About

If you searched the internet for sound clips of Elmo and other Sesame Street characters, YOU ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE.  Elmo is “famous” here for an entirely different reason!

After the activation of my cochlear implant, Elmo was the first “toy” I heard while shopping with my family.  I was so excited to hear him, I bought him… and then another… and still another.  My family began purchasing Elmo’s for me for every milestone I seemed to reach in “hearing again”.  Much to my surprise, the first Walk4Hearing I participated in had a special mascot on site for the day of our Walk.  It was Elmo!  I nearly tackled him, much to my family’s embarrassment!

Elmo will always be special to me, and so I have named my blog after that moment in time that is now forever etched in my memory… that moment when I realized I was “Hearing Elmo”!

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29 thoughts on “About

  1. Interesting!!
    I from England.. I have meneires disease and a hearing dog for deaf, I just recently got cochlear implant.. chat more to compare? be nice as i dont know anyone with similar problem! (know the feelings about broken bones.. I lost count how many time I broke a bone due to fall!)

    1. I also have menieres disease I can still hear a bit but my balance is destroyed. I have been trying to get an assistance dog for balance. Having a hard time locating an organization in the New England area of the US

  2. Thank you for posting this blog, (friends of mine directed me here Erin & Service Dog Swayer)..I was just recently (yesterday) diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease…After a pressure test and a hearing test, I found out that I am partially deaf in both ears, next week I go for my balance test..although I can say this, I will fail miserably…I have suffered with this since my twins where 5 yrs old, they will be 9 this friday..I’m 32, married mother of 3 human kids, I do Pit Bull rescue and currently have 12 dogs living here (4 are my own)…My Dr. tells me it’s going to get worse (my hearing) and that I could possibly go deaf..I am still processing all of this…I read where you wrote about Meniere’s disease and how it effects people differently…My balance is not the greatest and I catch myself often, but I know its getting worse…I was just wondering what other things are done after the balance test, my Dr. mentioned other tests, but never really stated what they where, I guess maybe it will determine how I do with the balance test….

  3. Denise, I’ve so enjoyed reading through your blog! I am the founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and we have guest bloggers spots. I’d like to have your disease represented and I am asking permission to reprint Not All Stairs Are Created Equal at invisibleillnessweek.com = check out our web site and let me know. We are sponsored by my other organization, Rest Ministries, http://www.restministries.org
    Bless you!

  4. Just want to say: thanks for commenting on my blog. Sorry if I made a social statement appear as hard fact.

    Interesting background on the Elmo thing. I will give your blog a read to figure out how you became deaf and so on. It always interest me how different people with deafness have different experiences.

  5. Hi there. what a wonderful story about how you and Elmo first connected. I appreciate your honesty and commitment to your blog and your willingness to share your experiences including those with your daughter. At least three people that I love very very much have all been affected by hearing loss to different degrees..it has been painful for me to see how they have suffered quietly… I say this in all seriousness. I will be back to read your blog and will include it on my blogroll. Best, Stephanie

  6. Hi Denise,

    Very interesting blog. I have bilateral Meniere’s and bilateral cochlear implants (CIs). The CIs have worked very well for me, and I know of several other fellow Menierian’s who have done well with CIs. My vertigo from the Meniere’s burned out over 14 years ago so don’t give up on the possibility of a second CI. It has made a huge differnece for me as now I have sound directivity again, and the second CI has also made a big difference in hearing in noisy places.

    Best regards,

    Jim

  7. I operate an Induction Looping ALS buisness out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was wondering if you had any experience with induction loops (I dont know if your CI includes a telecoil) but if so I would welcome your opinion on the matter. I am looking for some people’s testimony especially as it relates to improving the worship experience – your description of feeling “isolated” is the best verbalization of the feeling so many of my patients and customers describe – you are very gifted with your words, and if you have anything to say about this technology I so appreciate it! Shoot me an email I’d love to be in touch!!

  8. Thank you for posting this blog, (friends of mine directed me here Erin & Service Dog Swayer)..I was just recently (yesterday) diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease…After a pressure test and a hearing test, I found out that I am partially deaf in both ears, next week I go for my balance test..although I can say this, I will fail miserably…I have suffered with this since my twins where 5 yrs old, they will be 9 this friday..I’m 32, married mother of 3 human kids, I do Pit Bull rescue and currently have 12 dogs living here (4 are my own)…My Dr. tells me it’s going to get worse (my hearing) and that I could possibly go deaf..I am still processing all of this…I read where you wrote about Meniere’s disease and how it effects people differently…My balance is not the greatest and I catch myself often, but I know its getting worse…I was just wondering what other things are done after the balance test, my Dr. mentioned other tests, but never really stated what they where, I guess maybe it will determine how I do with the balance test….
    +1

    1. For some reason, with your comment no identifying features were present so I am unable to email you. Hopefully you will see this reply to your comment.

