Changes, cochlear implants, and where I'll be in December

This was supposed to be a happy announcement about something good happening to me, but now I just feel sick. For those of you who don't know me: I have been hearing impaired since I was in my teens. I've worn hearing aids since I was in my twenties. The audiologists and doctors all predicted that I would be completely deaf by the time I was thirty. I outlasted that prediction by twenty years and managed to remain in the workforce.

Unfortunately, I work in education, which rarely thrives under Republican administrations, especially like the one we're about to endure. Savage cuts to Pell grants and other forms of financial aid means that fewer people will enroll in higher education, and then our jobs, which are dependent on funding based on enrollment, will eventually be cut. Libraries are exceptionally vulnerable.

There is a large number of people riding the river of denial right now, but I've survived Reagan and both the Bushes. Hard times are coming, and I'm trying to prepare for worst case scenarios. If I'm wrong ... well oh-happy-day, but Trump is surrounding himself with the architects of the 2008 crash, so I doubt things will change for the better.

Right now, I communicate by lip-reading and other visual cues. I have now reached the point where even those skills aren't giving me the ability to communicate effectively with others. I promised myself that when no other options availed themselves to me, I would consider a cochlear implant.

This past summer, I ran out of options. My audiologist, who I have seen for decades, said that it was finally time to move toward a cochlear implant. Over the last several months I've been educating myself on the procedure and working with doctors to begin the process.

On December 5, I will go to Wake Forest Baptist Health for the surgery. I hope it works, because social security disability will most likely either be phased out or privatized under the current administration. If it is, then I will have no way to support myself or my family. I am the sole wage earner at this time. My husband contributes to our finances, but he is on a fixed income. Given our circumstances, I don't know what will happen--I don't even want to think about it right now, and I'm not, because I need to keep myself well and get the surgery done before January 1, 2016.

Once the surgery is over and my implant is activated, I hope to be able to communicate more effectively. Until then, I am going to be very selfish and focus on me. Likewise, I urge you to protect your own assets and focus on your own well-being.

This past week has not been a good one. We found out that our good dog Bruce has cancer. It's incurable and there is nothing to be done but to keep him comfortable for a little while. As of this post, he is still with us, happy and alert, and we're taking it day by day.

I am writing, but it's been slow lately. I'll keep you in the loop.