have been so slow in traveling. I haven't flown since October when I went to Los Angeles with a friend. Had a good time!

Weekend is going good so far, hope you guys are enjoying yours. Need some warm weather soon!


Born This Way-Lady Gaga Song, My Thoughts

First time I heard the song, my instant reaction was “hmmh, this needs to be a ballad” It has good upbeat moves, and certainly something one can dance to in the clubs. I think when I pre-read the lyrics without hearing the music I formed my own version of it, and it came out to be a ballad.

Maybe Whitney Houston can perform this song as a ballad, as Lady Gaga mentioned on the Grammy’s last night. A lot of people have messaged me knowing I am a big fan of her, and wanted to know what I thought. The sentence I kept saying was “it’s not THE lady gaga song, I feel that title still goes to “Bad Romance” but, I really have never heard such beautiful lyrics in my life.

Most of you know by now that I am Gay. If you didn’t, you know now. I am not one of those guys who bawled my eyes out first time I heard the song, because I had to sit and think about it. Many proclaim it to be an anthem for gay people. While I can see how many can interpret it as that way, I truly think it is a song for EVERYONE. She covers it in all genres’ races, orientation and whatnot.

I heard it a lot, put it on repeat, watched it on the Grammy’s trying to get into it and like it, the way everyone else has, but something didn’t click with me yet. The song is great, why can’t I relate to it yet? Did the music really need to be a ballad for me to “like it” or was I not letting myself be more open minded?

The song opened talking about what her momma said, and leading to how everyone is perfect, maybe that’s why I couldn’t relate to it just yet? I didn’t see myself as perfect, we all have mistakes, but then I hear her singing “god makes no mistakes”. That is certainly true.

I kept listening, really analyzing the lyrics (maybe more than I needed to) this song was supposed to be THE hit of her, and relate to everyone, so I was determined to find it. The song came on the radio again today, on the way to work so I figured, Ok going to listen to it again.

Then out of nowhere it just hit me, I was “born this way”, and I sure as hell didn’t choose to be gay and sure as hell didn’t choose to be deaf too. All the folks who were against me for being gay, and asked why I chose it, look at me. I am Deaf too, that’s my disability, why the hell would I CHOOSE to be gay, and make my life twice as hard. I didn’t make myself this way, God did.

She sings it word for word, I am on the right track, he didn’t make any mistakes, because I was Born This Way. It left me smiling, and just really appreciated she took the time, whether in 10 minutes or 5 days to write a song everyone can relate to.

So family and friends, love and respect everyone for who they are, if you believe in Capital HIM, respect what he did, he created everyone the way he had us in mind, race, orientation, and disabilities. Love them and me for who we are.


1 Year of the Cochlear-Implant-Activation November 11th, 2011


"I didn't hear you?"

"What's that noise?"

"Did you hear that?"

Those are sentences I would have said a year ago. Now, One year later, I hardly, if ever, rarely say those words as a result of my being Deaf.

On the first day I was "turned on" and by that I mean by the machine, yes a machine turned me on, imagine that! All I heard was a fizzle, and beeps of sounds. Very confusing to me at first but, the more important thing was I was HEARING those sounds naturally. The first few days would be confusing, mumbled sounds, and nothing really clear.

Everything was just too loud to me! This was quite funny as I was always the guy who asked to have things turned up. Now after the activation I did a 180 and would ask for things to be turned down. It always sounded like people were yelling at me and it hurt my ears and head. I wondered how hearing people survived this?!

Then I remember one moment driving home from the hospital after one of my numerous check ups, I heard this clicking sound in the car. I never heard this before and it alarmed me. I was convinced something was wrong with the car. That's it I decided, I was pulling over to figure this sound. The sound happened once again as I turned off the road and pulled over, but would stop when I was going straight. This had me absolutely dumbfounded. I proceeded to call my mother with the mind I was going to have to call a tow-truck. Imagine this, standing outside on the highway off the hospital 2 hrs away from home not knowing what the hell was making this clicking sound. I explained everything I was doing to my mother, and I heard a short laugh, and then a brief of sympathy going "Oh, Honey, thats the turn signal!" Me "the turn signal makes a sound?" I proceeded to turn on the turn signal and sure as hell, *click* *click* *click* I'll be damned! My mother proceeded to add "this is going to be a long month for us isn't it?!"

