Thursday, May 22, 2003

In case you missed it, Nancy, amazing woman that she is, posted a beautiful comment in response to my May 16th post about the communal blog/website deal:

"I also think it's a good idea to have a site to be proactive in the education about religion (all religion) and world peace. It's also a wonderful idea to have a place to share stories of innocents suffering to allow a global realization of its existence. I firmly believe that if we all get to know more about each other, we will see how similar we are and our differences will no longer be the focus. I am willing to offer my blog to a single person who would be representative of this, to post opinions, stories and educational articles to help in this regard."

Anyone like to take Nancy up on her gracious offer? I would, only I feel I'm lacking a lot of knowledge about many, many things, and, as such, I can't adequately discuss, analyze, and offer opinions on issues I don't know much about. But I know sooo many of you out there are extremely knowlegeable and have awesome writing skillz to boot, sooo...get to it, yo. :) And thanks, Nancy. You rock das Haus, for reals. :-D

Alrightie, so I had a couple more comments about the new blog/website, so I'll be adding those to this thread in the Bloggin' Muslimz forum in a little while, so be sure to check it out and add your thoughts. Our resident techie Sahar has changed the settings so that you can access the forum even if you're unregistered, so make good use of it, yo.

Hmm, so what else... I had an ear appointment last week. Exciting stuff. Actually, I had 2 appointments in the same office, one with an audiologist for a hearing exam, then another to actually see the otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat specialist to you) about my ears. The hearing test part was interesting. Basically, the audiologist made me sit in a chair in a soundproof hearing booth, and then stuck this contraption consisting of an earplug connected to a wire into each of my ears. The wires were in turn connected to her machine outside the booth. Oh, and she handed me this joystick thingie, also connected to her machine. So basically, she would push buttons on her machine to produce beeps corresponding to a range of frequencies, I would push the button on the "joystick" if I heard the beep, and she would make a chart of what frequencies I could hear. We did that first with my right ear, then my left. It's kinda crazy, because the hearing test always tends to induce feelings of paranoia in me (in regards to my hearing, that is): Did I just hear a beep, or didn’t I?? Maybe I was just imagining it. No, wait, I could swear I actually heard a beep that time. Ok, maybe not. Uhhh, ok, maybe I shouldn't push the button... At other times, I'd have majorly delayed reactions with some sounds…there would be a pause between when I thought I heard a beep, and when my brain actually acknowledged that I had heard a sound. Funkiness galore. Welcome to my world. Haha. The second part of the hearing test was when the audiologist would recite a word, and I'd repeat it back to her. Oh mannn, so many words sound so alike! I was stuck in this booth and couldn't see her face while she was talking (that's the point; they don't want you to be lipreading during this), so I think I tripped up on a couple words. Ah wells.

The great news is, my hearing hasn't changed at ALL over the last 2 years! Alhamdulillah. Unfortunately, because we moved around a lot as I was growing up, a lot of stuff got misplaced, so I'm missing many of my audiograms (the graph depicting one's level of hearing) and as a result it's really hard for me to say how gradual my hearing loss really was. Obviously, since I was a premature (27 week) baby born with nerve damage in my ears, and I didn't get my first hearing aids until I was 8, then it's pretty easy to guess it must have been a gradual process. But I'm missing at least a dozen audiograms between the ages of 8 and 20, that's for sure. So the first time I put my audiogram from when I was 8 side-by-side with my audiogram from when I was 20, and compared the two, I almost had a heart attack, because there's been wayyyyy MAJOR decrease in my hearing since then. Freaky stuff. It looks like a sharp downhill shift, even though it was probably pretty gradual. But yeah, it hasn't been changing at all over the past couple of years, so insha'Allah it'll stay that way.

The appointment with the otolarygologist (say that really fast, ten times!) is always fun. The hilarious thing is, I first met him when I was in 5th grade. The kids in my class were assigned what's commonly known as an "I-Search" project. Basically, we had to pick a topic of our choice, research it in depth, and write a report. This project was huuuge, and we were required to turn in rough drafts, random notes, the final draft...anything and everything we came across and used along the way had to be turned in with the final report. I remember we all turned in like 2-inch binders worth of info at the end. Craziness. So, the first day we began the project, our teacher brought in an armload of the Yellow Pages to school, and we spent the morning looking up businesses, professionals, etc. who could help us compile info on our specific topic. Ten-year-old nerd child that I was (more like, a pissed off child who was still trying to figure out why the hell I had to wear hearing aids, and what this whole freakin deal was about anywayz), I decided my topic would be "the ear." So I looked up dozens of physicians, audiologists, ENTs, hearing aid dispensers, etc., carefully copied down their addresses, went home, and wrote them all letters asking for their help in my project. Man, oh man, I got gazillions of responses...letters, brochures, videos, pamphlets, diagrams, you name it. Way awesome.

Coincidentally, I had to go in and see this ear specialist of mine for the very first time that same winter, and took the opportunity to ask for his help on my project as well. He sent me hecka stuff too. Ten years later, I went back because of an ear infection, and tried to refresh his memory. He didn't remember me, but it's all good, cuz I didn't really remember what he looked like either. Nice grandfatherly-lookin' dude. When I was leaving, he said, "I'm sorry I don't remember you from your last visit, but I'm very impressed that a ten-year-old grew up into such a beautiful, mature young woman." I almost rolled my eyes and laughed, because maturity has definitely never been one of my strong suits. LOL. :-D But he's a hecka cool guy. Since then I've been back numerous times, and he always makes a point to remember what I'm up to. He got all excited when I told him I'm thinking of pediatric audiology as a career, and told me that once I'm ready to practice, I should make sure to give him a call and ask if I could work with his company. They're based out of Stanford University. Majorly exciting…I've got a job lined up already! Now I need to figure out my career goals still. :-p Gosh, such a process.

Yo, hearing is good. You better be appreciating it. :) And hey, start talking in the Bloggin' Muslimz thread, like the good children that you are. We need some action in there. ;)