Part of Two Worlds


Hello Luvs,

Many of my “regular” readers may remember that I am “Hard of hearing”. Hearing people may use the term “hearing impaired”. We prefer to be called “Hard of hearing”. Mostly because we don’t feel that we are broken or “impaired”. Technically it means that I’m not totally “medically 100% deaf”. I can hear a few various pitches, frequencies and sounds. With my hearing aids in, I can hear a little bit during a “one on one” conversation. But add in background noise and people who mumble or talk very fast; and then it’s nearly impossible. Next, add the situation of trying to “listen” to several people at once, in a crowded room or restaurant? Lastly, there are those with facial hair all around their mouth and lips. They are the group for me, who have the most frustrating lips to read! Then again, it’s not really like “reading”. Because it’s more like piecing together bits and pieces of a puzzle & then trying to “fill in the missing pieces”.

In case you’re not familiar with my hearing loss journey; I’ll recap just a little bit for you. When I was a child, I had recurring ear infections. During those times, I could often be found literally rocking my body back & forth, while curled up in the fetal position. My memories start as young as age 3 years. It was always pure hell while I was living with horrible ear infections. When I complained to my parents about the excruciating 😖 throbbing Pain in my ear (or ears), my mother would always say same thing. She’d tell me “Once your eardrum ruptures, the pressure will go away and you will feel better!” Well, it did feel better after the pressure was gone. But each time that happened it caused scar tissue to form in my ear drums. It also caused mild hearing loss as I was growing up. I remember asking the teachers if I could sit closer to the board to try and hear them better. Therefore my audiologist (in 2002) & ENT Dr. felt that I’ve had mild hearing loss since I was a child. I had tubes put in my ears when I was about 7 or 8 years old. They were surgically placed multiple times and for several years.

Later in 2002, I was a passenger in a car driven by my husband. We were just driving along through a green light when we were hit by a car running through a red light. It was considered a “catastrophic accident”. I acquired a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and had multiple injuries and 9 surgeries. I went to brain injury rehab for 3 years & had 9 years of PT/OT, balance therapy and speech therapy. I acquired a pacemaker, glasses with prisms (for lowered vision), 2 screws in my left shoulder and 2 hearing aids. I also got a wheelchair, a seated wheeled walker, a motorized scooter, loft strand crutches, a cane and several other helping aides for activities of daily living.

I won’t bore you with all of the chronic pain illnesses that came out of that accident. That’s not what this post is all about. But I also acquired a bi-lateral sensory neural hearing loss in both of my ears L>R (but currently (2019), it’s R>L & it’s a mixed hearing loss). Along with the many medical issues, I also acquired lower vision. I saw a Neuro-Othamoligist, who put prisms in my glasses to try and correct some of it. The prisms really bothered me. Today I just have a very strong prescription for eye glasses. Everything has a bit of a halo effect.

It’s ironic and very awesome that prior to that MVA (motor vehicle accident), I had been an ASL Interpreter. I worked at a Deaf preschool and then I interpreted for a school district. In the end, I was a medical Interpreter at a University hospital. I even did volunteer work doing medical interpreting for Deaf/Blind at free medical screening events. I had gone through a 4 year SLS/Interpreting program and finished with a 3.8 gpa.

Back in the 1980’s when I went to college, I practically lived at the dorms with my 16 Deaf friends. We watched CC “General Hospital” daily at 3:00 pm. We even tried to schedule our classes around it! It was a social hour. I’d been learning ASL since age 11 & even “tested out” of the first fingerspelling class.

The Deaf community accepted me and they were kind to me. At that time I went to Deaf bowling every Thursday with DAD club. I had a Deaf boyfriend whose sister was a cheerleader at MSD & we went to all of the football games and even the homecoming dance! Me and my group of college friends, who happened to be Deaf, used to go out dancing on Friday nights. One time my friends & I were on our way to a dance club and we got pulled over for a slight bit of speeding. We were all packed in the back of a mini van signing with each other. One of my friends told me to “talk to the officer”. I was terrified and I told him “No way! I’m afraid! Since I’m with you guys, I don’t want to talk to him either!” We all laughed as the officer just let us go with a handwritten warning on a piece of paper. That was a fun and I felt included.

Just to back track a little, I started learning ASL at age 11. My best friend & I babysat for a Deaf family who lived next door to her. The parents and 6 children were Deaf. The children went to the Lutheran School for Deaf at that time! They included me in many Deaf social activities and I learned the language & received my sign name from them. First we played games and I learned colors, numbers, family signs, days of week and more!

