My Canine Smoke Alarm!

Guess what?  Chloe alerted me to a fire today!

I was home alone working in the office upstairs, and she kept getting up and going to the office door and sniffing the air.  I’d call her back to lay down and kept working… I guess my nose isn’t what hers is!  She did this at least twice.  Finally, she came and sat in front of me and then suddenly jumped up with both paws in my lap.  My balance is so poor, we’ve never allowed Chloe to do this.  So I was really startled!  I said, “What’s wrong, Chloe?”

She ran to the office door and then looked back at me.  I thought, “Gee she really has to ‘hurry up’ (pee)!”  So I followed her downstairs.  She stopped at the laundry room door, which isn’t normal.  She usually goes clear to the backdoor and waits patiently for me to let her out.

I asked her to “move”, and looked in the laundry room… and I could already smell smoke!  There was a thin wisp of smoke coming out from under our old fridge in which we keep drinks.  I ran to the electrical outlet, unplugged it, and then opened the back door.  Chloe ran outside and I started moving things away from the fridge.  As I moved the fridge, lint that was under it kept sparking so I took some wet paper towels and drug it out.  (I have a nice burn on my thumb now.)  I think as oxygen got to the dirt, lint and cat hair under there it started to really “catch”.  I was scared to death it was going to catch fire.  The fridge is over 20 years old, so it’s no surprise it has decided to quit.

I now know I need a smoke alarm in our laundry room.  There’s one in almost every room of the house except there!

I called Chloe back into the house, and she watched me clean up.  It was a mess!  The freezer part was completely thawed out (so it must have stopped working a day or more ago).  I think the only thing that kept it from really bursting into flames, was that there was very little oxygen getting to it.  I have no idea how she knew something was wrong.  I could only smell it when I got downstairs!

We’d been working on the smoke alarm alert upstairs, but never with smoke… nor working on it at all downstairs.  I’m still not sure how she knew something was wrong!  I guess she just realized to alert me to things I’m not reacting too!

Anyway, Terry came right home and pronounced the fridge “dead”.

I’m so proud of her!

Denise Portis
©2008 Hearing Loss Diary

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Hearing the THUMP of Cantaloupe

I went to the grocery store this morning.  I try to go in the morning now that the heat is really intense.  It’s easier on me, and easier on Chloe.  It’s amazing how hot a parking lot can get by noon!  Needless to say, we’ve started running most of our errands in the morning.

Today I was in the produce department awhile.  Two of my favorite fruits are in “season”, and therefore VERY CHEAP.  I love peaches and nectarines!  I saw that cantaloupe was on sale as well, I thought I’d get one as Terry loves it.  I guess he’s a “summer melon” kind of man, as he loves most melons!  He was after all, raised in the South.

I started “thumping” cantaloupe to feel how “hollow sounding” they may be.  You’ll notice that I said “to feel” how ripe their “thump” was.  I can’t remember the last time I heard a cantaloupe THUMP.  (Well actually the cantaloupe itself doesn’t thump, a person THUMPS it… but I digress as per norm).  However, today I realized that I could hear that base-sounding, hollow “thump”!  My CI maps tend to bring me new sounds every time I go.  I know for a fact I could not near cantaloupe “thump” last year!  So the maps done in May at Johns Hopkins brought me a new sound this summer.  I could hear the thump of a cantaloupe!

Needless to say, I sat there “thumping” awhile… if only to hear the variations.  Chloe sat and waited patiently, although she was looking at me rather quizzically!

I suppose we all take things we hear for granted.  “Thumping” away, I couldn’t help but stop and think about all those late-deafened who could not hear the thump of a cantaloupe.  It wasn’t long ago that I could not.

I hope the next time you are in grocery store… thumping cantaloupe, you might stop a moment and think about those who no longer can.  We all hear differently.  Some, (like my daughter) have an acute sense of hearing.  Small noises are almost bothersome.  Others were perhaps born Deaf.  Many others (and the vast majority of those who have hearing loss) are adventitiously deaf.  That’s basically a fancy of way saying that something known or unknown happened and they no longer hear normally.  They no longer hear the thump of cantaloupe.

I hope many will consider being involved in our nation’s Walk4Hearing.  There are many walks all over the U.S. this year.  If you click here, you may be able to find one to be involved in near you!  You don’t have to have a hearing loss to care about hearing.  Many who walk have perfectly normal hearing, but know someone or love someone who does have a hearing loss.  If you cannot walk yourself, perhaps you would consider giving towards the goal of a Walk near you?

