Monday, December 28, 2009

Post-Surgery Right Knee - Part 4

I just graduated from home health care services to outpatient therapy. I've got my therapy schedule of appointments for the next two months.

I can walk slowly around some in the house without the walker, though limited, as long as I'm near something to hold onto. Steps are slow going as well now that I'm just starting to use the knee to climb steps. With the cane, it's slow going til I get more flexibility in the knee. I can straighten it out to within maybe 5-10 degrees of being straight. I think I've straightened it out a few times. I've used a heating pad on the knee to help it get more extension to around 90-95 degrees. I couldn't use it while on the blood thinner medication, though I'm off it now.

The surgical area does look pretty good and the butterfly strips have fallen off. It's still a bit sensitive, which sometimes gives me trouble sleeping at night. I should be able to sleep through the night in maybe a couple months.

The 16-20 inch snowfall we had kinda made me miss doing the snow shoveling, something I've been doing over the years. One snowfall in Kentucky took me 3 days to shovel the driveway due to the bitter cold and wind chills, thus I wasn't able to stay out long. I did manage to make two 5-6 foot snow piles on both sides of the driveway. Took a bit over a month to melt.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Post-surgery Right Knee - Part 3

I had the staples removed Friday morning by the nurse and Jamie was around. She said it was an interesting experience watching them get removed. All that's left are the butterfly strips, and even then, they're falling off. The incision area looks quite good.

As for the CPM, I'm now up to around 85-90 degrees, letting the knee joint warm up after some flexes. Has anyone fallen asleep after a bit of time on the CPM? I think I'm soon to go from home health care to outpatient therapy. The occupational therapist was around earlier, watched me do things, and said I don't need any extra help.

I'm not yet able to do any cooking, but I can get stuff from the refrigerator to the table via multiple transfers. I place the items on a nearby counter, then I move near the table and then move the items from the counter to the table.

Could be next month when I get to using a cane and maybe another month or two for me to be able to get down the the basement since the steps don't have railings. It's just five steps down, but I'm not going to use the wall to help get up or down.

Looking at the now-healed left knee, it reminds me how far I've come and what's left to be done.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Art Linkletter said it all when they said the darndest things in his live TV show some years ago (no, I never saw it), and the books.

Awhile ago, Sherlock Steve posted something on his blog, tidbitting around, that I passed on to him that killed me laughing when I read it.

Just the other day, I found this, which blew me apart...

Po-tate-o, Po-tat-o

They've always got the ability to bring down the house without trying...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Post-surgery Knee and Bonus - Part 2

It's good being home. I'd probably have driven the rehab center people nuts, maybe only stayed for up to a week.

Thanksgiving was a buffet at a local hotel. Quite a good buffet dinner. Next year, we grill the turkey. If there's snow, expect melted snow in front of the grill, an outdoor brick thing. It cooks nicely.

I can tolerate the CPM machine for as long as I can lay on my back. I previously couldn't sleep on my back due to the knees, now I can. I just went 3 hours straight. I'm up to 75 degrees flexion, but the tape holding the dressings and the staples are kind of holding me back from doing more. I can briefly do 80 before going back.

Staple count for this surgery: 28. It was 32 last year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Post-surgery Knee and Bonus

It's been an interesting time since I got here, what with the total knee replacement on the right knee. Let me break this down;

- pre-surgery - I had the same pre-op bed bay, same nurse and anesthesiologist. Same OR as well! Last year, I remember going past the OR room number (7) to the door and that was it. This time, I made it into the OR for a few minutes before I was out.
- recovery room - I don't remember being in it last year, just being in the hall coming from there. I was awake and coherent just long enough to answer a question from Jamie. I was in surgery for 3 hours, compared to 4 last year.
- hospital room - Again, the same people from last year were around including some new people as well as this one nurse nicknamed "the vampire" since she works at night and often draws blood. Wonderful lady... I was only a door or two away from the room I was in last year.

This time, since the muscle contractures weren't as bad on the right knee, I was able to use the CPM (Continuous Pulsing Motion) machine for the first time, going up to 55 degrees. I was able to tolerate it for almost 3 hours. I nearly wore out my physical therapist since the right knee and leg had a bit of strength.

Another big bonus... Since I'm doing much better than last year, I'm not going to a rehab center. I'm heading home and will have some home health care people helping out with things for about a month or two. It took me 3 weeks just to be able to walk from the rehab room to the nurses station nearby and back to the rehab room and walked a little more. This time, I went that far, just a few days after surgery.

This recovery should be a bit easier or a little tougher...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Surgery on the Right Knee

Just tonight, I got the call I was cleared for my next surgery tomorrow morning. This time it's a total knee replacement on the right knee, just like on the left last year. This time, unlike last year, there were no foul-ups, no misunderstandings. Just a rescheduling of the surgery date when I had a conflict.

This is where things should allow me to improve more. This is where the left can improve even more with the right's going through rehab as well.

Now to have a nice pre-surgical meal...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wedding Videos Gone Viral

We've all seen videos that go viral, but it was a matter of time before it was a *WEDDING!*

Jill and Kevin's Wedding

Then I did some checking around and found some students did a spoof (a divorce dance in court!) and the Australians did their version of it. The wedded couple and dancers were even invited to the Today Show in New York City to do a repeat performance!

DWTS doing the 'Forever' wedding entrance dance

Then there's YouTube's Most-Viewed page

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Arrest Me? Say What?

Has anyone gotten a so-called email from the FBI that says something like a Nigerian or other international bank releasing a large sum of money and mention terrorism? Then it finishes with this;

"So to this regards you are to re-assure and proof to us that what you are about to receive is a clean money by sending to us FBI International Clearance and also Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (DIST) to satisfy to us that the money your about to receive is legitimate and real money. If you fail to provide the Documents to us, we will charge you either to U S federal Court or international court of justice and take our proper action against you for not proofing the legitimacy of the funds you are about to receive.


*sniffing the air* Now that's a whole lot of bovine stinky droppings. Anyone want a cow pattie burger with a large urine?

Those two paragraphs make absolutely zero sense...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Relay SWAT calls

Having read the Watch Out for That SWAT! blog post and a followup article in the Washington Post recently, it's a frightening thing when your home is invaded by a SWAT team. Apparently they're there for no reason other than the fact that someone tried to "prank" the police into thinking you're a dangerous person.