I’ve always felt accepted by the Deaf community. I always respected the culture, the history & the language, ASL. How ironic then, that I lost my hearing & was already prepared with the tools I needed!

I’ve lost touch with some of my old friends from DAD (Detroit Association of Deaf). But I still have a some close friends from the past, who are Deaf. I still feel a part of the community. I’d like to become even more involved again! But living with several high pain chronic illnesses makes it difficult to get out due to persistent pain.

I’ve found my own ways to reconnect and to feel not so “in-between” two worlds. I get to teach ASL vocabulary with the Deaf Socials on their Instagram and Facebook pages. I love & look forward to each new vocabulary list they give to me for teaching! I truly enjoy doing that and doing song covers to ASL on my Youtube channel: My YouTube channel at: ASLSuzyQ . I also post to my Instagram A link to my ASL Instagram and Twitter A link to my ASL Twitter with the same name. I do this for fun and as a volunteer and advocate for Deaf Awareness.

Lastly, I used to love being a part of two ASL performance groups during the 80’s, when I lived in Arizona & worked at a Deaf preschool. One group was called “Silent Impressions productions”. We performed in choreography and ASL to broadway show tunes and in costumes! We put in shows at ASU and it was so much fun! The other group to which I belonged, was called “Silent Praise”. We performed Christian songs while others did lyrical dances. We did that at the ASU Neumann center. It was such a fun time in my life. My friends and I also interpreted for our church community at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Scottsdale, AZ.

After reminiscing in this post, I feel so grateful that I had already been involved with the Deaf community & had many years of experience with ASL, before I became more (*I was mild HoH since elementary school) Hard of Hearing. As ironic as it seems, it’s not all that crazy. I had a mild hearing loss and then it worsened due to the TBI.

I mostly seem to write about chronic pain illnesses. I’ve been writing about the rights of chronic pain patients to have access to much needed opioid pain medications. We need these medications because without them, people like me wouldn’t even be able to do the small amount of activities that we try to do. I was forcibly tapered from my long acting pain meds after doing pretty well on them for almost 14 years! Now I sit in my recliner for approximately16 hours daily. I try to get up, put I make up and do some online activities every few days. But my life is not the same with so much less help for the pain.

Although I still want to continue advocating in that area, I’m doing more & more advocating for Deaf awareness, inclusion and preservation of ASL. I thought I’d put my hearing loss story and ASL history here in my blog too. I’ve written a few posts about Deafness and trying to live in “two worlds”. But I’ve never explained the details of how I became who I am today. I’m a survivor of long time childhood abuse, domestic violence and then a catastrophic car accident. I’m not a “victim” but I am a “fighter and a survivor”! Don’t ever give up!!

I have a Facebook page at: Link to my ASLSUZYQ Facebook page

I have a Facebook group called “ASLExpress” at:Link to join Facebook group ASL Express

Lastly, I have an ASL group for allowing people to post ASL covers in a safe place, called “ASL Song” at: Link to ASL Song Facebook group

“Silent Impressions Productions” & I’m 2nd left
Me Interpreting at church before MVA
Me Interpreting a Song in “Silent Praise@ group

Me working at Deaf preschool
I was in newspaper when I taught elementary kids

My hearing aids

June Is PTSD Awareness Month


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With all of the different awareness ribbons and events, fundraisers and 5k walks for different illnesses out there; not many want to talk about PTSD. During the month of June each year, time is set aside to remember the illness called “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”.  It seems to be an awareness month that we don’t talk much about but it is a very real illness.  PTSD is a disorder which can occur when there is a failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a shocking, scary, dangerous and/or terryifying event or events. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are more that 3 million cases each year in the United States.

This illness can last months or years, with certain words, ideas and even smells that trigger the memories of the trauma. Along with the memories that return, there are intense emotional and physical feelings and reactions in the body.  Some of the symptoms of PTSD might include things like depressed mood, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, heightened “fight or flight” response and avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma.  There is treatment for this illness which may include Psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and medication.

