Friday, September 26, 2008

Mapping Times Three

Larry went for his third mapping yesterday with Troy, his audiologist. Troy increased the high pitch tones on Larry's Cochlear Implant. The high pitches are what Larry has always had trouble with. Larry also had his first hearing test with his Implant. Amazingly the low tones were almost at normal hearing. That means a normal hearing test like you or would have (only in the low tones). Larry was struggling with the high pitches last night. It's something else to get used to as he's never heard these tones before. Troy says the higher pitched tones will help with discerning speech. That's been the hardest part for Larry is figuring out speech. With his regular hearing aids all they ever did was amplify sound. Now, this amazing computer in his brain is interpreting the sounds. I can only imagine his synapses firing like crazy trying to figure out all of this new information.

If I ever meet the person that invented the CI, I'm going to give him a big fat kiss right on the mouth. It's the best I can do-I don't have any money to give him.

We were shocked at the cost of the CI when the hospital bills rolled in. Just the internal implanted part cost over $80,000. The OR bill, MD bill, subsequent office visits, lab work, overnight stay at the hospital etc-well-let's just say it would have been a second mortgage. Thankfully, insurance covered most of it. But of course, as always, there are bills to pay.

Our fundraiser is next week, I'm excited even though turnout is smaller than we had hoped. It's been a lot of work but fun also. I'm trying not to get too hung up on details like I usually do-that's hard for me. Anything we make on the fundraiser will go right back to NEADS. We've covered our expenses with ticket sales so in reality the whole night will be a blessing. My family and friends will all be there-that alone I am grateful for. Music, dancing, dinner and some educational stuff. I'm pleased. Both executive directors and the director of fundraising from NEADS are all coming. We've known Kathy and Shiela a long, long time. Larry first met them when he was only 8 years old. I met them right after we graduated high school. I even wrote them some really weird letters telling them how in love I was with Larry. I still am-but now I just don't write and tell to perfect strangers......I just put it in my blog for the entire world to see.

Tonight is my first night back to work after a 7 week leave of absence. I'm so not looking forward to it. It's been a couple of years now that I've been pondering a career change. Especially since I've been sick and have seen a whole new perspective on health care and how patients are treated. Maybe, as a nurse I have a higher standard of patient care but I don't think I do. The wait in ER's to be treated, the lack of compassion, 50 people asking the same questions over and over, the constant requests for paperwork when you take a leave of absence, the hassles when you try to return to work and they won't let you because your doctor mistakingly checked off "may return to school" instead of the box below it that says, "may return to work." I'd like to think I treat my patients the way I want to be treated. Then there is the mandatory education. No one much cares if you have a life outside the hospital, or children to care for, or no babysitter or money to pay a sitter. Just fulfill your obligation so we can check off our box. It apparently doesn't matter that I homeschool my kids either-I need to drop their education so I can get my mandatory education done. Blech. It makes me sad that my chosen career no longer makes me happy. Actually, that's not true. I do love nursing but it has changed so much over the years that we are no longer at the bedside and can no longer have a life outside our career. Our personal lives used to come first and we would worry about everything else after. It used to be more caring;-co workers cared about your life, there were get togethers outside work, I knew everyone's family, managers were understanding and sympathetic to your life happenings. Where did that go? Working per diem for the last 10years I've pretty much been able to make my own schedule. But even now-it's hard to find time to schedule work much less to actually make it there and put in a full shift. My husband rolls his eyes when I tell him I want to leave. I don't think he gets it. For 5 shift a month-it just doesn't seem worth it. But right now-we still need to feed our family and there is nothing in the wings (nothing yet that is making its presence known to me) so here I stay.

I need to surround myself with things that make me happy and fulfill me. Nursing isn't it any longer. The thought of starting something new both tires and inspires me. It needs more thought before I decide on anything.

Perhaps it is because we have lost so much family in recent years it makes be realize how precious time really is. It makes me realize how we don't spend enough time with friends or family because some personal crisis always overshadows a visit or we are too busy to make the time. It is hard to find the balance. Maybe that is why I feel so balanced.

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