Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The start of my life.

  I came into this world in 1967. Boy, what a year that was. Flower power, Summer of Love, Vietnam, Make love not War protests, Beatles, Dirty Dozen movie, Rosemary’s Baby book, and Andy Griffith just to name a few.

 My parents were young middle class workers with a good dose of hippie mixed in. They had the jobs but also had the parties. They traveled in a big trailer and went from job to job. My sister was born in 1965 and went along on the road with them. When I came along they finally decided to leave the travel trailer behind and buy a house. They figured that traveling in a trailer with 2 kids was too much. 

My mom got German Measles when she was pregnant with me and they didn’t know what would happen. At that time it caused lots of genetic defects including deafness. After I was born my mom counted all my toes and fingers and the Dr. pronounced me healthy. They brought me home and went on with their lives but my mom was carefully watching me for any hearing loss. Because hearing wasn’t tested on babies back then nobody would know if there was a loss until later on.  I was a pretty happy baby and did everything a normal baby did. Was curious about everything and got into EVERYTHING. My mom said that compared to my older sister I was a tornado. Going everywhere and into everything. I was finally diagnosed at 1 1/2 yrs. old. I would have been diagnosed earlier but with a little bit of residual hearing and no real testing equipment I responded to most of the things they did.  It was eventually discovered that I was deaf in my right ear and had an 80% loss in the left ear.

Now my parents world would change. My mom was awesome and was determined that I would be as normal as possible. She started taking me to a special school an hour away everyday for training and working with me at home on speaking normally. I got fitted with 2 hearing aids and started doing speech-therapy to get me on the right track. Well as you all know how babies are I didn’t take to the hearing aids very well. I kept taking them off and losing them. Or I would hide them and forget where I put them. Best one’s were I fed one to one of our boxers and flushed another one down the toilet. Boy did that freak mom out.

Hearing loss didn’t seem to slow me down. If you watch old 9mm movies of me you will see my girly-girl sister sitting pretty in the middle of the camera view and me running around like a maniac. Never could sit still for long and still can’t.

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