My family and I plan to have a team for the Capital area Walk this fall.  We walk because we care about hearing loss.  We walk because many do not hear the thump of cantaloupe.  The money raised goes to help support local chapters of HLAA and the national organization as well!

Happy hearing,

Denise Portis
©2008 Hearing Loss Diary

Waiting for the Woof

People who love dogs often get along great.  Folks who have an interest in dog-training, often find that they, too, can easily become friends.  Those who are in training or waiting for a service dog, have a unique bond of shared experiences, dreams, and a new-found independence.

I am very blessed to live close to Fidos For Freedom, Inc., in Laurel, Maryland.  It is not only where I received my own working dog, Chloe, but I have made many friends of the clients and “fidos” there.  We continue to train and “hone our skills”.  It’s even better that I call my trainer… FRIEND.

The internet is a wonderful thing.  Not only can you research and “learn”, but it also levels the “playing field” for many with disabilities.  I know deaf people, blind people, and folks with mobility challenges who use the internet and “connect”.

I read a lot of different types of blogs.  Obviously, I have an interest in service dogs and matches between canine/people partners.  I met Elizabeth online through our blogs.  She has a great blog called “Waiting for the Woof“.  She is waiting to be matched with a dog through PAALS

She writes about the “wait”, and also posts a great deal of information and “news” about service dogs.  I have actually learned a thing or two (or three) from reading her blog.  We’ve also connected “off blog” through email and I’m very excited about her upcoming match with a working dog of her own!

PAALS differs from Fidos For Freedom, in that the client is responsible for seeking donations and funds towards the expense of their Fido… or in this case “Woof”!  I wanted to help Elizabeth get the word out about her fund-raising campaign towards getting her own service dog.  Her goal is $7000.  Some people think, “I can only give $25 or so… how can that help?”  However, every donation adds up… so even the “small amounts” count!

I’d love for you to take a look at her website and read her story.  She’s a wonderful lady and I know her story will touch you!  If you can help with even a small donation, I know Elizabeth would appreciate it!  I’ve seen what a mobility service animal can do for their partner.  Until you see it first hand, it’s difficult to understand the freedom and independence they grant to their partner.

After reading more about Elizabeth, if you’d like to donate it is actually very easy to do so.  Simply go to this link (click here).  At the site, click on the “Donate” button under the heading of “General Donations are Greatly Appreciated.” When you are taken to the PayPal page, you can then choose to donate via credit card or directly via PayPal. There is a space to indicate special instructions – this is where you can put the name of the person for whom you are donating. (Elizabeth Riggs)

Let’s help Elizabeth reach her goal!  I’d love for her blog to direct us to a new link… “Living with the Woof”!

DeniseP

Family Dog

So today Mom went to look at a dog we may get. A fourth dog! Wow!

He’ll be filling a hole we haven’t had since our dog Max passed away…the Family Dog. Chloe is mom’s hearing assistance dog, my two dogs are, well, my two dogs…the Family Dog has a special place in the family. He gets the attention of four of us, rather than just mostly from the one owner. The Family Dog is usually more spoiled and more cuddled. He is special.

Whether this one ends up being the Family Dog or not, I’m not sure. But we need one. It may seem funny saying the house feels empty without the Family Dog with three other dogs, three cats, and a bird wandering the house. But it does feel strangely like something is missing.

Despite my excitement at hearing about a possible new addition to our furry family members group, I ended up sitting down on the floor and crying. (Sitting on the floor certainly looks more pitiful when you are crying, but in this case I was merely sitting on the floor because my water bed has a hole in it. Every time I sit on it, it spits out water. Then that would make me laugh and when you are trying to have a good cry, you certainly do not want to be laughing.)

Talking about getting a new Family Dog made the loss of our old Family Dog, Max. I honestly can barely remember NOT having Max. He was with me more of my life than not. He was always there to cuddle, to talk to, to play with, and was always the loyal friend. He was with me as other animals and people passed in and out of my life. Constant. Loyal.

So many people think it is silly to mourn a pet. I never thought it was. After all, I am with my dogs more than I am relatives or friends. (Not to say I love my animals more than my relatives…but I certainly would rather be with my dogs than most of my relatives. Ahem.)