I use a cane or wheelchair when I'm out and about due to my knee surgery, and usually don't use the cane at home. Could this easily cause me to get shot with them thinking I was holding a weapon? Probably the best thing for me to do if this kind of thing happens would be for me to immediately stop where I am, drop the cane, and raise my hands. Or will they shoot anyway and ask questions later in their adrenaline-soaked mad dash through the door?

What's the best way to handle something like this?

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Knee's Progress 4

It's getting easier to walk longer distances. I was able to walk to someone's place near me which is near this grocery store I mentioned before. I wasn't too out of breath or too tired when I got there, which is a good sign of improvement. But even then, I still can't make it to the store and back home. It's pretty much a one-way trip. That's still a pretty big improvement from before when it was harder for me to get there a few months earlier.

It's the other knee that has me at a standstill or slow improvements til the next surgery. I had to change the date due to a conflict with Jamie's class on the same day. I won't be missing Halloween. The new surgery date is November 20 in the early morning. Then the week after that is Thanksgiving. Pretty much means I'll be in the rehab facility. Means I'll be a captive audience for dinner.

To walk a mile, bowl again... It'll happen. I know I can now do a tenth of a mile, which is good.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Never give out your password - Part 3

As I've said many times, never give out your password to anyone. We've heard about the phishing scams out there. They will tell you to go to the "company" website and fill out your info including password or respond to an email asking for your password. The best defense against that is to type in the URL yourself in the browser for that company and go from there. That way, you know you're going to the correct site. It's good to read the URL carefully. Something that looks like http://[domain name].com/ does NOT go to YouTube, but a fake site.

Administrators of password-protected sites can change your password for you. They have access to your account. They don't need your password or your security question answers sent them in email. What do you think they do when they reset your password if you've forgotten it? Depending on the software used, the password will either show up or it won't on the administrator's screen, with the ability to change it or disable/delete the account.

An email asking you to send back your username, password, security question answers, and other things is a definite phish. If the email says your account will be closed or there is legal action, most likely it is fake. Check with your ISP to confirm. So are the emails for lotteries, jackpots, and any kind of winnings programs. Federal law forbids collection of "fees" to receive your winnings. Read this from the NAD;

Scam Alert – Protect Yourself

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Growing Up Deaf" Update 3

Sherlock Steve's blog post against the post! reminded me of a few things.

But first, in my Growing up Deaf - Part 11 post, I mentioned that I had printed information on MSSD, but never went. I talked with mom about this when I went home to join my family for a wedding. She said she and dad wanted me to stay home and learn more. I'll talk more with her when I head back sometime.

As mentioned before, I didn't quite get full immersion into deaf culture til college, with some immersion here and there in middle and high schools, deaf church ministries, and the deaf camp in Louisiana. My dad got upset a lot of the time when I had my hearing aids off, even when I was lipreading him. Did that make him an audist? I don't think so. They never forced hearing aids onto me, just encouraged me to wear them.

As for that four year old kid, the decision to wear his implant is up to him. It was a major mistake for the doctor to tell his mother to hold him down. I'm surprised someone didn't call Child Protective Services on the guy. Right now is the time for worried mom to work on communications, both sign and reading/writing. Nothing's worse than a deaf kid with no language. What a waste of a good mind.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Knees and ASL Dinners

Not long ago, I came back from an ASL dinner in DC's Dupont Circle. The restaurant location was not accessible via wheelchair, but I managed to make it just using the cane. Jamie and I parked at a metro stop and walked to the train platform, taking the escalator down rather than use the elevator. Then arriving at our stop, we took the escalator out and get to the place. This was further than I was able to go before the surgery. I was also out of town for a family wedding, and was able to stand and walk around longer than before. Airports are still a challenge, as I used the wheelchair.

As it turns out, Jamie had to help me out in getting my food tray upstairs, as I wasn't quite able to carry it up there myself.

Getting back to the car, I had to stop once to rest a bit.

That's a pretty big milestone to make, eight months after surgery. They're right about it taking a lot of work.

I also have a surgery date of October 23rd for the right knee. This is when things will get interesting.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Funny Food Names

While browsing the forum messages on the Deafness site on, I came across this message titled "Tall Jan" about funny food names and fouled-up captions. There's a food item called "MAMA" out at the local grocery store. Oh, the comedic possibilities...

There's always going to be days when you go grocery shopping in an ethnic grocery store and you come across something with a weird name. The Washington DC area has a number of good ethnic stores. Apart from the smaller individually-owned stores, we have multiple stores owned by a person or corporation. Todos is one, with Global Foods being another. I've been to Global Foods a few times for various things, including a 5 pound package of lo mein for stir fry.

Then there's a merlot wine called Fat Bastard I found and Sherlock Steve posted about it in The Austin Powers Wine!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Swimming after Knee Surgery - Part 2

The left knee is still improving here and there, though the contracture on the quadriceps and hamstring will take time to improve. Booktoots' post, Walking On Gravel & A TKR, reminded me of while I was at a Florida beach recently.

While solid ground is easier to walk on, it's the uneven areas that give me some trouble. I know that will improve in time. It was a bit of slow going from a table near a parking space through the sand to the water's edge. I was able to walk into the water, but a drop-off gave me a little trouble and an outgoing wave swept my feet from underneath me. A nearby mother with young child thought it was pretty funny. From there it was easy enough to stay in the water and move around despite the waves.

But getting out took a little creativity. I couldn't just get out normally like others could. My cane was still at the table. It took me a couple tries to actually get past the drop-off. I used the incoming waves to help push me up past the drop-off. A wave came in, take a couple steps, wait for the next wave to come in, a few steps, til I was past the drop-off. Walking back from there to the table was a bit slow and difficult going, but I made it.

Pool ladders still give me trouble, but after my right knee is worked on, that should be resolved in time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Swimming after Knee Surgery

One of the best things to do after a total knee replacement is swimming. It's best to wait til the stitches or staples are out before doing so. The water helps support you and if you trip somehow, you're not going to fall face-first into a hard surface. The other good thing is that you don't need any kind of walking aids.