There is a natural “fight or flight” response in our bodies that is supposed to warn us when there is danger near or that something terrifying might happen.  It is normal to feel afraid during and after a traumatic event or situation occurs. This fear is something that brings about a chemical change in the body to protect us from whatever may be happening that is fearful.  It is the body’s way to help defend against or avoid danger or dangerous situations.  Most people recover quickly and naturally from the initial symptoms of a fearful experience.  There are those who continue to experience problems and feel stressed or frightened even when they aren’t in danger any longer.  These people are sometimes diagnosed with PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Not everyone who experiences PTSD had been through something very dangerous, but instead may have experienced the loss of someone very close to them. The symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the traumatic event, but often can occur immediately.  These symptoms must last more than  one month  and be severe enough to interfere with working and personal relationships, to be considered true PTSD.  Some people can and will recover within 6 months, some have chronic symptoms.  A Doctor who has experience with mental illness, such as a PHD Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Psychiatrist is needed to diagnose PTSD properly.

One of the most common things that people experience with having PTSD is called “flashbacks”.  This happens when you relive the traumatic experience inside of your mind or body over and over.  There are physical symptoms like a fast or racing heart beat, sweating, bad dreams and invasive fearful thoughts.  People with PTSD also try to avoid smells, places and situations that remind them of the experience(s). An example might be a bad car accident; afterwards a person with PTSD might not want to drive a car or even be a passenger.  When you have this illness you are or can be easily startled, you may feel “on edge” and have insomnia or have trouble sleeping. When someone experiences these unpleasant feelings after a traumatic event for just a short time afterwards, it is called ASD, or Acute Stress Disorder.  When they last longer and affect a persons ability to function, it is then called PTSD.

If you would like to participate in the June PTSD awareness month events on Social media, you can visit http://www.ptsd.va.gov/about/ptsd-awareness/promo material awareness.asp.  You can also follow the National Center for PTSD on Facebook and Twitter.  Those links can be found at the bottom of the website at http://www.ptsd.va.gov.  No matter how much you think you know about PTSD, there is always more to learn and ongoing research, new treatments etc.  Please take action, help those who suffer and live with this illness by visiting:  www.ptsd.va.gov/public/wher0to-get-help.asp.  Spread awareness as often as you can, but especially during the month of June each year.  This is the month which is set aside for people to share information and make people more aware of this debilitating condition that I, and many others live with. Take the mystery out of this condition, learn about it, find out who is affected an how you can help.

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The Castle outside My Window….


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Here’s a story;
There’s a castle out there!….I can see it from the window of my small home that is bare and has what I need but not a lot a lot of other “stuff”. My home is full of love & trust…now….! That castle I see…the one U can see from my window….has people in it….people from my past! They are all having fun, laughing, dancing & thinking that they “have” each other….It looks great from the outside….and the unknowing ones want to travel to the castle to see the inside and have “fun” with all the people in there that seem to be vest friends and getting along….. But I KNOW…I KNOW….what is inside that castle, and I know what goes on in there! Once you are caught in their web, you want more for awhile ..until you are so low, so hurt, so abused and put down; that you either figure it out …or…you don’t!…..That depends on your true heart and soul….It’s not what you say to Jesus on or in the places where people can see it…. It is what you say when you are alone with him…. In your soul and in your heart… Where no one else knows or see’s… That is the truth of the love I have for him. It is inside…. Not posted or boasted all over for me to be judgmental and/or self righteous….to make others who believe something else feel small or “less than”….

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Walking Wounded, the song


Walking Wounded, the song.

 

I just wanted to say “thank you” for the writer of this song and her blog “Secret Angel”…thank you for allowing me to post this on my blog to help others. I am a sign language interpreter, but am disabled now. I became hearing impaired myself through “too many hits to my head, concussions and then a man ran a red light and I was unconscious and that was the last straw “…my brain suffered a TBI and I was in TBI rehab for 3 1/2 years. So I forget things, I get overly emotional and I sometimes have a hard time organizing thoughts and finding things…But I still love ASL (American Sign Language) as you can tell by my few performed songs in my own blog here. I did “Katy Perry’s – “ROAR”  and then I recently did A Great Big World w/Christina Aguillera song called “Say Something”…I would love to perform your song…

A Christmas Wish


Hello Luvs,

Well, it is the Holiday Season once again.  The tree is trimmed….boy, OH boy is our tree ever “trimmed”!!  We have a 3 yr old kitty cat who thinks that we brought a tree into our house JUST for her to play in!! We actually came downstairs and came home etc…several times and the tree was over on it’s side, after having “crashed” to the floor! We decided to take the the bottom off of the tree and put the top of the tree into the tree stand and put it on top of the end table. So now she can hide under the tree skirt, which is on top of the table and under the tree….LOL…but she doesn’t get into it anymore! I just know she thinks that tree was brought inside just to please her and to give her something to play inside of! Silly Luna kitty!  Anyway, it’s still a beautiful tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night.IMG_3919