I also remember random moments of sound, the first time I heard a raccoon, but most people won't care that I heard a raccoon, but this is the amazing thing. The raccoon was nowhere near me. I was hearing it from SO far away. I now discovered not only could I hear things naturally I could PICK UP sound from far away. This truly was remarkable for me.

Some noises that became irritating for me but I got over it was the crackling of paper, jingling of keys, and the worst part was in my computer class. 26 people clacking away on the computer actually gave me a headache, Hearing every beep, chime, ping, clack, and click. Oh how did you guys do it?!

Then the big thing for me, FLYING! Oh, how I longed to hear the sound of the engines naturally, the wind whistling by, the announcements, the chime and pings. I could hear some of them on the hearing aid, but not as loud and clear as I would on the implant. I took my first inaugural flight with Southwest Airlines of course to Boston, and sat back and truly enjoyed everything I was hearing. Soon after 70 plus flights I have taken I am very good at recognizing just about every sound made on the aircraft, am able to follow along most announcements, that is if the flight attendant or pilot is actually speaking real clear...I really enjoyed it.

Music has also changed quite a bit for me. I have shyed away from country music and gotten more into pop, RB and just my rage of music has really changed. I like it, yes I still play Britney Spears so get over it people hahaha.

It has been a remarkable year for me, hearing things for the first time or hearing things in a more clear-er way. Family's voices, friends voices, I have enjoyed every moment of it, and look forward to the next year and developing and fine tuning my ears! Who knows, perhaps I will get my 2nd implant done!


1 Year Anniversary of the Cochlear-Implant--October 23rd, 2010

Hey Guys-

It's been a long year, but I had my one year anniv in October and November respectively for the surgery and for the activation. I wanted to share them here for those who were interested.

October 23rd, 2010, marks the one-year anniversary of my Cochlear-Implant Surgery. I don’t even know where to begin to talk about the impact it has had on my life. I spent almost a year debating whether to have it done or not, what my friends and families thought, should I go for it? What would the impact be on my life, school, work and relationships with friends and more.

I could start with meeting people who had the implant. I was amazed how well they were doing with it, whether bi-lateral or dual. It blew me away and completely impressed me. I came home to talk to my family and friends about it, and thought I’d like to check this out. I talked to close friends, and family and in time, I decided for once I need to be selfish, and do what I wanted. Truth of the matter was, I wanted to HEAR. Feel like I belonged in this world.

Go back to the night before the surgery, I was terrified. Did I make the right decision? No backing out now, am I really going under again? Never fear, I was amazed at all the support I received from everyone the night of the surgery it was a great thought to have just before going under.

Then it came time to prep for surgery. Get blood done, IV in, it’s time to go to sleep. I don’t remember anything around that time, just being asked to count backwards from ten. Next thing I know, I am awake.

Of course letting people know I made it through the surgery was my first task, and everyone wanted to know the ONE burning question…”What can you hear?!” Me “NOTHING YET!”

It was amusing trying to explain to people the surgery was just to insert the magnet inside the head, and the true part would come barely a month later in November.

Thinking back the previous year, and to think has it really been a year since I had the surgery? It indeed has.

The surgery, and implant, has really strengthen my relationships with my friends no doubt and family too. It certainly brought up awesome conversations, hilarious moments in trying to hear things or recover my surgery.

I also think back to my first flying trips after the implant, when I took my first flight on Southwest Airlines to Boston on their inaugural flight out of STL. It was my inaugural for hearing and theirs for flying! It was so amazing getting to hear the sounds of “flying” that I had not heard before the surgery.

Then I think back to my first concert with Reba McEntire in February, and BOY what a difference it made to listen to country music and hear the twang and what not. Same for Lady Gaga concert, I was also surprised what I could pick up and hear and understand.

