A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Archive for the ‘Employment’ Category

Working on the Radio

In Employment, Hearing aids, Hearing Loss on August 17, 2015 at 11:28 pm

By: Sara Lundquist 

  
I recently applied, interviewed and was offered a job as a radio operator and on air announcer. I was so excited to try something different and completely new so I took the job. 

During my interview I blurted out I was hard of hearing. I immediately thought I had shot myself in the foot. Not that I wanted it hidden the fact I am hard of hearing and and wear hearing aids but I didn’t want the persons interviewing me thinking that I couldn’t do the job. To my amazement I landed the job and it has been a huge learning experience. 

There is so much to learn!!! Learning computer programs and sound boards to tower transmitter logs. Lots of things I had never experienced before. Training was one on one so communication was good. On day 2 of training my hearing loss was brought up. I was asked the severity of my hearing loss. I am at a moderate severe loss. I was asked about my hearing aids. I was shocked. Instead of feeling like I was going to lose a job here is an employer that wants to learn and accommodate. The engineering staff was told and they offered any help with the headphones working with my hearing aids. 

One thing that was shown to me is how much of the radio is visual. Not what you think an audio thing as radio. If someone is at the door a light flashes on the wall. If we get a severe weather alert, which we did when I was training, first an alarm sounds. I was asked if I could hear it, I had to admit no I couldn’t. I was told don’t worry now watch. Right then a large orange strobe light went off in the studio area. Wonderful no stress if I can’t hear the siren watch for an orange flashing light.   Fire alarms are all flashing lights also. 

 
 One issue I have is monitoring the volume of my voice. My husband often will tell me to lower my voice. I worried when doing the news or weather what if I am to loud or soft. Again visual, there are meters. I know where I am suppose to be at so I can just watch the meters for the right level. 
So stress has been high from learning the business but I feel so relieved that I don’t feel that hearing or lack of hearing will affect my job. 

I just completed my first night on air. I did it with No major incidence. My husband tuned in at one point in the night and heard me and said I sounded professional. Great to hear some feedback. 

It feels good to learn something new.  It feels great to have an employer that is accommodating. 

Now to develop my on air personality, I say just be yourself. 

Just Trying to Breathe

In coping strategies, Employment, Hearing Loss on November 13, 2014 at 11:44 am

By: Sara Lundquist
drowning pictureThis past month I have felt like this a lot.  I have felt like I am drowning.  Yes I try to be the optimist, the glass is half full type of girl.  I just can’t keep that up all the time.  I can’t keep the smile on my face that everything is fine and everything is great.  I am the glue that tries to keep it all together in my family but lately I am having a hard time doing this.

I finally confided in my husband and told him that I am really having a hard time keeping it all together lately.  I feel like I am drowning and I am sick of keeping the smile on my face when I miss half a conversation and have no idea what someone said to me when they walk up to me at school or church.  I am sick of working so hard to understand all that is being said.  I am just sick and tired of life being hard.

Everyone has troubles in their lives and I try not to ever be a person that says well my troubles are worse than your troubles.  I hate when someone says, “At least it is not cancer.”  Yes I am glad of that also but guess what hearing loss, a son on the autism spectrum, anxiety, and so on isn’t that great either.  Everyone has trials in their lives, let them grieve and work through their trials.  Don’t discount it that a problem isn’t big enough, in their life it is a mountain.

My husbands employer has this new health insurance hoops you have to jump through.  We have to do an online health assessment and then talk to a health advisor.  I am fine with this until they talked to me about the stress and anxiety aspect.  1st off they knew of the hearing loss since that was one of the questions I had to answer.  They asked why I have stress.  I told them I walk into a building and I always feel off guard at first if I will understand people talking to me and understand what is being said there.  Their answer was deep breathing and I just need to believe and tell myself that everything is good and I can hear it all.  REALLY- I was hoping for some relaxation techniques.  I informed them I can’t make the hearing loss go away so in reality I am not going to hear it all.  They came back with I can tell myself I hear fine and that will take care of the stress.  Wow I didn’t know how to respond.  If this is what the insurance companies are going to tell us we can will all our troubles and our worlds troubles away.

I work at the school as a substitute teacher.  It seems to be getting harder and harder in some ways.  I like certain classrooms a lot, I like the high school.  I know I can hear decent in them and I know I won’t run into problems.  But the hallways, lunchroom, and the elementary school I just want to run away.  I feel like the air is being squeezed out of me.  I hate it and there is no way I can hear anything.  The elementary school is like a horror movie for me.  Little voices and always a sea of background noise I just cringe going in there.  This past week I was to work at the elementary school Monday and Tuesday.  I felt sick all weekend even thinking about these two days.  I don’t know what my negative feelings did but we ended up getting an early November snowstorm, we received over a foot of snow.  SNOW DAY on Monday and two hours late on Tuesday.  My prayers were answered!!! I hate that I dread going to work or certain places.  I hate that I have this sense of failure of events coming up.

I just need to get over these feelings.  I will, I am not worried about it.  I will learn some new coping techniques.  I am trying to learn speech reading which I really believe will be a huge asset to me.  I need to reach out to the friends that I know will be there when there is a bad day and understand.  I need to speak up, I need to say what I need instead of saying sorry like I was a problem.

It is going to be a long winter I am afraid.  This will be my winter to learn new things.  Maybe just maybe when spring comes again I will have some new skills and instead of this drowning feeling I am having I will be having a sense of renewal, just like my tulips coming up to see the sun.