So…I’ve been really thinking…..I’ve been thinking about Christmas and the true meaning of this beautiful holiday. I used to get so sad when the people who were “supposed” to be around me during the holidays, were not around  during that time, or any other times. That is a long story for another day…But for today, I want to talk about Christmas Miracles and what I would love for mine to be this year or any time at all. I won’t go into details because the past is the past. But my eldest daughter has been gone for over 9 years now. She left of her own free will.  No one asked her to leave, no one forced her to leave, she just left.  Not a day has gone by that I’ve not thought about her. A holiday has not passed, when I haven’t cried because of missing her. If I could have one Christmas miracle, one holiday wish,  it would be the same Christmas miracle I’ve asked for every year since 2004. I would ask for my daughter to come home, at least in her heart.  She is almost 28 years old and has her own home now. Although I stayed and raised my two daughters literally without any physical, Psychological or emotional help whatsoever;  I pray to see her and I also pray to meet my only granddaughter, who just recently turned one year old, this past November. I didn’t know of the wedding, I never knew of the pregnancy, I never saw the ultrasound appointments, I missed her birth, her first sounds, rolling over, crawling, her first tooth and now I’m sure she’s walking and talking.
When I first learned about my granddaughter, I started a scrapbook. It is a way to keep her in my thoughts and on my mind in a healthy and good way. I’ve kept up a book for both of my daughters as well, since they were born.  I’ve written notes, letters, poems etc. to them both from the day I went into labor and through today. Of course they are older now so I don’t have so much to write anymore, but I still write in it when I find something that I want to share with them.  My friends kept trying to get me to find & look at photos of my new granddaughter. I didn’t want to look because I finally saw a photo of her and then I fell in love, instantly. My “baby” has a baby. Wow….my “miracle” has her own “miracle” now. I started the scrapbook, but it turned into a journal of sorts. I don’t have many photo’s of course and it’s turned into what I call “Letters To Olivia”… I have not done very much, but I’ve started it and have written in it. I “talk” to “Liv” and I tell her about us and her mommy when she was a wee one. I guess I just do it to keep sane. I’ve just lost so much; it’s hard to keep my heart from breaking all over again day after day.
I saw this somewhere and it makes me think of my daughter being a mother now :  “Mothers and daughters are closest when daughters become mothers.” -Author Unknown.  I found these ideas online…they are really several pieces of advice for daughters and I want to share them with you (they are from a woman named BNayden, but I don’t know who she really is, except that she is a mom….like me and……although I don’t usually give too much advice, I thought this was worth reading and sharing:

                                     Advice for Daughters

  1. Listen to your Momma. She will never intentionally steer you in the wrong direction. There may be times you think we don’t have your best interest in mind but we always do.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your family and true friends will accept you for who you are.
  3. Do everything with grace.
  4. Avoid participating in gossip.
  5. Think twice before you post something on the internet.
  6. Learn to cook, clean and be organized for yourself, not for someone else.
  7. Don’t set limits for yourself. Break down boundaries.
  8. You are stronger than what you think.
  9. Read books and watch documentaries.
  10. . There is nothing wrong with a little adventure so don’t be afraid to try new things.
  11. . In anything you do, remember that there is a reaction for every action.
  12. . Be the heroine in your own story. You don’t need a prince to rescue you.
  13. . Don’t dumb yourself down to get attention. There is nothing wrong with being smart. Use your common sense.
  14. . Respect yourself.
  15. . Know who your true friends are. It is okay to let go of people and move on, not everyone is meant to take the next step with you in your journey.
  16. . Set goals for yourself and have a plan but know that not everything goes as planned. Always have a plan B and C.
  17. . Don’t give up on your dreams. Take it one step and one day at a time.
  18. . Travel. Experience the world.
  19. . Know what’s going on in the world and in your local community. Keep up with current events.
  20. . Be confident and believe in yourself.
  21. . Respect nature and the environment, help to take care of it.
  22. . Work hard and seize every opportunity.
  23. . Be kind, compassionate and loyal.
  24. . Not everyone will be on your team. Don’t worry about pleasing them. Keep yourself happy and stick to what you believe in.
  25. . Know your self-worth and don’t let anyone else bring it down or make you feel less worthy.
  26. . Have faith.
  27. . Be courteous and always practice good manners.
  28. . Try your best not to do or say anything you will regret later.
  29. . Be wise when it comes to money. Save for rainy days and for the future. Live within your means.
  30. . Material possessions are not everything.
  31. . You are my princess; find a man that will treat you like his queen and he will be worthy for you to treat him like a king.
  32. . Be as well-educated, well-spoken and well-traveled the best you can.
  33. . Have hobbies, learn to play an instrument, play sports, join clubs and do volunteer work. All of these things will teach you valuable skills and make you a well-rounded person.
  34. . You are going to lose sometimes but you will only fail if you don’t stand back up and try again.
  35. . Be independent.
  36. . Learn to be patient.
  37. . You have a rich heritage. Be proud of it and your culture because it contributes to who you are.
  38. . Realize when to walk away; you can only give so much until you compromise your integrity and happiness.
  39. . Be healthy. Eat well and exercise. Practice good hygiene.
  40. . Be passionate about everything you do and what career you choose. It should not always be about the money especially if you are unhappy.

