Part of Two Worlds


Hello Luvs,

Many of my “regular” readers may remember that I am “Hard of hearing”. Hearing people usually 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 Im not totally deaf. I can hear various pitches, frequencies and sounds. With my hearing aids in, I can hear a bit more of the letters and words in normal conversation. But add in background noise and people who mumble or talk very fast. 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 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 4 or 5. 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, I did feel better, 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 9 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 moderate/severe hearing loss in both of my ears L>R. 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 language, ASL. How ironic then, that I lost a moderate-severe percentage of my hearing & was already prepared with the tools I needed!

I’ve lost touch with some of my old friends from DAD (Deaf Association of Detroit). 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 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

Strength Lies In Numbers


Let me introduce you to our newest family member. This is our first & only grandson, “Baby Bryce” aka “Bubba”. He was taken by ambulance from the pediatricians office on Friday morning (11-30-18). He was de-stating during feeding. He’d turned blue and his oxygen went as low as 40%. I received a phone call from my very frightened youngest daughter (his Mommy) & then I was sent the photo above, of my sweet newborn grandson in an ambulance. He looked so small and so helpless and that is exactly his his mommy & daddy felt. It is precisely how I felt as a mother and a grandmother. It’s been 5 days……

I want to update you on baby Bryce; but first I want to say what amazing daughters, their in-laws & son in laws we have! When they say “it takes a village to raise a child” I now know the true meaning of this. I also know the true meaning of “strength lies numbers”….. it’s been a difficult time seeing my daughter struggle, weep and see her newborn baby, our sweet Baby, Bryce struggle to breathe and watch his oxygen go down to 40%. Our usual jolly son in law has become serious over these last 5 days. They are living in a nightmare of fear. We all are. But as parents, it’s the #1 fear to feel & be helpless while doing all that you can to be there for your child. All the while, Drs & nurses at Motts Children’s Hospital, are life savers and thank God for their healing skills.

But we have banned together as a family and I admire the love and strength that I’m seeing. We got the sheer joy & chance just a few weeks ago to have a couple of “sleepovers” with our dear, sweet Kiera when her baby brother was born. We went back twice on the last day (we have a kitty at home who’s afraid of most everything & everyone so we chose to make the drive back home to check on her for a few hours) to make sure we had the pleasure of being there when they brought baby Bryce home and to make sure Kiera always felt safe & loved while Mommy & Daddy were at the hospital. We went back for several days to be there for the happiness, joy and to do whatever is needed to keep “my own baby” feeling safe and loved and to help keep her firstborn baby, Kiera, in some sort of routine.

Last Friday morning I heard the fear in my youngest daughters voice. I saw the photo of our beautiful, yet fragile 2 1/2 week old newborn baby, Bryce, being put into an ambulance. My heart was in my throat, my stomach was in knots & tears filled my eyes. This is where I asked God to please make me as strong as I’ve ever been. *(side note: since the majority of my pain medication has been taken away, I’ve literally been sitting in my recliner the majority of every day). I asked for strength so that I could do whatever was needed to keep my youngest daughter, Amy & her little family feeling as safe & good as possible.

I’m so thankful that our son in law, Grant (who is such a great father), has been able to come back at night and wake up with Kiera in the mornings. He’s been able to juggle all of this with great valor! He’s been there for my daughter, his daughter & his son. Daddy’s there when Kiera to wakes up. He’s been there to give her breakfast & 6:30 am lunch at 11:30 am. He puts her down for a nap at 12-12:15 pm.. He then goes back to hospital to be there as well. We’ve been getting there during nap time and we have had the pleasure of having dinner with our darling Kiera. We’ve had the extra special joy of putting her to bed and watching over her as she sleeps soundly.

Grants parents have been there with him and Kiera most every morning and they’ve spent many hours, being there with us and with Kiera, in the evenings. They are awesome people and Kiera adores her Grandma & PawPaw. The past couple of evenings, Grants mom, Kiera & I have hunkered down to watch the “Holiday Trolls” movie. Kiera wanted to be between her Grandma and me, with the blanket over each of us. If Grandma or I had to get up for some reason, she would quickly tell us to “come back” and hunker down with her. She’s so adorable. She’s always saying “huggin” when she wants or needs extra cuddles or reassurance. On Sunday, there was not much going on with a skeleton crew at the hospital and so Grant and his parents were there with Kiera. While we stayed at home & did a few errands & went to a little extended family dinner outing.

Amy has been a champion throughout this ordeal. She’s missing her sweet Kiera and her heart is torn in two places, as only a mother or father knows. So Grant took Kiera Sunday afternoon & is taking her today to see her baby brother and her Mommy. Amy has not left her sons side for even a moment! My eldest daughter, Jessy is a very thoughtful person and she went up to the hospital Saturday and brought Amy an entire brand new outfit so she could shower & change clothes in Bryce’s room at the hospital. She was there several hours with Amy & Bryce during some testing. She had dinner from Panera, delivered to the hospital for Amy, Kiera & Grant. Jessy even brought a unicorn headband for little Kiera. She’s juggling her own family of 4, but she’s been calling Amy several times daily.

Amy’s friend, Sara, went to the hospital & brought Amy and Grant some food & stayed there several hours too.

We are blessed to have the best son in laws and all of their parents as well.

All of us are working together to make sure that Amy, Grant and Kiera are as settled as they can be. We are trying to pull together as one family, while the Drs figure out what’s going in with our dear little Baby Bryce.

Nothing else matters right ggnow, except that this little guy and his Mommy get back home and the “Fab 4” is back at home together again.

Now, I have to add that my soul-mate, My darling husband, Craig, has also been a champ!! He’s been driving the 1 hour drive there in midday and home late at night. He’s offered to get groceries and do laundry (which Grant has already taken care of!). He’s carted our home accessories, my favorite food & drinks back & forth and he’s played and read with Kiera. They adore eachother and his playfulness makes her giggle. He is my rock! I thank God for him every day.

Tragedy can bring out the best or the worst in people. In this case, the best in everyone has been shining through. To my daughters, their husbands & our grandchildren; “We are here for you all, through thick and thin. We will be here for you always. As long as humanly possible.

Tonight when Grant takes Kiera back home and puts her to bed, we will be going to see Bryce and Amy. I can’t wait to hold them both in my arms. We don’t know what is wrong with little Bryce yet. We are hoping it’s some kind of sucking, breathing & swallowing issue that will get better with some Occupational therapy. The Dr.’s are still contemplating a lung issue and test. We will know more soon, I pray.

For now please keep this little guy in your prayers. Please keep his big sister and his Mommy and Daddy in your prayers as well. God made families for a reason. It’s so clear to me that nothing matters as much as the lives that he gives us & that we help bring into this world. Strength truly does lie in numbers. I’m so thankful for those who’ve been surrounding us with love, kind words & positive energy. I’m thankful for the families God has blessed my daughters with in this life.