When I'm swimming, I don't just water walk. My therapist recommended walking forwards, backwards, and sideways, 3-4 laps each. I've also tried slow paddling for a minute or two, then return to walking. Leg lifts can easily be done as well. Don't just stay in the shallow end. I usually go from about 3 1/2 feet of water to 5 feet and back. Sometimes I'll stay in the 4.5-5 foot area for awhile. Maybe later I'll add on the flippers. Swim shoes seem to add a little more water resistance when slow paddling.

About 20-45 minutes of this could be the equivalent of an hour's worth of exercise without making you overly tired. Just make sure the water isn't too cold as it can make it harder to swim.

I still can't quite use the ladders, though I can still use the steps in the shallow end. If the pool is large and has steps in the deep end, I can use that.

Has anyone worn a wetsuit while doing their exercises in the pool?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Moderation in Postings

I had to write this after the near-flamefest here (the audism posts) and on The Deaf Sherlock last month. Over the years, I've been a moderator in chatrooms and message areas. Sometimes the work is fun. But then there's the occasional time when you'll have a member who is quite abusive and openly flouts the rules.

In some cases, moderators need the ability to clamp down in order to prevent an explosive subject from getting out of control. It's all too easy for this to happen and I have seen groups going from active to meltdown dead in short time due to certain subjects being brought up. In some cases, the operators are forced to start over.

It's not a freedom of speech issue. It's about following the rules. Most forum rules are common sense, usually treat each other well, no attacks, stay on topic, that kind of thing. One to remember is that the moderator has the final word on things, reserving the right to moderate, edit, or delete comments. If members complain about something, the moderator will take action on that. There will always be some who cause trouble, known as trolls. They have been known to start flame wars.

For more on understanding what needs to be done, read these sites;

How to effectively moderate forums
Internet Forum Moderation...for Dummies
Internet Forums on Wikipedia

One must have flexibility in being a moderator without looking like a dictator, silencing everything that you disagree with. Neither do you want to be known as having a heavy hand and/or being a control freak.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Knee's Progress 2 / National Police Week

Back in mid-May, I attended National Police Week's Candlelight Vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial. I mentioned my first adoptive dad in my Growing Up Deaf - Part 4 post.

My attending this event marked the first time I used the metro/subway without using the wheelchair. It was a longer walk compared to when I walked to someone's house for dinner in the My Knee's Progress - Part 1 post. I walked from the parking garage to the waiting train using the escalator, a bit out of breath and almost no pain. It was a bit shorter walk this time, as I used the elevator which put me right in the middle of the seating area. The seats filled quickly, and I arrived two hours before the event.

It was an emotional event. One of the speakers was Eric Holder, US Attorney General. (Blog post found here) I found that there was an interpreter after the event started, but wasn't able to get to where she was. The crowd numbered around several thousand according to the Washington Post which included those from police agencies around the nation and world. Most impressive were the many candles held by the crowd, with most electric lights off. They had a laser which was aimed from the back from a building to the front podium.

While waiting for my train after the event, I sat for a bit on side of the escalator. Interestingly enough, a group from the UK who attended the event waited near and around me. One of them showed a little toy which got everyone laughing, including me. After a little talk with a couple of them, someone from the group gave me a little pin signifying fallen police officers. Arriving at my stop an hour later, I was a bit tired from the walk.

I still got a ways to go in terms of left knee strength improvement and the right knee being operated on. I'll find out more what will happen next at my August appointment with the doctor.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Tech Solutions Needed To Save Captions

After I posted the "More Info" post, Jamie mentioned something from her time as a captioning activist some time ago;

"Long ago I was told that when the media format changes, e.g. from movie to DVD to television to internet, the closed captions are lost because of the altering of time codes on the media. Closed captions have to match up with time codes.

"In addition, I remember that in the early days there was discussion about how because captioning is a service, there may be issues with payment. That is, if Company A pays for captioning then gives the media in a new format to Company B with captions included, then Company B saves money that Company A had to pay.

"But the bottom line problem is the loss of captions as media formats change. We need new technical solutions or more use of existing solutions. One way to save the captions would be to use the available tools CCExtractor or CaptionKeeper to extract the captions into a separate file before converting the media to another format. Then the captions can be refitted to the new media format (and this is a manual process as explained by Hulu).

"The deaf community and its hearing friends are going to have to pressure the original content providers to save captions before converting the media."

In short, by "issues with payment" in the second paragraph, the business that received the captioning services may not want to just give the captioned file/media to Company B.

Also, some utilities I've seen will remove the subtitles AND captioning when the movie is transferred from DVD to a format like AVI and/or send them to a separate file. One I've seen will do just this in PAL/NTSC conversions. I'm checking on the Matroska (.MKV) (Wikipedia entry) container, as it can hold many tracks in one file.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Info from Hulu on Captioning

While Jamie and I have been discussing the issues related to Hulu and Netflix, including the upcoming new Epix website, Jamie got a response from two people from Hulu;

Eugene from the help desk writes;
"I think the issue is that often we're sent digitized videomasters that have the captions stripped out. It's not the same as recording media off of TV and then stripping the captions out of it."

Then Rob Post says;
"We use a similar tool to extract the captions from The Daily show and Colbert Report. But we are extracting the live captioning, not subtitles. Very few digital masters we receive have this data embedded within them, when we find them we try to use them."

Vitac gave a similar response.

Taking into consideration these two responses, this means that it is the CONTENT PROVIDERS who are removing the captioning signal, thus reducing Hulu's ability to provide captioned videos. Netflix has also said that it is the fault of the content providers. Now we have two people saying the same thing. However, we still have the Netflix CEO's insensitive and dismissive attitude, saying it's not high on the agenda.

Then came my own questions: Are copyright issues involved? Are the captioning signals analog or digital? Jamie sent those questions to Rob Post and should be getting a response soon.

There's also some other issues related to video and captioning. We'll have another post on this later.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Correction to the Hulu Blog Post

Jamie and I had some minor errors in our previous post, How Might Hulu Be Showing Its Captions? It's more attitude than software which gets the captioning across the the viewer. Also in the previous post, Jamie got a response from Hulu which was posted in comments and I'll repeat here;

"We ask all our content providers for caption files. Some have them available, others do not or are still working on it. Then we try to read the caption files as there are many formats.

"Then, if we can read the file, we have someone sit and watch the video and sync the captions to the video as timings are often off because broadcast timing may differ from the online video file timing for a variety of reasons.

"We've been able to increase our coverage a lot just by sheer effort. We still have room to improve our coverage through that means. There will be some portion that will require other solutions, and we'll continue to investigate.

