My First Week with Hearing Aids

On February 1st, I received my much anticipated pair of hearing aids! It was an emotional moment, not only for me, but my audiologist.

First thoughts: Wow, everything is very…. loud? There’s music in the waiting room? Everything is so intense.

My audiologist has his secretary ask me a question from the other room and I’m able to respond. I can’t believe it. We do a few tests, sound checks, cleaning instructions, etc. Then we step outside. I never realized how much sound there is outdoors. Birds. Lots of birds. Traffic is booming. I can’t believe how loud it is. I’ve been able to hear all of this, just not to this degree. I never realized how much I was missing until I got to hear it. Wow.

The Adjustment Period

The adjustment period has been rough so far. I’ve had to go back to my audiologist a few times, due to some static sounds (or maybe just sounds I’m not use to.) So far I’m only wearing them about 6-7 hours a day, because it can be VERY overwhelming in public. I’m struggling to gauge how loud I’m speaking/how loud my actions are. I realize this will become more natural in time, but right now it’s rough. Sounds like paper sound like tin foil, and things like knuckle cracking sounds more like knuckle breaking. To my hearing aid users, what was your adjustment period like?

I will most likely be updating monthly (or trying to.)

Xoxo

MaKaela

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PTSD Speaks: We Aren’t Just Veterans

PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions.”

Susan Pease Banitt

PTSD. You’ve probably heard about it in commercials or from your neighborhood veteran. But what is it?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:A disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.

The past few weeks have been particular rough for me, with PTSD flare ups being there more often than not. I call them flare ups because sometimes it’s like the chronic pain, other days worse than others but always lingering behind the corner.

I dealt with a lot of guilt in the beginning. Thoughts like “your event wasn’t traumatic enough to give you PTSD.

Others have it worse.”

You need to move on.”

A lot of people won’t understand your feelings. Some might try to relate. A small few will quietly understand, due to their own struggles.

What I want you to know:

Your traumatic event is valid.

Your feelings are valid.

Your triggers are valid.

Your responses are valid.

There will always be someone that understands, and if you can’t find that person near you, I will be your person.

We are not just veterans.

We are sexual assault survivors.

We are car accident survivors.

We are abuse survivors.

We are countless life altering event survivors.

Resources: Suicide Hotline-1-800-273-8255

Veterans Crisis Line- 1-800-273-8255 Ext. 1

Sexual Assault Line: 800-656-4673

An Open Letter to My 13 Year Old Self

An Open Letter To My Thirteen Year Old Self

You have no clue how much you will change in the next 4 years. Remember that the world is constantly growing and changing, just like you. 

The first girl you will kiss will reek of stale Newports and later carve your name into her skin. She will claim it’s love. It’s not. 

Society will constantly tell you why you’re not good enough and how to improve. You might as well learn to be okay in the skin you’re in.

You might feel like you’ll never make it through high school. I promise you’ll get it through it one way or another.

When the world gets too heavy, please ask for help. No situation is worth losing your life over. 

You cannot fix everyone. Hell, your almost 18 year old self is still learning that. The only person you can change is you. Remember that.

You’re going to experience all those things you’ve always dreamed about eventually. Quit trying to grow up so fast. 

One day you will find someone that loves all of you. Right now is not the time to worry about that. 

You’re going to learn to manage those crazy mood swings. Eventually.

Your family will  get over the fact that you like girls. They might not like it but they will learn to deal with it. 

 

Keep your head up,

Makaela

P.s, 

No matter how unbearable the situation might feel at the time, you’re going to get through it come hell or high water.

 

 

Fuck Your Stereotypes: Living With Bipolar

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”

 Charles Bukowski

Like other people, being officially diagnosed as bipolar was one of the most shocking and relieving things I’ve ever experienced- like hearing the answer to a question you already knew the answer to. After being officially diagnosed, I began learning how to manage and learned more about myself on the way. Here are my top 5 stereotypes

1. You don’t act/look/sound bipolar

You don’t look like a psychiatrist, I mean, what?

Most people have a general assumption of what being bipolar means. TV usually showcases extreme highs and extreme lows. While that can be the case, bipolar is a very manageable illness. Bipolar is complex and has many different categories and criteria. It’s important to realize that no two cases look alike.

2. Medication is the only way to be stable.

Refer to stereotype numero uno, where I mention that no two cases look alike. For some, medication is a fantastic way to manage mania/lows, while others find more holistic approaches that work for them.

3. Bipolar people are violent.

The truth is, the risk of violence for bipolar patients and non bipolar patients is about the same. The idea that being mentally ill makes you dangerous has been disproved countless times. Violence can be a symptom during an episode, but can be managed with the correct treatment and prevention plan.

4. Mania is fun!

Mania is usually a time of lack of good judgement, doing things you wouldn’t usually do. This might appear to be a good time, but in reality is dangerous for the person and the people around them. No one has the same manic experience, but the theme is usually the same: risk taking. This is another thing TV has glorified to appear as fun and full of endless opportunities, but in reality can leave you seriously injured mentally, physically or financially.

5. If you exercise/eat this/etc. you’ll be cured!

I saved this one for last because it is something I am passionate about. Everyone has their own treatment plan and the things that do or do not work for them. There becomes an issue when you tell someone they’re not treating it correctly. One last time for the people in the back, no two cases are alike. 

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