Saturday, December 19, 2009

Meat Men

I'm a little behind posting on hunting season. That's just the way life's coming at me right now. So...better never late but better late than never.
Four of us venture to my grannies (and yes, we really call her granny) farm in north central Missouri every year to pursue deer, turkey, the occasional coyote, some good conversation, and good food. While we do like to fill our tags it's more about getting together. For those of you who haven't enjoyed venison - it's delicious. And for those who don't get in the woods - it's life changing.

Here is your author returning from a morning bowhunt empty handed. This is how he returns from every bowhunt, but you'll notice he's still smiling.

This is my friend, neighbor, co-worker Shane who sat frozen in a deer stand with me one morning not too long back trying to get some sausage and jerky meat. Neither of us did but he made a nice shot on Wiley Coyote.

This is Little Tony. He's not all that little, we just know a bigger Tony so he's stuck with the name. He makes a mean brat....and also supplies the generator for camp. Needless to say he gets invited back every year.

Camp is not the Hilton. It's not even the Motel 6. If either was located nearby we would probably book a reservation. The camper on the left is now vacated due to its' state of disrepair. The right camper is occupied by Tony and my bro-in-law Little Dave. (yeah, he got stuck with the moniker too) And that grain holding structure is actually our cook shack. It works quite nicely.

Shane's father owns the trailer in the foreground and was nice enough to let us borrow it for our sleeping quarters this year. Now Shane gets invited back too.

I just realized I don't have a picture of the other David from this year. Well he is my brother in law, so forgetting him is probably allowed. You can see him at my post on our spring fishing trip here.

Things are getting back to normal for me. Got my balance back, if not my boyish good looks. I go Tuesday for the initial turn on, then back several more times to get programed. With six Christmas' on the books this year I don't know when I'll be posting again so.....Merry Christmas guys and girls! (Happy New Year too)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stir Crazy

I'm not used to being inside. I don't live in the jungle mind you. I'm Mr. Suburbia now. (not entirely by choice, but you do what you gotta do) I just don't reside inside much. I'm an outside kinda person. So being pretty much stuck in my house these past four days waiting for the dizziness to pass (it hasn't yet) is starting to drive me a bit mad.

I've come to the conclusion that no matter how many channels a man has on his TV, when he's truly bored he'll find nothing to watch. The irony is dangerously thick! I have managed to self educate myself on various interesting topics via the net, but as mentioned above, I need some air.

I'm saving the actual surgery pictures for people who are into that kinda stuff. I'm myself am not, and sometimes wonder why the doc's give you those things to begin with. If I needed to see it they shouldn't have knocked me out prior. Here is my current condition. All the goodies go in and they tape me back up. As far as surgeries go it's pretty straight forward. I'm just having some temporary balance issues that should soon be gone.

Thanks for the prayers and well wishes! And take a second (or two) and click the follow button on the right side of the column. You silent stalkers scare me a bit! You'll notice poor Phoenix is sitting there rather lonely. You should check out her blog, a very enjoyable read, and the others listed as well. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Post op

Do you ever feel a bit freakish? You know, a little different from the crowd. Like you wore red on brown day? Well, I don't feel freakish, I am freakish. I have a regular family. One wife. A girl and a boy. I work a normal job. Construction pays my bills. I'm a regular dude...with electronics poking out of his head. But oddly this has never bothered me and probably never will. I'll admit I get a bit of a kick out of people staring at me while I'm checking out at the store. In my case, being a freak is a good thing. (what ever happened to Martha Stewart?)

So...I started to lose my hearing around age 13. No known cause. Nerve damage. I'm just one of those lucky bastards that wins one of life's lotteries every now and then. I've worn just about every type of hearing aid at one time or another...they range from tiny to "oh my lord"! Around my mid 20's my ears broke more than a normal aid could fix. Fear not....they've got an app for that. So I got implanted with my first CI (cochlear implant) in April of 2006. With a little rehab (my wife tirelessly reading words to me) I was back to talking on the phone and being a sarcastic pain in everyones butt in no time.

That was my right ear. Ol lefty was still sitting there numb. I guess I felt sorry for him...I'm left handed and all. So two days ago I had him cut open and implanted with the same electrodes emitting from my lucky right ear. Freakish. But hey, now my head at least matches. The next time you see something that makes you artificial limb...someone missing an eye...perhaps someone in a wheelchair...and they catch you staring. Don't look away fast and feel bad. Give em a smile. They might just be like me...enjoying the fact that you find them that interesting in the first place.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A semi-altered me

So, as previously mentioned, I'm getting my second cochlear implant this coming Thursday. It's been three and a half years since my first implant and I think I've done pretty good. For a quick video on what an implant consist of, you can click here. The surgery itself takes about 2 hours total and I should be able to return home in the late afternoon. It's not the most fun under the sun but by no means terrible either. You have to wear a pressure bandage for 24 hours post surgery, which I think is about the worst part of it.
About two weeks after the surgery I'll go back to be turned on. This is when I'll first get hooked up with my processor. With my first implant I heard very little and what I did hear I couldn't make out. The brain has to get used to hearing sounds and recognizing them again. It can get a bit frustrating as you practice hearing. It probably took me 4-6 months before I felt really comfortable with my hearing through the CI. But after that I gave up my hearing aid in the left ear because it simply didn't compare with the new sound I was getting through the implant.
I still find new sounds all the time, which can be pretty exciting. A lot of people want to know what the sound "sounds" like. If its squeaky or robotic. For me it sounds natural. The same way it did before I lost my hearing. I had about 25 years of hearing somewhat normal and I can't think of much that sounds different from before.
So...wish me luck for Thursday and I'll be back with some post-op pics. Nothing graphic I promise. (although they do give you some awesome pics from the surgery)