"Captions are a priority for us, and we'll continue to push to make them more of a standard for online video."

As we can see, it's not just attitude, but a LOT of hard work and time. I have also attempted to time subtitles with a movie and can appreciate the work that it takes. These utilities can be found with some searching.

Interestingly enough, Marlee Matlin has been tweeting that she wants captions on Netflix as well.

In another interesting area, the government has a YouTube website, but seems it's violating its own laws by not making them accessible in terms of captioning.

Only some videos are captioned, and embarrassingly enough, the Department of Education has almost none! You can tweet complaints to them via @usedgov.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Might Hulu Be Showing Its Captions?

How is Hulu able to show closed captions when Netflix does not? That is the $60 million dollar question.

A bit of research online by Jamie and me yielded some clues. First, according to an April 2008 article in Entertainment Close-Up, Hulu is using Signiant Software. Signiant makes digital media distribution management solutions. Google Hulu and Signiant and more articles will turn up.

Poking around Signiant's website led to a blog, Digital Media Galaxy. Searching that blog on "captioning" led to one result, Rhozet Carbon Coder/Signiant Integration Video. That blog post mentions closed captioning extraction capabilities. As best as I understand it, Signiant's software integrates with software from Rhozet called Carbon Coder and through this integration, is able to extract closed captions. A check of the Rhozet website found that the Carbon Coder product is indeed able to extract closed captions.

Not only that, an examination of the Carbon Coder product's additional functions page revealed that under Advanced Operations, Carbon Coder can do subtitle/CC imprint, and line 21/CC conversion.

Last but not least, on Signiant's website there is a page that explains more about Rhozet's Carbon Coder. The information there is so important that I'm quoting it here:

"Traditional broadcast companies continue to grow their content business with alternate media delivery through the web, mobile or Video on Demand (VOD). However, one size does not fit all. They are challenged with the multiple CODECs and containers required to support these delivery mechanisms. Media is often captured in one format; edited in another; delivered live in a 3rd format; stored in a yet another format and so on. With the dramatic increase in the number of formats along with shorter service level agreements and Business To Business (B2B) relationships spanning the globe, content production is becoming more challenging. Rhozet's Carbon Coder is an industry leading transcoder which can simultaneously support all the major formats required in today's media environment."

Based on all this information, I have developed a theory about how Hulu is able to show closed captions. I theorize that Hulu is using the Signiant Software integration with Rhozet's Carbon Coder software to extract the closed captions from DVDs and overlay it onto the streamed media. One of the arguments that we have been given for not having captions on streamed media is that the formats are different between DVDs and digital media; but according to the Signiant page on Rhozet, Rhozet can handle ALL formats.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Netflix CEO Said No To Captions?

Did I read Jared's Netflix CEO really doesn’t care about subtitles/captioning blog post (including the shareholder meeting post) right? The Netflix CEO said there's no captioning technology or it's not widespread? Picking my jaws up off the floor, I read further...

"Mr. Hastings said other sites didn’t offer captions, and mentioned as one of them."

Does he live under a rock? Then he said we could receive DVDs in the mail and most had captions. That's pretty insensitive, ignorant, and dismissive.

Cry me a river, Mr. CEO... You've had two years to add this "nonexistent" tech according to this blog post. Check these sites out which have captioning/subtitling utilities and related forums;

Adobe's Encore has the ability to add subs. We know YouTube, CNET, and Hulu have captions/subtitles. Google has more hits on these using keywords (dvd captions), and/or (dvd subtitles), including (netflix captioning online deaf), minus the (). Check out Hulu Has Captions and Netflix Doesn't. Why?

Care to try that again, Mr. CEO?

Let's get a new Caption Action off the ground!

Update: I neglected to add the Facebook group Netflix Watch-Instantly Needs Closed Captions!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Laundry after Knee Surgery

In Stairs, Laundry, and A TKR, she mentions how she handled the laundry post-TKR. Since I'm in a split level, the steps down to the lower part of the house don't have railings. I just hold onto the corner as I go down sidestep. Rather than a basket, I have a net bag, and roll it down the steps, making sure no one's in the way.

...that plus make sure the cat's not playing with the drawstring...

I still have some trouble in carrying things up the steps, having to put the item a few steps up, step up a few steps, until I'm at the top. For heavier items going up the steps, I'll put it on a small handcart, strap it down, and haul it up one step at a time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

When is Audism Not Audism? - Part 4

So I ask once more, when is audism not audism?

Returning to the definition of audism, it is the belief that hearing and speaking are better than sign language. It is the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. It is all in the attitude. Hearing people who refuse to do anything other than speak to the deaf person, thinking they'll be understood, may be committing audism or may simply be unfamiliar with how to communicate. Adding to the term confuses and obfuscates the issue even more. Elimination of audism begins with education. Sometimes all it takes is the deaf person doing something with the audist that can change the attitude of the audist.

Bullying, social rejection, and cliques are not audism. They are issues of sociality that are faced by all members of society, no matter what the disability. There is still freedom of speech, but there are rules that must be followed here and there. This is not audism, but rule enforcement. However, Arthur Nonymous in a final comment in Part 2 had a good point.

Being offered tools for hearing better is not audism. It is a choice, to accept or refuse. The underlying hearing loss is still there. Education of the parents and user about the hearing tools is not audism, but informing them of the choices.

Deaf people will still be around, even with hearing assistance devices. Being militant will only make things worse and may cause other hearing people to commit even worse acts of discrimination and/or audism or simply refuse to deal with any deaf person, thus fueling the audism fire.

Monday, May 18, 2009

When is Audism Not Audism? - Part 3

Here's another of Jamie Berke's articles on Deaf Culture - Audism. It's got a lot of good points here including a couple of good links, especially the two resources near the end.

Please do not say that I don't understand. I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt, felt the emotional impact, and then some. I have even talked about my own experiences in my Growing Up Deaf posts (parts 8, 9, and 10) in going to school, having experienced the Oralist vs Manualist fight. I posted Affected Emotionally by the AG Bell Protests? when a recent protest at AGBell in DC brought all the emotions back to the surface. My final post on the Growing Up Deaf serial sums things up.