Also, I think you form a different kind of bond with something that is dependent on you. Especially with dogs…you ARE their world. (Cats…well, you are their cook. ) Max adored his family….oftentimes he would just sit and stare at us lovingly. You could almost see him thinking “awww, this is my pack!” He would also follow us around constantly. If he was a person, he would be a Stalker. But since he is an animal, he was just loyal.

I miss Max. This new Family Dog, if we get him, will never fill the role Max did…not the same way. This dog will have his own personality and way of filling the role, but it will still be a special bond, an animal that is part of the family, interwoven into the family, giving us all someone in common.

I look forward to hearing the shouts about the house again: “It’s your dog too! YOU let him outside! It’s your turn!”

Kyersten Portis

Vets and our …

Pets! WORKING DOGS!

CHLOE FEELING VERY PLAYFUL AFTER A TRIP TO THE VET THAT INCLUDED A MASSAGE!

My probationary year through Fidos For Freedom, Inc., was over on May 11th. Chloe was “officially” turned over to me! As we have been working together 24/7 since April 11, 2007, I have thought of her as “fully mine” for quite awhile. So really the only thing that changed on May 11th, was that I began paying for all her bills. Food, supplies, vet visits, etc., were all paid for by her sponsor prior to this date.

As the vet I had been taking her to was almost an hour away, I decided to have all of her records transfered to our family vet and begin taking her there. Bert S. (with service dog Judge) works with Client Services at Fidos. She gave me some great advice that I wanted to pass on to others. Ask your vet if there is a discount for a service, assistance or working dog. Turns out that my vet has a greater discount for a working dog than the one Chloe was going too! (20% off of everything except food, and certain other things “free”… they were thrilled to have Chloe join their “family”!)

We went for the 1st time yesterday as Chloe was due for her Bordetella (intranasal) vaccine, a fecal check w/ Giardia testing (oooo… gross but necessary), and she needed a health certificate as she is flying with me on July 5th and July 12th “intra-state”. I was so thankful she didn’t need a urinalysis this time! (She gets it once a year and needs it done in January). Have you ever tried to “catch” a dog’s urine first thing in the morning? A “girl” dog? I’ll have to blog about the joys of that in January!

My vet told me that they recommend that Bordetella be given with a shot. Yes, the vaccine does wonders to have that concentrated anti-bodies sprayed right in the mucus membrane. Problem is that most dogs sneeze immediately and “blow” it everywhere… including on the vet and owner! It doesn’t do much good when most is “blown” out. He explained that many vaccinated dogs who had the intranasal vaccine, were catching kennel cough when boarded, etc., anyway. Made sense enough to me that Chloe received hers through injection.

The vet tech was a man. And Chloe? Well Chloe was in love! (The vet was a man too, but hey! He gave her a shot! Did he expect kisses?) The vet tech also was a massage specialist. So guess what Chloe received FREE while we waited for Ebony to come back from getting her blood drawn? Chloe stood perfectly still and if she’d been a cat… she’d have PURRED. Of course, this then cemented her undying love for this perfect stranger. When he finished she went “belly up” and showed off her tattoo while asking for a belly rub through the excellent usage of “body language”. He was all for it… and I allowed it because I had removed her vest.

I have a feeling if Chloe will get a free massage every time she is there, she won’t mind the vet so much now! (Recommendations are that working dogs go to the vet every 6 months for “well checks”, shots, boosters, titers, etc).

Denise Portis
©2008 Hearing Loss Diary

Fatigue, Fear and COPING!

Hearing Loss and Fatigue

I go to bed most nights with nothing left. It takes so much energy to participate in conversations all day, that I’m often asleep within minutes. I have learned to actually schedule a full 8 hours of sleep each night. If I’m feeling particularly fatigued because of “extra” busy-ness… I even try to get 9 or 10 hours of sleep!

There are days that I remove my cochlear implant early… sometimes as early as 5 or 6 PM. I always let my family know that “I’m going deaf”, so that they will know I can’t hear them talking from another room. These days that I “go deaf” early, allow me to unwind from the mental and emotional pressures of “listening” all day. Sometimes I need this extra time in order to get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes I need these “no CI” times in order to keep from killing someone! Some days, I just need the quiet time in order to think.

