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New Hearing Aid Blues


New hearing aids? It’s supposed to be an exciting time but it’s usually full of discomfort and adjustment. I recently blogged about switching to Phonak water resistant behind the ear hearing aids. When I got them, we programmed them and I took them home. New hearing aids usually make the world sound foreign and strange, so I was prepared for that. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that the hearing aids weren’t reducing background noise. This is the main benefit of my previous hearing aids- they reduced background noise and amplified conversation. I rode on the subway with the Phonak aids and felt like I was on a rollercoaster. The machinery noises overpowered the conversation of my friends and I felt out of place. At the movies, the new hearing aids did amplify sound well and I think I was able to hear better. Otherwise, the Phonak aids weren’t going to work for my everyday life because most of life revolves around conversation and talking. 

Another issue was the placement of the hearing aid behind the ear. I thought they were going to be like my old hearing aids when I was young. These aids went all the way behind the ear and were kind of long. The Phonak aids were short and sat almost on top of my ear. I had gotten them in a clear color which I thought was going to look really cool- see through, yeah! But it looked weird sitting on top of my ear. So I’m getting them re-cased in black so they’ll blend in with my hair. After that, we’re going to re-program them and see if we can improve the sound experience. I really want to like the new hearing aids, and I really want them to work for my life. Until, then I’ve got my trusty Widex ones to hold me over. Maybe one day I’ll invest in these amazing iPhone compatible aids that are soon to be released. These utilize the iPhone as the transmitter- no intermediaries or neck loops needed. Very cool!!!

What have been your experiences when getting new hearing aids? How have you managed the transition?

P.S. Grad school has taken over my life, but I don’t want to let this blog fade away. Hopefully I’ll be posting more soon.


Thoughts on Grad School Orientation


Tonight I attended my grad school orientation. Wanted to share some quick thoughts.

If I had any doubt about my decision to get my MPH (my second masters!), they are definitely gone now. I feel completely sure that this is the next part of my journey and I almost wish that classes started sooner! I know that I want to finish the degree as quickly as possible. One timeline mapped out four years of part-time study- way too long for me. I was advised by a current student to take it slow and enjoy the experience. I’d like to utilize my time well and graduate within a reasonable time frame, but I do understand the student’s point. I’m older now and look at this experience from a different perspective. I’m excited about the prospect of learning and I really do want to deeply immerse myself in my coursework. This might require me to go a little slower than I might want in order to maintain the quality of my experience.

Picking courses forces you to imagine your life in the future. Which schedule would be best? You don’t have all the information, but you try to make the best decision. I already look ahead and can tell that eating a healthy & robust dinner is going to be a problem. I’m traveling to school right after work and I will need to plan my meals carefully.

One class was offered as a hybrid class, meaning it’s both online and in person. I wasn’t sure if that was the best fit for me but the time works well with my work schedule. Then I thought about how much I love social media & the fact that online education is definitely where everything’s headed. So why not? I’m going to give this hybrid course a try. Maybe it will be amazing.

One thing I HAVE to mention is that I was stunned to find a lack of consistency within the school of public health about having healthy food. There were vending machines offering snacks and sodas, and the refreshments included diet soda, cookies, and Lays potato chips. I didn’t like it at all. That’s the only thing I didn’t like. I don’t know if I’m being too hard on them or if it’s not something that should be expected from the school, but I feel like it’s common sense. It made me appreciate our Wellness Policy at work. We hold everyone accountable to this policy, even for special events. It’s a cultural expectation and norm.

Other than that, I was excited to get ready for school! It will be a new path- finally getting deeper academic training in the health field. Looking forward to it.

#30DayChallenge & Happiness

It’s getting late but I wanted to make sure I posted today. I’ve made a commitment to do a #30DayChallenge where I post every day. I’ve been talking about writing a blog for so long that it’s time to get some real momentum going! I’m a firm believer in making your goals public and creating accountability in that way. 

So now I really want to talk about this amazing article I read this week. If I could make everyone I know read it, I would. It’s called “Does Trying to be Happy Make Us Unhappy?” It resonated with me very strongly. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Recently, I have lost touch with some of the things I enjoy to do and I have not felt as happy as before. The article mentions pursuing a state of flow,  in which you’re totally immersed and lost in an experience. Then later, you might think about it and realize that that was a “happy” experience. When do I feel in a state of flow? I can name some things. I LOVED doing karate. It made me very happy. I’m lucky that at work we have a karate instructor and there is an opportunity to continue my studies after 10 years of not practicing. I love salsa dancing, especially with a live band and a positive atmosphere. I went dancing a couple of days ago and was reminded of how much fun it is and how much I miss it. I love spending quality time with friends, especially time with girlfriends. I also really enjoy networking and being part of a community of people who are driven to contribute to the world and pursue their passions. That’s what I find with the Latinos in Social Media (#LATISM) community, as well as United Latino Professionals (@ULP_National), and the @ELLAInstitute community. The online world and in-person worlds flow seamlessly, and I feel like I’ve only just hit the tip of iceberg and there’s so much more to discover. I believe I’ll be happier if I create more experiences of flow in my life and pay attention to the things that nourish me. 

You’ll be seeing a lot more of me on Twitter and on this blog. Looking forward to talking to you!

One final note: Thanks to everyone who has given me positive feedback and support since I went public with this blog and having Usher Syndrome. It means the world.