Just because there is a bill out there for children for hearing aids and CIs doesn't mean it's an audist bill. The person sponsoring it may have the wrong ideas, but it is making more available of these tools to help, whether used or not. It simply means that you're giving the child a chance to hear with a hearing aid or a CI. If they don't help the child, not a problem. They are tools. The child can decide later on if they want to use hearing aids or CIs.

Completely separating ourselves from the hearing world would be a mistake. One would need to deal with the hearing people at some time or another. This is not a time for us to be divided based on the this word's meaning. What unites us is a common theme, our hearing loss. Don't let this become the equivalent of the Civil War, one that nearly destroyed our country.

Next: Part 4

Saturday, May 16, 2009

When is Audism Not Audism? - Part 2

Let's move back in time when the Oralism vs Manualism debate was hotter, and the child was mainstreamed or in a deaf school. For the child who was mainstreamed, there were often issues such as being able to follow along with the lesson and classroom discussion including socialization with peers and classmates. In some schools, especially middle, there is a lot of peer pressure, wanting to fit in, and acceptance/rejection. The kids with disabilities could be instantly rejected the day they joined that school and/or bullied to an extent. With deaf kids who had this issue, this was not audism at all. It was plain ignorance and immaturity on the part of the non-disabled kids and in some cases, adults. Bullying can happen anywhere, regardless of disability.

Refer back to my Growing Up Deaf posts parts 18, 19, 20, and 21 on Teasing and Mistreatment. Again, as I said in the previous paragraph, it was not audism.

In Jamie Berke's article, Worse Than Last...Not at All. - A Growing Up Deaf Memory, she talks of being picked last. I had this exact same thing happen to me, not occasionally, but all the time. That is not audism, but a form of social rejection. You could SEE it in their eyes when I was last to be picked, an "oh crap, we got him" look. There was also another HEARING boy who had this same issue, and team captains often debated who to pick! Yet, the gym teacher did nothing, even though they knew about my deafness! I actually had ONE gym teacher stand up to someone who was really giving me trouble! There was another disabled girl who was in the same middle school as I, who was also rejected. So again, it was not audism, but social rejection. Mix that with immaturity and ignorance...

Remember this relay log in An Example of What Deaf Jobseekers Face? That was not audism. It was a recruiter who wasn't familiar with the relay and got intimidated and nervous by the process.

Next: Part 3

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When is Audism Not Audism? - Part 1

I'm seeing many other deaf call any kind of mistreatment of them audism. It's become too much of a blanket term. But first, before I start, the definition of audism as coined by Tom Humphries in his unpublished 1975 work "The Making of a Word;"

"Audism- (o diz m) n. the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears."

In short, it's the application of hearing ability onto someone who has a hearing loss and may or may not use a hearing assistance device, and expect them to be able to hear well. I have often said that with many deaf, hearing and understanding can easily be two different things. Just because something is heard, if at all, does not mean it will be understood. It stereotypes those with hearing losses. Before I continue;

Audism by Susan F. Crist

She's right about how we've expanded the term. Thus, this is why others have said while others think it's audism, most likely it may not. Wikipedia's definition of audism seems to have a somewhat slanted view.

Think about how blind people feel when a lot of the world is highly visual in this article, Being blind, 'you have to be adventurous'. What would they call it? Visualism? It's quite true our world is highly sensual. This reminds me of a short story by HG Wells, The Country of the Blind where every citizen is blind, and there is no such thing as sight. Now apply this to a country of the deaf, where every citizen is deaf, and there is no such thing as hearing.

There's an interesting parallel to this short story and the hearing/deaf world. Near the end of the story, the blind doctors want to remove his eyes to "cure him."

Next: Part 2

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Interpreter Scam with a Twist

Another interpreter scam has come up, but this one has a bit of a twist. In Ocean City, Maryland, an interpreter basically created a need for interpreters by sending false messages from fake email accounts from deaf people. She pretended to be deaf, sending interpreter request emails, in order to create work for herself.

Here's the article;

OC Police Probe Reveals Sign Language Scheme

Related blog post: Forget the DC Tax Scam. We Got An Interpreter Scam

Friday, April 24, 2009

Men in Black and a Wedding

Back in 1997, before my sister's wedding, I was considering a Men In Black style lighting of the candles. My brother and I, after we lit the candles, considered putting on dark sunglasses and flip the brass candle lighters upside down, like the way Jones' character used that flashing rod device. Then we'd walk back down the aisles, sunglasses still on. I was going to use a small flash device in my hand.

Unfortunately, mom heard about the plan and forbade it to be done. The idea went over well in the post-wedding chats...

Had it been done, we would have had an annoyed sister, an upset mother, and one house that came down.

Update: I just found this is my 100th post!

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Growing Up Deaf" Post Update 2 - Part 2

After doing some more research on this Utley book, Google had a page that contained a passage that says exactly how it is with those who were in oral schools and were forbidden to even learn or use sign, and then learned sign later;

Effective education for learners with exceptionalities By Festus E. Obiakor, Cheryl Anita Rose Utley, and Anthony F. Rotatori. ISBN 076230975X, 9780762309757.

This will put you on page 240. Read the last paragraph up to where it mentions cued speech.

At least some of those who read that will see themselves in it. Powerful stuff right there!

This doesn't mean the oralists were completely wrong in their methods. It means that total communications, meaning speech/lipreading AND signing, should have been included and used.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Growing Up Deaf" Post Update 2 - Part 1

Update from Growing Up Deaf - Part 10.

I managed to find a classmate from third grade on a social networking site and she remembered me. Then I broke out the report cards and checked some notations made way long ago. One thing that I missed all these years was something written in my first grade report card.

"REGULAR grade 2. No need for special class. Definitely *no* 'deaf' class."

Perhaps something more surprising was buried in one of the grading categories, under Music, was "Auditory Training." Also listed in there was "Utley book." Has anyone had experience with this? Google gives me mention of auditory/visual speech recognition. Then under "Speech and Phonics" is "Child shows desire to communicate orally." These were "primary deaf-oral classes" according to the supplement stapled to the report card.

Interesting what one finds when one breaks out the old report cards and looks through them.

Next - Part 2

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Knee's Progress - Part 1

I'll post here and there about how my left knee has been doing post-surgery. Lately, it's been getting easier to walk longer distances and a recent event gave me some encouragement.

