Tasks for the New Year

Hobbit: We got a lot of stuff on the Tax Return list
Hobbit: not sure we can do it all
Hobbit: Tax Return
* Pay Credit Cards
* Pay Ticket
* Fix Plumbing
* Cut Pool Tree
* Ninja Blender
* Kitty Purse
* Boots
Hobbit: you were suggesting something else today
Hobbit: and I forgot what it was
Swampfaye: we’ll have to consolodate… let’s get a ninja kitty purse that can cut trees
Hobbit: That would be pretty awesome
Hobbit: chainsaw boots
Swampfaye: get magic plumbing boots
Swampfaye: the ninja purse can take care of the tree

Ghosts of Christmas past. (Guest Post by My Hobbit)

I will always remember this year’s Christmas. Thanks to the generosity of friends, family, and strangers, we had a better Christmas than I had any reason to expect. We were able to raise enough money through donations for the 20% co-pay coverage for a Nucleus 6 cochlear implant. It arrived on Christmas Eve. It came by FedEx, though I like to pretend it was delivered by sleigh and reindeer.

What’s more, I was able to get another pair of good quality sunglasses thanks to friends in our ward who got us gift cards for Christmas. They are Veza sunglasses, which are only sold at Sam’s Club. I really like the Veza sunglasses because they are incredibly strong and sturdy. Whenever I can scrounge up the money I look forward to adding another pair to my collection. I have three pairs now, and if I don’t lose any of them they should last a lifetime. They’re not a well-known brand, but that just makes them even more special. I feel like I know a secret that most people don’t know.

I don’t want much in the way of luxuries. I like sturdy boots, sturdy sunglasses, and a computer with a fast internet connection. I care more about whether something is durable than whether it is fashionable.

Anyway, what with a new CI processor and new sunglasses, it was a very deafblindie sort of Christmas. I’ve already set up an appointment with a specialist to have the CI assembled and mapped for the first time.

I look forward to switching from the big processor to a BTE (behind-the-ear) unit. It will be a lot more convenient. And fortunately I also have a backup CI that still works, even though it is obsolete. I am practically OCD about having backups: backup CIs, backup sunglasses, backup computers, backup boots, etc.

Anyway, it was a great Christmas. And thanks to everyone who contributed to the purchase of a new CI!

Happy Holidays,
+Sam

Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones

I always thought the phrase “words can never hurt me,” was one of the stupidest ever uttered.  You WILL be hurt by words (fat, lazy, blonde, skinny).  You WILL be offended.  The actions of others WILL adversely affect you.  How you chose to act, however, is your own choice.  There is a universal truth that says: You can’t move forward if you are blaming someone else.  This doesn’t mean that they aren’t at fault – it just means that your personal progression is on your own shoulders, not theirs.  Their success does not diminish your chances of success (generally).   Taking offense may be natural, but letting it roll off your back can become just as natural.

If you are hard of hearing, it’s like being a half breed.  You aren’t ‘deaf’ enough to be Deaf and you aren’t hearing enough to be Hearing.  There are lots of miscommunications on both sides: One the Deaf side because you are “hearing in your head,” and on the hearing side because you don’t hear them clearly.  It’s easy to take offense, but it should also be easy to understand that there are cultural perceptions on each side that easily lead to ‘offense.’  Being in between should also help you understand that it’s not helpful to be offended.

Some people are trying to offend you, it’s true.  Nowhere is this more evident than on the internet where anonymity cloaks them.  But to stay offended doesn’t really hurt them and only harms you.  I think we have a century of clear examples that blame and taking offense does not move you forward in the macro – it can only be magnified in the micro.

So let it roll off your back and move further up and further in.

Hobbits and Wizards and Elves, Oh My! (guest post by my Hobbit)

When my Hobbit asked what I wanted for my birthday (which was Monday) — #itsmybirthdayandillblogifIwantto, I asked him for a guest blog post.  So here it is:

Hobbits and Wizards and Elves, Oh My!

[POSSIBLE SPOILERS!]

Our home is into hobbits and wizards and elves (and almost everything fantastical) so naturally there was much excitement and anticipation over Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit installment: The Desolation of Smaug.

Noelle said that she rather liked the dwarf/elf romance in Desolation of Smaug, and I admit that even though it is totally outside of Tolkien canon, it makes for some interesting Peter Jackson fanfiction.

