Posted by: hlacentralma | July 2, 2012

Convention Reflections – from friend/member Carolyn

Thanks for seeding my brain with what to write for this paragraph by saying that you are embarking on your cochlear journey, Not that my brain needs seeding, as it is usually oversown and I have trouble narrowing down what I want to say. I become speechless at times due to the busy scramble in my head. I am doing it here in this email right now:
Convention 2012 in Providence proved to be another great time, as I always expect it to be. As a 23 year member of HLAA (formerly SHHH), I have been to a good number of conventions that have brought me all around the country. I have not taken careful tabulation of all of the conventions, but it approaches 12 or 13 of them. Each one has never failed to offer special highlights whether it was the location, new knowledge, new contacts/friends, or simply the inspiration I get from being around other highly charged people.
Convention Providence was no exception. I reconnected with many old friends and made new ones, and I found the exhibit hall to be bustling and very informative. I attended a couple of very good workshops, most notably the one about Emergency Preparedness. This is an excellent workshop for any individual hearing impaired or not, to attend. I came away reminded of the things I should get in order and new things I should implement. The speaker, Lise Hamlin, works with the goverment agenices (FCC, FEMA, etc) and really knows her material. She is hearing impaired herself, lived through a crisis herself, and proved to be a great presenter.
One of my personal benefits from the convention was encouragement from many sources both from professionals and users to investigate into whether I can get my 22 year old cochlear implant replaced. The main issue is whether the old implant can be physically fully explanted. This is neccessary as any remnants of the old implant array could short out the next new implant array going in. I was told approximately 5 years ago that it was a 50/50 chance. It is a tough chance to take when I rely upon this system to do conduct my livelihood (my job at the hospital). However, I have been encouraged by all to at least ask, and don’t stop at a “No”answer at the local level. Being realistic, I’m tentatively excited.
Before I finish, a charging moment for me was watching the reaction of one of our own group to the benefit of using a T-coil with the loop at the banquet! I won’t mention names, but just want to say that I felt her astonishment and happiness, big time.
I hope the rest of you consider attending a convention in the future. They have changed my life in many positive ways. Portland Oregon next year, we’re going; hope to see you there!

Carolyn T

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