Here's what's happened in the last couple weeks;
- I had to meet up with a counselor at my local college. I walked from the parking deck to the building and then to the office. That wasn't painful at all.
- I walked with Jamie from home to a building next door, walking along the entire front sidewalk and back home, resting a couple times. She commented a couple times it looked like I wasn't using the cane. I was, as it was keeping me from limping too much. This was further than the above, and;
- I walked to someone's house for dinner, which was about the above two walks put together, and this was a few hours after physical therapy. I wasn't quite up for going further, as a little more distance away was the local grocery store. MILESTONE!

So far, no pain, just some fatigue when I overuse it, but the right knee will hurt some. I can stand longer as well.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Will Metered Internet Hurt Deaf?

I was passed this article about metered Internet in the Rochester area by Time Warner Cable. It's a pretty hot issue and very unpopular.

Deaf community reacts to Time Warner metered pricing

In short, Time Warner Cable will be implementing metered pricing. When that happens, those who use videophones could be priced out of using them. Watching online videos like Hulu and YouTube adds up as well. Some downloadable videos are in the megabytes, while downloaded DVD movies can be about 4-8 gigabytes.

My question at the moment is how much data is being passed through the lines in a 30 minute session? Many VPs send data at 256Kbps and receive at 384Kbps.

It's a possibility this may be implemented in other broadband markets.

Update April 19:

Check the Victory of Internet Freedom blog post by Sharyn. She reports that Time Warner Cable has backed down from their metering proposal.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Post-surgery meals

Booktoots's Weblog has two posts on how it helps greatly to pre-make your meals and eating right which can help in the recovery process.

In Healthy Eating Speeds the TKR Recuperation Process, this is absolutely correct. You can't just eat junk food as it will slow down the healing. Multivitamins with calcium and a few other things will help. Doing your exercises will also.

Here's a reason to eat healthy... Some time ago, I weighed 250, ready to go higher since I was eating fast foods almost daily. Then I quit and managed to lose 50 pounds in nearly two years. I started eating better, and the results showed. I felt better also. I still need to lose more, though.

Last year before my evening college class, I'd get a salad from the local grocery store's salad bar. I'd finish it in the classroom before class time, using olive oil with garlic as dressing. I was told later on you could smell it through the classroom, but no one complained! I'm now at 200, and will try to lose some more before the next surgery.

She also says in Meal Preparation After A TKR that it helps to prepare foods ahead of time. About a month before surgery, Jamie and I started making freezer dinners. When I came home 4 weeks after surgery, there were still some left.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Seeing the Knee Doctor - Part 3

My last two appointments were pretty much the same with a few questions here and there. For the most part, I've improved here and there. My flexion and extension have improved a few degrees. I'm able to walk further with the cane and stand longer.

Last week, I was able to get down the steps to the lower level of the house, a split-level. This set of steps doesn't have any railings, just a couple corners for me to hold onto while I go down there backwards.

My hamstring shortened due the knee not being able to move a lot before surgery, known as a contracture. I'm going to be using a heating pad to help out in getting that and the quadriceps to stretch out a bit more. I most likely have that on the right knee as well.

The doctor and physical therapist have both said I'm progressing well. The doctor agreed with me when I said I'll be going for having the other knee done in early fall.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Disabled Blog

Jamie Berke alerted me to this rather interesting blog and site which says it has "news and insights on assistive technologies and innovations for people with disabilities" on their About Us page. Co-founder and editor Suzanne Robitaille herself is deaf, though her partner, Gregory Papajohn, is not. Not only is it a blog, but there's News Watch, Tech Talk, and Expert Views.

One article of interest is Do Movies Deserve Captions? The blog's got other disability issues, such as Amazon's Kindle 2 failing the accessibility test, ignoring accessibility being a costly gamble, talking books, toys for seniors and disabled, and more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recipe - Cube Steak Quesadillas

I made this when I had to make dinner quickly and we had some cube steak, also known as "steak-umm."

2 tablespoons cooking oil like wok oil
1 box Steak-Umm or cube steak (about 12-16 oz)
2 eggs
1 diced medium onion
3-4 chopped scallions
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 can stewed tomatoes (optional)
tortillas (large or small)

1. Break up and brown the cube steak
2. In a wok or other cooking utensil, stir fry the eggs and garlic.
3. Add the cut-up onion and scallions when the egg is done.
4. When the onions are soft enough, add in the cube steak and stir fry for a few minutes
5. Serve hot on tortillas. Eat like a wrap or fold it over, sprinkling cheese on top.

Depending on the size of your tortillas and how hungry people are, it can feed 2-3.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Post-Knee Surgery Exercises

They say that putting your knee back to work after a total knee replacement is important. They're so right. Check Marie's post, Exercise after a TKR Is Critical, and article link within. Within two days of surgery, you can put your weight on your new knee unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Here's a listing of exercises that have helped me out greatly;

- leg lifts - 20-40 twice a day,
- side to side leg slides - 20-40 twice twice a day,
- heel slides - 20-40 twice a day, hold in extended position 5-10 seconds,
- foot slides - while sitting, slide your foot backwards on the floor, using your other foot to assist if needed, and hold for about 20-30 seconds. You may have to move forward a little yourself. This may be a bit painful.
- Ways to Elevate Your Leg While Sitting At A Desk - I use a computer case,
- if physical therapy calls for it, a 4-pound weight on the knee for 2-4 minutes,
- take a walk around the house, inside and out, and maybe to the mailbox and the corner, and if you can, walk further, and,
- in a swimming pool, walk forwards, backwards, and sideways - 3-4 laps each

It helps also if you do upper body exercises with weights and stretchy items. Don't have weights at home? Improvise.

But first, talk with your physical therapist to determine what program is best for you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Growing Up Deaf" Post Update

Back in my Growing Up Deaf - Part 6 post, I mentioned something about a character called P. Mooney. Apparently, I was using the wrong search keywords. I tried again recently and found something.

...and a closeup of the puppet on page 4...

...and then there's the Whee post on a blog called School of Blog...

Amazing what we find when we remember more...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Researching Your Knee Replacement - Part 3

As mentioned in the previous two posts, doing your research and pre-op activities can help the healing process along. For getting around, you may need some walking aids like cane and walker/rollator. Sometimes a wheelchair helps if you can borrow one. Many good drugstores have canes for up to $30. Membership warehouses such as Sams Club may have collapsible canes.