Background noise isn’t “background” when you are deaf with an implant. I haven’t yet learned to “tune things out”, and wonder if I ever will. It has taken so much energy and effort to learn to “listen”, I’m not sure I can get my brain to learn to “not hear” when I have my cochlear implant on my head!

Listening and communicating takes effort. When you are late-deafened, listening is not a passive activity. The concentration it takes to understand and comprehend are not the same as someone with normal hearing. Certainly, I have re-learned how to do things like… have a conversation in a busy restaurant, talk to a family member while walking along side of them instead of staring at their face, etc.

However, I still have to stop everything and fully concentrate when talking on the phone. I have to turn my cochlear implant off to pray. (You wouldn’t believe the amount of distractions that come through as noise when trying to pray!) If I’m in the BACK of the van with my assistance dog, Chloe, I cannot hear my husband in the driver’s seat. I have to ask him to turn the secondary mirror to where I can see his face. (If my son is driving… the one who still has a Learner’s permit… NONE of us talk!)

If I’m alone in the van, I can listen to the radio as long as it is “talk radio”, or music that I already knew and have a memory of how the tune goes. However, I cannot have any kind of music playing if I’m trying to talk to someone else. It takes a lot of energy to “hear”.

Hearing Loss and Fear

Even though I am “hearing again”, I need to “fight fear” on a daily basis. The first thing I do in the morning after I run Chloe outside to “hurry up” and start my coffee, is to put on my cochlear implant. (I guess that actually means it’s the third thing I do in the morning…) I have been activated for 3 years now. To some I am a “veteran” of the Nucleus Freedom as I am one of the first to be implanted with it in April of 2005. However, even today… right before the magnet takes hold and I “hear”… there is a moment’s panic. There is an invading fear that for some reason it will not work. I’ve never put it on and not been able to hear… and yet, I am almost paralyzed with the fear it will not!

I’ve often wondered if I had opted to not have surgery, to NOT be implanted with a CI… had I chosen to remain deaf and rely solely on reading lips, writing notes, and signing to those who could… if I had chosen to remain deaf, would I fear NOT HEARING? But I made a choice… I chose to be implanted with a cochlear implant. Everyone I know and love are oral communicators. They “hear”. I chose the implant to stay connected to THEM. I chose to do the rehab, and do all that was required to learn to “hear again” through this amazing technology. With that choice, there are fears. I think all of us fear a “device failure”, or our processor falling off into the garbage disposal while leaning over the sink! (grin)

I fear a breakdown in communication with someone I don’t know very well. The look in the eyes of someone who realizes you misunderstood their question or comment is scary… that FEAR is contagious. I fear my family’s frustration in communicating with me on “bad days”, and they choose to stop trying.

I fear who my children may date, fall in love with and eventually marry. I’ll be their mother-in-law, and I’m not easy to talk too. One must learn how to best communicate with me. No gum chewing, no beards, no mumbling… no saying, “never mind it wasn’t important”. All of these things cause me to throw things, and I have a great aim. (Thankfully my daughter’s boyfriend is very understanding. So far he has learned to duck! Just kidding…)

My fears keep me from things I long to do. Our church does a “Respite” once a quarter for parents in our area who have children with special needs. For 4 hours, they reserve a gym and large center in order to “baby-sit” the kids so that the parents can go and do whatever they want. It’s a madhouse. Those who work the Respite are never the same… it’s exhausting, exciting, and life-changing volunteer work. Although I’ve been asked to help, I would never do so. I could never accept the responsibility and livelihood of a precious kid who might need to depend on my being able to hear. The fear of causing someone else harm due to my NOT hearing is almost debilitating if I allow myself to dwell on it. As it is, I avoid things like Respite with a stubborn determination.

Hearing Loss and Coping

My hearing loss has grown me, but growing usually is accompanied by “growing pains”. Growing isn’t easy.

I’ve learned to insist that my students follow up with every question, every explanation, and every conversation with an email. I teach one class after another on Thursdays. When I get home, I am so fatigued and “wiped”, I hardly know who I am. Many of them have learned the hard way! If they don’t follow through with an email, chances are I simply will not remember we even had a conversation. I likely receive more emails than any other teacher at Chieftain Institute. It’s not because I am well-liked and popular – grin! My students have learned that “this” is how I communicate the best. They are great at following through and communicating with me.

