February 2008

It’s fitting enough that today is Leap Day. I appreciate leaping and going out on limbs. In many contexts, it’s grand and exposes us to more aspects of life, with the consequence of furthering understanding and compassion, assuming we’re receptively oriented. I don’t think I personally throw all caution to the wind, but I do tend to place possible outcomes in perspective, even while acknowledging the actual outcome is likely to differ greatly from anything I imagine. With a lot of things, the most immediate risk is maintaining face (easier when acting from a space of self-acceptance) and perhaps making someone else uncomfortable. I usually dwell much more on the possibility of the latter than the former. I don’t place inflated expectations or demands on others’ responses. The unpredictable contingencies of life are what make it worthwhile, when one is privileged by the dependable presence of basic food, shelter, and security.

Do you want to be concentrating on the act of waiting, or focus on awareness of opportunities while you’re “waiting”?

Did you realize you have a choice?

The way I think of waiting, for anything, is transformed by the mental gymnastics performed in my brain (and all the cool interpretive lenses I’ve soaked up over the years). I’ve realized recently that I equate waiting with an active state — a time of waiting is a time to explore and either notice things I otherwise wouldn’t, or to engage in spontaneous creative pursuits and thoughts of wellness for the aforementioned ever-expanding mass of relational beings.

To me, the phrase “watchful waiting,” or “watch and wait,” especially in the context of treating NF2 (re: intervention based mainly on MRI results vs.treatment based on overall condition and functional changes), and more importantly /living/ with NF2, doesn’t imply we’re supposed to sit around and wait for our body to crumble. Rather, it bolsters the necessity of maximizing what we’ve actually got access to, instead of hedging bets with conflated odds (and risking) what there is a fear of losing in the indefinite future.

I know I’ve written these sentiments before, but it has been quite awhile since I’ve aired them publicly, and it kind of bothers me the wisdom of my doctors doesn’t get more play, despite mounting evidence in clinical outcomes and general advances in neuroscience.

Have you hugged your neurosurgeons today?

Oh, and “Go Panthers!

and ye shall receive.

Visited Indy for a routine ABI reprogramming session today. Um, surprise: My beloved Nucleus Spectra 22 speech processor (circa 1995) is obsolete. We ordered a Nucleus Freedom (sing it baby…) behind-the-ear (BTE) speech processor. I also get a body-worn processor, but it’s much sleeker than what I have. Kind of like buying a new car with all the color and accessory choices.

The BTE processor fits over the ear and is rechargeable, or can use three hearing aid batteries for back-up. The bodyworn processor could be concealed in a fist, and uses two AAA batteries. (“about the size of an iPod® Shuffle,” as described by the website and demonstrated by my audiologist–I commented that Cochlear and Apple should have package deals, an opinion strengthened by the description of SmartSound capability.) I’ve been casually contemplating a direct hook into a musical audio source for many years now. Although, I must say, that I did achieve a great deal of background sound masking, for understanding someone right next to me, aided by lipreading, in very noisy environments, using my S/squelch setting. That changed in the last couple years. I’m curious whether the new SP will match or exceed that performance.

I’ve been unlike most of my friends with ABIs: I’ve never minded the pocket-sized speech processor or wire going from it to my ear/head for the transmitting coil. While many Cochlear Implant (CI) recipients, and even friends with ABIs in Australia have enjoyed BTE models for years, I was always of the mindset that processing power and performance were far more important than aesthetics. Plus, basically, “I love my ABI,” and all the crazy experiences I’ve had as a result of the sounds it’s restored, and the adventures along the way! It looks like Cochlear may have succeeded in bringing the best of both worlds.

The experiment continues!


Cochlear Nucleus Upgrade page:


Freedom Upgrade FAQ:


Payment Options:


“You do better when you don’t look at the score.

Or maybe you just don’t look at the score when you’re doing better.”

Here I figured I was pretty crafty to know what an ottoman was, way back when ‘LtI’ was at its peak. (I think I was in 4th grade at the time.) I am still chuckling at myself–there was a time when I laboriously transcribed the lyrics to several noteworthy songs. (This was when Commodore 64s were novelties–the start of computer classes in school for playing Lemonade and such, and the notion that lyrics sites would exist one day would’ve come across in the same way as the perpetual claim that X disease will be cured in 5 years (even 15 years after the initial prognostication).)

Included in that manual transcribing phase was one ditty that left me amused at the prospect of not wanting to go to school, and then not having an ottoman to rest one’s feet on if skipping school–what a waste that would be. Needless to say, I was reminded tonight about how inaccurate my lyrical understanding always was in the absence of published lyrics. Um, at least I’m self-correcting now? I think there was a moment when I saw the actual lyrics, and consciously decided my version was funnier and catchier.

Way to go TEAM, and yet another Irish alum! Is it ever said enough?

“Defense wins championships!”