You may need to go through a home/inpatient program and then outpatient before you do things at home on your own. Will you go right on home after hospital discharge or will you go to a rehab facility? When I had an occupational therapist come to my house, I showed her what I could do as she listed them. The only things I could not do was put the trash out front and get down the last few steps (split level home - ground level to lower - no handrails) for the laundry.

Most important is how to get home and in the house. Driving yourself is out if you use the operated leg for driving. You may not be able to drive for about several weeks.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Researching Your Knee Replacement - Part 2

In Marie's Getting Prepared for a TKR post, I agree with her that preparing your living space is an important thing. Not doing so can really cause problems. At first, I thought steps were going to be a problem, but I didn't have to worry. Going up I can do, but I go down backwards. The rehab center's physical therapists agreed with me when I said that I'd be able to better use the steps after the other knee was done.

Don't forget the bathroom. A commode chair with handgrips and a shower seat can help BIG TIME! Bed Bath and Beyond may have a grab bar that uses suction cups. You can get a handheld shower head as well as a tub bar. Plastic lawn chairs are great. I used one when I had my arthroscopy on both knees in 1994 and 1995. Check ebay and Craigs List including other auction/seller sites, but be careful of what you're getting and ASK QUESTIONS of the seller.

All these things can be picked up over time before the surgery. Sure, it might drive some people nuts, but it's going to save them from having to deal with you when you need help most.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Rest of the Story

There was this young boy, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who just about grew up in newsrooms, building his own radio sets. His frequent contributions to radio and communications lent him a spot in the Radio Hall of Fame. While at KCOK in St. Louis, a girl walked into his life whom would he would marry.

When both moved to Chicago, both combined their talents into a newroom career. He created his own style of delivery while one of his radio programs, one of which was "The Rest Of The Story." He could be heard on numerous radio stations and had many more fans. Each story described a certain well-known person in history, ending with him revealing who he just described, with a " you know the rest of the story." If you missed the broadcasts, he published "The Rest Of The Story." I read them years ago, and they're quite a good read since I couldn't understand the radio what with my hearing loss.

He was one of 14 recipients of the presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, given by President Bush.

He passed away February 28, 2009, at age 90 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Thanks for your contributions, Paul Harvey.

And now you know...the rest of the story.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Researching Your Knee Replacement - Part 1

Not researching your upcoming surgery and asking your doctor questions can backfire in terms of nasty surprises and then some arising from false assumptions. Even I had a few unexpected things pop up. This is not a surgery to take lightly. It's something that *WILL* change your life to a degree and the road to recovery will take a LOT of work.

Robin's Total Knee Replacement site was the first I visited. She underwent two total knee replacements (TKR). It's got links for TKR and hip replacements sites. Her knee's inability to straighten out at first mirrors me at the moment, as seen in her TKR entry updated July 1998. Exercise and walking can help in straightening it out more, including swimming.

Marie wrote Is a Total Knee Replacement Worth It? Her experiences nearly mirror mine. It was worth it despite being in a rehab facility for 3 weeks. I went from bedbound to using a walker.

While beds in hospitals and some at nursing homes and rehab facilities are adjustable in height, your own bed may not be. It may help to keep something nearby to get up onto it if it's higher than normal.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Deaf-Blind Man Facing Child Porn Charges

Someone passed this article on to me, Deaf, sight-impaired man not competent to face child porn charges, about a deaf-blind man who is accused of uploading child porn pics to a website. Another search found me this article, Attorney General Abbott's Investigators Arrest Waco Student Following Child Porn Indictments.

The major issue I see here is that when he uploaded the pics to the website, he had to have known where he was uploading it and what he was uploading. He had to have known that what he was doing was wrong, even with low english and/or communication skills. According to AG Abbott's site, Lopez was enrolled in Texas State Technical College's Computer Maintenance Technology program. At least some good English skills are needed to get on the internet and be enrolled in college classes.

However, we know how hackers can at times remotely take over or zombie a computer. Was Lopez knowledgeable enough with his computer to know something may be wrong with it? Did he notice anything amiss like unusual slowdowns or extra files? Did he use some sort of protection on it like a firewall or malware/virus checkers?

I wonder if they've tried to make him understand the charges by rephrasing things in a lower grade level.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Technology and Equal Access

Interesting vlog titled We, Deafies have equal access to today's techology. NOT! She has MANY good points, especially when she said that we still have a long way to go in catching up.

I was in the hospital in 2003 for a bad infection and December 2008 for knee surgery. I had the same problem as RLM in the comments when he was trying to use the call button on his hospital bed. I had my hearing aids on/off and I could hear/feel them talk, but that was it. All I could do is tell them I needed them for something. At one DC Metro stop's turnstile near the elevator, when my farecard didn't work a couple times, I had to press the help button. When someone said something, I just said "I'm deaf, I can't understand you."

It shouldn't be too hard to put some sort of notification to note that a patient in a room has a hearing loss and may or may not be able to respond to the patent pressing the call button.

But, technology *CAN* be used to create things to allow someone at the other end to respond. If that's created, one problem that will be faced is those who will abuse and vandalize it.

When it's inclusive of everyone, then we know we've gotten some inroads somewhere. We've got at least some with the TTY phones in airports and other places. But in the meantime, sometimes you gotta depend on other people.

Technology, indeed. It can be good and a curse at the same time...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seeing the Knee Doctor - Part 2

Just saw the knee surgeon again. He said my flexion (knee bending), around 85-90 degrees, is an improvement from the last appointment. However, my extension (knee straight out) is still around 10-15 degrees. I have a computer case under the desk and stretch the leg and knee on it while I'm using the computer, keyboard on lap.

I've completed the homebound phase, the inpatient therapy. I'm now in outpatient therapy. Since the last visit, I've been using the cane more. I'm trying to walk some without it, but it's not an easy thing. For some exercises, I can only do under a therapist's supervision, like bike machines and related.

However, he told me something quite interesting. In some surgeries, a TKR splits the quadriceps muscle to get at the bone, moves it aside, or something like that. In my case, he cut it, making a caret (^) shaped cut above the patella (kneecap). This most likely explains why I had so much trouble trying to do leg lifts and side to side movements for 2-3 weeks.