The “interracial romance” suits me because at some point in our marriage I decided that Noelle was a Fae Queen and she decided that I was her Hobbit. Don’t ask… But, in case you were wondering, a hobbit/fae romance can work out quite well, thank you very much.

The Queen of the Fae has magical powers that I don’t have. For example, when I spill a bag of ice, she can see into the murky nether regions called “the floor” and find those stray ice cubes that I can’t see. She can also hear speech and music which are quite beyond the range of my hobbit senses, and she can interpret them in the High Tongue of Calinor: American Sign Language.

The Queen particularly enjoys interpeting Christmas music in the High Tongue.

So, in a way, she does have semi-magical powers that I don’t have. But I fancy that I bring the sturdiness, steadfastness, and plain hobbit-sense to our household which would otherwise be lacking. That’s what she tells me, anyway. The Fae Queen often calls me “her rock” just because I am so reliably me.

So let’s hear it for noncanonical dwarf/elf romances, and even crossover hobbit/fae romances. As you might have noticed, we take our fantasy roleplaying seriously here in the Realm of Calinor!

+Sam

The Problem With Pain

I have fibromyalgia, so I know a little bit about how pain can drain you. The pain I had from fibro had never really been intense, but just a constant draining ache. I thought that was bad, but it never induced me to take a lot of pain killers and seemed easy enough to just bear it, because my fibro seems to go through ‘phases’ and will diminish in pain depending on where it is in the cycle.

Recently I have had a toothache that has progressed to a headache/earache, but being a weekend, there was no appointments to be had, so I had to just endure it. I have taken Advil, aspirin, garlic, antihistamines, anything to reduce the inflammation, but the pain is still there and intense. It’s really only been two days, but it has been so intense that it drives me to distraction. The one thing I have gained from this experience is a deeper understanding of people suffering from chronic pain. I can’t imagine being constantly in intense pain. Two days and I’m already thinking I would drive to 8 hours Mexico just to buy something to give me a little relief. I think I understand why people get addicted to pain killers, not just because of the chemical addiction of many of them, but just the desire to end the pain.

I imagine that emotional pain (and the self medication that follows with that) has a similar problem.  When you just want to FEEL good, a bar of chocolate is a good temporary solution.  When you just want to feel NOTHING, alcohol or drugs does the job for a time.  But just like pain killers, the after effects (my father suffered kidney failure from an over prescription of pain killers) are often worse than the original problem.

All that being said–I can’t wait for Monday, for a doctor to prescribe me some pain killers (and antibiotics).

 

PS, I want to thank all of you who have helped with our CI upgrade fund at GoFundMe.  My Hobbit and I seem to survive every month since I left my job to deal with the rapid onset of the Hobbit’s blindness through a series of small miracles that usually come in the form of a human being like you.  Thank you for being our miracle.

My Hobbit needs an upgrade!

I just put up a Gofundme campaign for my Hobbit’s Cochlear Implant Upgrade.  Visit it here: http://www.gofundme.com/5n569o.

Here is a bit of the background story: My husband Sam has Ushers Syndrome. He is deaf and rapidly going blind. In 2002, his mother convinced him to get a Cochlear Implant and his unit was one of the big Sprint Processor/ Body Worn CI’s like pictured above. Last year, 11 years later, it was so obsolete that we couldn’t find parts for it and the CI processor was no longer compatible with the programs used to update and calibrate it. So we applied for a new CI. Sam’s Medicare covers 80%, but the amount left was still about 1500.00. The people at Cochlear America gave us a generous waiver, but we are still responsible for about 400 dollars of the new processor, fees for follow up doctors (CI Specialists) visits, and the other necessities for upgrading to the new Nucleus 6 behind the ear processor (the object on the left is the CI part that is inside his head and ear and the right is the processor): Our budget is very tight and we can’t really afford 400 dollars, but without the CI, Sam is seriously sensory deprived. We are hoping our friends, family and community members will help us out with this drive to raise money for his implant.

Rough Stone Rolling

The prophet Joseph Smith said that he felt worn and shaped like a rough stone rolling, with all the rough edges knocked off of him.  I feel like that a lot – like a rock in a tumbler, with no control over who/what I hit in the process or where I will rebound.  How strange and funny that we feel worn smooth or thin (like butter spread over too much bread), when the world sees us as harder and more solid.  Though we feel worn smooth, we also feel less like the child full of wonder who actually found smooth stones quite remarkable…