      Every doctor proceeds with testing for Meniere’s disease a little differently. Just as there are various schools of thought for treating the disease, there are various tests. If you have not already discovered the links below, I think you will find them helpful. Please feel free to email me personally at denise.portis@gmail.com

      http://www.menieresinfo.com/
      http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance/meniere.html
      http://www.vestibular.org/

  9. Denise,
    I just discovered your wonderful page by accident?
    It’s wonderful and I can’t wait for a chance to read all of your posts. Please allow me to quote a few sentences on our Hear Fayette Facebook page.
    I’ll wait for your reply. Thanks for doing what you do so well on your blog.

  10. I just came across your site and read about your story. I’m glad that Elmo has been such a positive icon of encouragement in your life. Thank you for sharing Denise and I wish you every success and good health in the future 🙂

  11. I have the whooshing sound in my ear all the time. I have an active vertigo right now because my family spent a week in the beautiful NC mountains. If we could have only driven in once on the twisty narrow roads it might not have been so bad. I have trouble hearing when people whisper at me or if a person’s voice drops down during conversation one on one or in class situations. I have thought about the invisibility of my limited hearing. Many times in a waiting room I have trouble hearing my name being called. It helped to be able to share this today.

  12. omgosh you are great! i love your blog. You have comforted me so much, beyond what you can imagine. i have meniere’s disease and other invisible illnesses. i used to be an elementary school teacher, but i now am trying to self train Ranger to be my assistance dog for hearing and balance. Sometimes it gets so frustrating when managers don’t know the rulings. And the anxiety that comes along with it – forget about it, it just adds to the meniere’s disease dizziness effect! i love the story behind the title of your blog as well. will try to keep in touch – thank you so much for posting. would love to communicate and share. thanks! joette

  13. Hi! I found your blog online and am so thankful! I have meniere’s too (diagnosed last year) and am wondering about getting a service dog. How does it all work??? I’d be grateful for any info you have!

  14. Hi there! I found your blog recently and am curious about beginning a relationship with a service dog for my Meniere’s. I live in California, what resources do I have to get started with this process?? I’d be grateful to know any advice you have. What have you been able to train your dog to do?? Best, Indira

  15. just found this blog and would love to talk! I just joined HLA-FL board and have hearing dog from CCI and getting my feet wet into a lot of various things I can do to educate others on hearing loss and service dogs (including hearing dogs!)….Just read through the history here and very, very touched. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration and providing some insight on some things struggling with in relation to group just elected to….

    1. I know a number of hearing dog teams through CCI. I almost chose to train with CCI myself but discovered another ADI organization right here in my home state that provides service dogs of all kinds. I have always been impressed with the hearing dogs I have met through CCI.

      HLAA is very active in the state of Florida. I have numerous friends who attend HLAA chapters in that wonderful state! My parents live in Leesburg, so I try to visit at least once a year and while there go to any chapter meetings in the local area.

      If you are interested in reading past posts on “Hearing Elmo” that are specifically about hearing assistance dogs, at the main page look on the right hand side under “categories” and click on:
      Hearing assistance dogs
      Service dogs
      -or- working dogs

      It should bring up all the posts that deal directly with these topics.

      Please let me know if you have any questions.

  16. Hey…..

    You have a great blog here and it has helped me alot to come to terms with my own disability, but I wondered if you could help me??…. I’ve recently been diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. I’m completely deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other, my balance is horrendous, I’m always stumbling, tripping over my own feet and when I’m really ill, just fall flat-out unconscious…..

    I’ve got to a point now where I’m scared of going out sometimes, afraid I’ll embarrass myself if I collapse in public, afraid of everyone remarking on my ‘being drunk’….. I feel a dog would help me greatly, both for hearing and balance. With having one ear that works (to a fashion), I can still hear things like buzzers and alarms, but I can’t differentiate between them, what they’re for or where they’re coming from. So I sometimes panic….. Also, my balance; just having a dog to help me when I stumble, to help me hobble to a safe place when I collapse would be great….. Not to mention, the dog’s presence indicating that I need assistance, my illness no longer being invisible……

    My only problem is, round here (the UK)…. ‘Balance assistance dogs’ are a new concept, and noone offers them unless I can provide details of what needs training in regards to balance assistance….. So wondered if you could help me?? By providing me with details of what exactly Chloe does, and is trained to do in regards to your balance??….

    Thankyou, Michael……

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