Then, trying to see a movie in 3D at the theaters wasn’t exactly a success story either. The glasses would knock off my implant on the head, so I had to decide, be blind, and hear the movie but not see, or be deaf, knock off the implant but be able to see the movie. Talk about having a Helen Keller moment! J

Going on my first international trip period on the implant was awesome for me to experience because I had to figure how to charge my batteries, and keep up with it while overseas. Getting to hear the dialect and language of Japanese folks versus American/English folks was very neat experience for me also.

I could go on and on, and most people won’t read or comment on this and that’s fine. I just want you to know, when you whine and complain, stop and think for a second that you are able to HEAR people whine and complain. For 22 years I was not able to do that. Now I can hear it, and try to be a part of the hearing world. Step by Step, day by day.

I never take anything for granted now, and it truly does give me the gift of life in a way because hearing is so much a part of it. I am very thankful for everything and the opportunity this has presented me. So much has been achieved in just a year, and I have only just begun. We ain’t seen nothing yet!

Once again from the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every single one of you who have been there for me, through likes, comments, messages, wall posts, texts, phone calls, visits, just asking how I am is sooo much appreciated. I am excited to share it all with you, and as long as you keep asking I will keep sharing!

One Year ladies and gentlemen, one year. It’s been an amazing ride.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cochlear Updates

Hello Folks-

This will be the LAST update for now until the day of my surgery, which is now scheduled for OCTOBER 23RD, 2009, A Friday Morning.

I met with the surgeon Thursday, August 27th. I got to see my CT Scans, which showed everything was normal, and all the holes that were supposed to be there, were in fact there!

We went over my decision on which ear, I remain to stay with the left side so far, and which company I chose-AB Harmony. Surgically, he had some concerns or rather cautions about operating in my left ear with an AB Harmony magnet. It seems surgically for my surgeon at least it is just a tad bit more difficult to operate and insert the internal piece, the magnet, from AB Harmony than it is with Nuclear Freedom.

However, that did not defer me and I still stood by AB Harmony and after double-checking my options with my Audiologist I confirmed AB Harmony was what I wanted to go with.

So with that we went to the secretary’s office, and got word and confirmation that October 23rd would be the date of surgery. I am very very excited to finally have a date to look forward to. It has been almost a year of checking things out, going through insurance process, getting appointments set up. Quite a whirlwind. Meeting with family and friends to make sure they were in the know, and getting their support, advice and suggestions. I take all of your thoughts and suggestions to heart, and in the end I chose with what was the most comfortable for me and what would further improve my lifestyle as well.

Keep in mind; I am NOT GOING TO BEGIN HEARING IMMEDIATELY OUT OF SURGERY. The surgery is simply the insertion of the magnet, internal piece of the cochlear implant. It will be up to 3 weeks possibly AFTER the surgery before I can put the external implant on, also known as the speech processor, and then be “turned on”. Even then, when they turn my speech processor on, I am not going to start suddenly hearing and understanding everything at once. This is a VERY long process and will take a lot of support and importantly PATIENCE as I work with my family and friends in going through therapy and sessions and meetings and whatnot.

I believe I have to meet twice a week for a month after the surgery then it is a gradual process depending how well I advance and whatnot. So I do NOT want to disappoint you all and you wonder why I am not hearing/understanding anything right after have my surgery. This is not an instant surgery unfortunately. We all would love that to be the case, but alas it is not.

Also, I have been asked by STL if I would be interested in participating in a research program, I would be paid by the hour and reimbursed for mileage and parking expenses. It is an entire year, meeting every 3 months. It should not be conflicting with my work and classes but I think I will try it out and see how it goes. If I see it is conflicting then I will drop out, but certainly something worth checking out for sure!

So I ask for your patience and support as I go through with it, there are going to be times I will be very frustrated, times I may think, I am not going anywhere, it is up to you folks to keep me going too, and remind me it is worth it in the end!

This is pretty much it, and all I will do is wait until day of surgery. If you have any questions or comments please leave them here, you may contact me through face book, text however you have my information. I want you all to be as educated as I am with the process, so you all have an understanding also of what I am going through too.

Thanks everyone!