I’ve learned to allow myself to “grieve” once in awhile. Trying to be brave all the time is not easy. I learned that it makes more sense to allow myself “a good cry” occasionally… to be SAD about being deaf as an adult. I always feel better afterwards, and I think it’s therapeutic. I suppose being married to a psychologist has it’s advantages, too.

I’ve learned to anticipate challenges and problems when going into a new situation. I plan, I pray, and I do my best to figure out the best way to handle “hearing” at a meeting, dinner, or appointment. I’ve learned to ask for advice, and I have people in my life who are glad to give it. (Grin!)

I have learned to have cochlear implant batteries in my bedroom, my pocketbook, Chloe’s bag, and my van. I have them on my desk, and in the “fanny pack” that I take walks with when exercising Chloe. I have learned to order batteries in bulk to save money, and try very hard to not ever run out of batteries or “dry bricks” for my Dry ‘N Store. I schedule time to clean and replace microphone covers for my processor, and I’m still mapped at Johns Hopkins at least once a year.

I wear cochlear implant bling. Heck! I practically glow in the dark! I have learned that making my “invisible disability” very visible HELPS ME. I wear my hair up so that even the bright orange/red ear mold on the hearing aid in my “still deaf” ear shows! I have a hearing assistance dog whose vest and certification are clearly visible. (Although, this doesn’t always keep people from petting her in spite of the “Do Not Pet” instructions!) Having a canine partner assist me with my disability makes me very OBVIOUS to most people. Being visible about my disability helps me in the end.

When needed, I take my VIVID Acoustics clipboard (an assistive listening device) with me to meetings in which I know I’ll have trouble hearing. I’ll bring my pocket-talker along if I know I will need the extra help to hear in a noisy environment. I always charge my Sennheiser assistive listening device, so that when I want to listen to music through my computer, I can.

My life takes preparation. I’m willing to take that “extra effort”.

I have embraced my deafness with what I hope is a realistic acceptance of my own limitations. I am excited about successes and I grieve failures when communication breaks down. I have good days and bad days! I believe I am an enthusiastic advocate. I write about hearing loss, and I enjoy speaking to audiences of “my peers”. I correspond with others who are late-deafened because I want to make a difference. Others who “live what I live” have made a difference to ME, so I strive to make a difference TO THEM.

I spend a great deal of time educating myself about new technologies, coping mechanisms, and learn all I can about the experiences of others with hearing loss. I am a member of numerous hearing loss organizations, actively participate in hearing loss forums and message boards, and am supportive of many that I’m not a member of yet. (HLAA, ALDA, SWC, ATA, Hearing Loss Web, bhNews, HOH-LD News, CIHear, Meniere’s, and many more!)

I have been involved in national awareness endeavors like the Walk4Hearing, (this link shows a short video clip prior to the 2007 walk…) and am excited about participating this year with a team.

Denise Portis
©2008 Hearing Loss Diary

The Dangers of Obsessions

We all have obsessions. Some folks live for Wendy’s Frosty’s, other’s may be addicted to the series “24“. (I hope hubby isn’t reading this!) Sometimes people become obsessed with a person, a movie star, music, weight loss, or blogging. (gulp)

Obsessions are actually an unhealthy preoccupation with something. It’s perfectly normal to have preferences, and to enjoy something in which you have an avid interest. Unfortunately, our interests sometimes become… obsessions. Obsessions interfere with living life in a normal way. Some people argue that what is “normal” for one person is not “normal” for another, therefore, one cannot dictate what is an unhealthy obsession or preoccupation. The truth of the matter is that if any ONE thing, person, or activity, keeps us from living a life that makes a difference, then that “something”… that “obsession” has become something that interferes in a dangerous and toxic way.

I don’t try to hide the fact that I’m a person of faith. I have a relationship with Christ, and almost everything I do hinges on the question that reverberated through our culture in the mid-90’s, “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD). I believe Christ lived to make a difference. (He died to make one too). So I periodically, take a look at my life and see if I can find any “red flags”… and obsessions that are getting in the way of making a difference.