I don’t know why I liked the advice above, but I thought it was really good, or most of it anyways. I just felt like sharing it …but now I’d like to share My Christmas wish:

….I so badly want my daughter to look up to me, like she had done in the past. I want her to see me with the same eyes that she had seen me with when she was a little girl. A time when I could fix anything and a time when a hug and a kiss and some ice inside of the “boo boo bunny” could fix a multitude of “owie’s”.  I don’t want to go back in time, but move forward yet have her remember what she knew of my heart, who she always knew I was and for her to once again KNOW that I still am that “Momma” who thinks of her every day and still fondly calls her “My Sunshine Girl”.  I want for her to realize that though she thought I could fix anything when she was a little girl, I’m just a person who is imperfect and who makes mistakes just like anyone and everyone does.  I so badly wish for her to know that I never ever did or said anything to intentionally hurt her, not ever. Though I never would hurt a hair on my daughters heads, I’m not perfect and I have my own past hurts, issues and inner “demons” that I fight against; while being a product of a Malignant Narcissistic abusive family……what I’m saying…… I suppose….is that I’m sure I’ve unintentionally  hurt some feelings in the past, but not willfully or with malice in my heart.

I have so much on my mind and in my heart this Christmas time. I am older now and feel at peace more with who I am and who I wish to be. I try to find good in every day and forgive the “little” things, because most daily annoyances are just that…”little things”.  I try to find the good in people that I meet, and not be judgemental.  I forgive those who’ve hurt me, even though the “hurt’s” that have plagued me during my lifetime are unimaginable to some. I’ve had not one, not two but many many Dr.’s and other people who meet me, say that I am a “miracle”. They say that they are so surprised that I’m not “dead or crazy.  I’m not saying that to boast about being some kind of “miracle”…no… but to have you, the reader; know and feel what kind of things I’ve endured. If not for any other reason, than to know that I write from my heart; a broken heart.  A heart that I’ve tried to mend over these years and continue to fill it with only love and kindness. I try not to harbor ill feelings for those who’ve abused me in the past, and they are many. I’ve been hurt by just about every person in life who was supposed to love me. I’ve been starved, poisoned, beaten, broken, punished, molested,raped, cheated on and worst of all taunted and teased, called names and the most hurtful of all is the fact that those who are supposed to love me, get pleasure from my pain. It saddens me when I think about it too much. So I just don’t think about it ….and as much as I can push it away, I do!

Anyways, all of that is in the past…oh wait…no… some of it is still happening. When you have Narcissistic abusers in your life, in your own family; it never ends until you break the ties. That  is something which is so hard to do that not many can do it; not many  stick with it for the long haul. God never said that you had to stay with people who hurt you and/or abuse you. But enough of that talk, this is Christmas and it is the season of goodness, kindness and peace.

I’ve always heard it is the time for miracles. I’ve been waiting so long and every Christmas I pray for my Christmas miracle to come true. I pray all during the year as well. I pray every day and each night. Maybe this will be my year for a true longing wish to come true. All I want for Christmas, Lord….is to have my daughter back in my arms again. I don’t care how old she is….she will always be my baby!  “I love her forever, I like her for always….as long as I’m living my baby she’ll be…”…..Anyways, the day will come that my wish will come true, she will feel again in heart what she once felt ……something I’ve always felt and never lost for her…..a kind of love that is deep and true and a special kind of love between a Mother and her daughter…..

Well…anyways…I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true….whatever language you speak, I hope you speak “Love” and keep it in your heart all year and not just at Christmas time….

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