My assistance dog, Chloe, is a highly skilled and diligently trained working dog. I habitually attend follow-up training sessions with her in order to maintain and sharpen her skills. It allows me to address weaknesses with trainers who are “paying attention”, and it strengthens the bond I have with Chloe. However, Chloe is obsessed with bunnies. As a matter of fact, if I’m sitting near a window and nonchalantly voice, “Oh, look. There’s a bunny“… she comes running to the window to get a look herself! When we walk in the evenings, Chloe’s obsession with bunnies has actually put me in danger. If my Meniere’s has my balance in limbo for the day, it doesn’t take much to put me flat on my face. If my highly trained dog’s obsession with bunnies has her forgetting and disregarding everything she has learned, I’m likely to find myself face first in the sidewalk with a straining, whining, hound at the end of the leash!

Chloe loves me. She works hard and loves to please me. I’m not pleased when I’m face down on the sidewalk, feeling every bruise from having an out-of-control hound – one whose obsession is bunnies! I’ve been looking for some ways I can enjoy our walks better. I recently read about some great assistance dog training tools at one of my favorite blogs “Service Dog Sawyer“. I plan to measure Chloe for one of these harnesses… soon! I happen to know the “trainer behind Sawyer”, AND his partner. I’m going to bug them to help!

Until then, I have to just be careful that I am more attentive to my surroundings than she is. As a matter of fact, I many times notice clover-eating bunnies that Chloe doesn’t spot. As long as I see the bunny first, I can work hard at distracting her and “bracing for impact”.

People have obsessions too. I have a 17-year-old son. The “gaming” industry knows their audience. Most “gamers” are guys. I think God created men to be “goal reaching” achievers, who are proud of their accomplishments. They work hard at “winning”, and at “being the best”. Competition does them good. It motivates them, and adds “fuel to their fire”. It’s part of what makes them an eventual “provider” and “head of the home”. But young men today are obsessed with gaming. All those God-given tendencies are being used to “go up a level”, to be able to buy “more stuff” to enable their virtual “warrior” to excel. I currently have a summer-time contract with my son about his technology and games. If I didn’t set limits, Chris would literally play ALL DAY on days he doesn’t work. I’ve been setting limits on his gaming time since he was 10-years-old. I would like to think at 17, he can now set his own boundaries. But the “draw” is too strong, and when he’s bored he could play all day and not even realize he has. At least at 17, I am able to discuss and compromise… working towards a contract we both can live with!

I know young men who play all day long. Even those who work summer jobs, tend to be gaming on their days off. Why aren’t they signing up at libraries and volunteering to help teach someone to read? Why aren’t they volunteering at hospitals, camps, and churches? Why aren’t they reading? (I recently had a discussion with my husband about reading. He’s a psychologist and has studied this topic a great deal. Bottom line, “readers are leaders”. Not the greater percentage… not those who make a lot of money as well… every single GREAT leader is a “reader”). I wish young men who play a great deal of games would ask themselves, “Whose life have I made a difference in today? What have I done “for eternity? In what ways have I grown who I am today?” My son is reading Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris. He’s actually enjoying the book and he and hubby are attending “The REBELution” tour in July in our area. Chris LIKES being challenged to do “hard things”. He even sees how our culture has “dumbed down” what a life with purpose means for young men. (At least he sees it thanks to mom and dad bringing it to his attention!)

I believe people with hearing loss (and likely other disabilities) can become obsessed with technology. I have many online friends. It’s very easy for me to communicate online through email, IM, message boards, blogs, and forums. I “hear” great online! But if I’m not careful, I can spend most of my day online “working” and “investing” myself through the internet. The things in which I accomplish can be “good” things. However, if I push my keyboard back and take a look at my life closely, I can readily see the damage and void in my life caused from not being with people face-to-face.

Don’t get me wrong. Many wonderful things are accomplished online. Relationships can be strengthened; advice and support can be given and received. Information and education can be gleaned from being online and interacting with others who are as well. I like to think I’ve made a difference in other’s lives through spending time online. I like to believe this, because I am VERY certain others HAVE made a difference in MY life through “reaching me” online!

However, I really believe that there are people in our realm of influence who are in contact with us physically, emotionally and LITERALLY. We can miss opportunities for making a difference in their lives if we are distracted by our internet “world”. Although the internet has opened up many doors of opportunity… even opportunities to minister and make a difference… it can also make us oblivious to the needs of those breathing the same air we do.

Obsessions aren’t problematic for young men and hound dogs alone. Anyone can become preoccupied with something and end up “starving” another area of their life. May we all take breaks in order to evaluate whether we are living unbalanced lives!

Denise Portis
©2008 Hearing Loss Diary