It's getting easier to do stovetop cooking. I did a recent dinner, and the left knee (with TKR) merely ached from being tired and the right one was hurting some and becoming a bit stiff. A far cry from when the left would hurt quite a bit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Funny Moment 2: Free Movie Admission

Some years ago when I was living in Illinois, I watched a lot of movies in the local theatres. At one point one of the local theatres was offering free admission just for bringing a comb.

Well, I had one of those huge novelty combs.

I couldn't resist.

When I got to the ticket counter, I pulled out my huge comb from under my pants leg. The line behind me promptly went to pieces...

I got my free movie. Good movie, it was.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Will Be Assimilated. Your Culture Will Be Adapted...

It was interesting to read Shel: A Deaf Canadian's Thoughts blog post on the Borg metaphor (post 1 / post 2).

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. Resistance is futile."

This particular Star Trek character is well-known for its assimilation of cultures and worlds rather than learning by experience. In a way, the nondisabled hearing world is like the Borg, attempting to "cure" disabled people. Some don't want to be helped, since they're satisfied the way they are. So far, we've got CIs, joint replacements, robotic walking assistance, to name a few technological advances.

"We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own."

Some other modern day cultures are like this. I wrote something like this for a class, inserting Borg quotes. Some cultures have stayed with the old traditions. Can we preserve and move a culture into current technologies at the same time? As someone says, they become "westernized" upon the introduction of techology. Are we forcing people to give up something in order to "live better?"

"Your culture will adapt to service us."

But then there's those who still have to give up something. Some cultures only have a spoken or visual history, and could be lost if it's not passed it on. Technology can only go so far when it comes to documenting and/or preserving cultural history.

"Resistance is futile."

...or is it?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rube Goldberg + Architect + Home = A-maze-ing / Inauguration

The New York Times has an interesting story titled Mystery on Fifth Avenue. In short, an architect remodeled a living area and turned it into a Rube Goldberg style game, having them go different places in the house to find different clues.

Be careful what you ask for when you talk to the renovator and make sure they don't have any practical jokes or brainbuster ideas in mind... You may may get a headache trying to figure out the clues and hope you don't have to dismantle the entire house to get to the last one.

Obama's inauguration was interesting to watch, but in some cases, security was overkill. I mean, seriously, closing 395 except to local traffic? Close it further up the road before it gets to the bridge. Close 3-4 metro stations, make some exit-only, entrance-only? Good grief... The only thing I can applaud them for is the placement of the Jumbotrons, displaying captions on them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Seeing the Knee Doctor

I had a recent appointment with the knee surgeon. One question I asked confirmed what I had thought the entire time. He agreed with me that the knee would have fused itself at an angle within 1-2 years. In short, I did this at a good time, despite having to put my classes and other things on hold. This could be a good thing with this recession.

While at the office, they did three x-rays and it was quite interesting seeing the new knee setup. It helped that I talked with people and done research on what I was getting myself into. That pretty much makes it easier to talk with the doctor on his level to an extent.

One thing with the home therapy people... It'll be straight exercises, and I won't be using the CPM (Continuous Pulsing Motion) machine since I don't quite have the full range of motion on the knee, currently 10 to about 75-80 degrees. This can be good, especially with a few tight muscles I have, one of which is in the back of the knee. They'll be here 3-4 times a week, with me doing exercises on my own when they're not.

Most of the strips across the incision have fallen off and it looks quite good. I've not needed pain meds at all. Before the surgery, it was painful going up the steps, getting in and out of the car, etc. Today, almost *NO* pain.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We Need Net Neutrality!

I came across this article while cleaning up my inbox post-surgery and came across this article titled Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web.

There's good reason for having net neutrality. We don't want to be slowed down to a crawl. How fast this crawl would be could be dependent on the provider. We do not want landline modem speeds (14.4K to 56K) while major companies with deep pockets get the higher speeds.

For example, a T-1 line is 1.5 mbps, OC1 is 51.85mbps, and OC24 is 1.244gbps. One DSL line is about the speed of a T1 line. A normal NIC card can do upwards of 100mbps, while a gigabit card, essentially a fiber optic line, may be the equivalent of an OC24 line. I may be a bit off on these figures, though.

Putting this in perspective... A CD can hold 700 megs. Downloading this on a 56K line would take 2-3 days. On a normal cable line, it can be 20-30 minutes. On an OC line, about several minutes. All this depends on line conditions.

Obama said "Once providers start to give privilege to some Web sites and applications over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out, and then we all lose." Check this...

Obama's Broadband Plan

A president that understands the internet! We need that. He's absolutely right. This essentially means that any small website may never get the chance to show itself off, especially when it starts selling items and/or add advertisements. This means that only the major companies will be the winners, possibly locking out the smaller users. This can also affect how well our VPs can be used. Too slow a speed, and you'll get the equivalent of a slideshow or unusable video.

We don't want that, do we?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More on the Knees and Surgery - Final

After much anticipation, I got home Saturday afternoon after I signed some paperwork and Jamie took me home. With some difficulty, I managed to get up the stairs. The steps will get easier in time.

The interpreters did a good job despite the somewhat crowded rehab room throughout my stay at the rehab facility. I did manage to meet a few of the residents. One resident in particular that stands out is one who appears to be a little younger than I am, and is working on her body strength. We talked about total knee replacements as well, which could help her some. Another resident had a combination hip and knee replacement.

One interesting thing was my transport from the hospital to rehab center. There was a transport team of two people, one who was deaf, that was assigned to me. While his partner drove the short distance to the facility, we managed to talk the entire way. They did a rather good job with communications and humor, particularly when I nearly managed to move myself. The deaf fellow said he had been on the job for 3 years, and it was only this year that he encountered two other deaf before me.

Other than that, I've got an appointment after this weekend with the surgeon and will be having a home therapist help out with things.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More on the Knees and Surgery - Part 6

Well, it's been a few days since I last posted, but things have been changing quite a bit here. I've still got the interpreters, and physical and occupational therapy have been working with me to get me to go home...

Not Tuesday... Not Thursday... But Saturday.

Seems it was due to insurance reasons. Don't ask me why.

That plus occupational therapy has been putting me through the motions of seeing what I can do at home. They watched me take a shower using a bath seat, make something in the kitchen, go up and down steps (I'm still doing it sideways due to my other knee needing a replacement), and some other things. I'll probably be taking a couple items home to help out with recovery. Seems I'm pretty much an independent guy.

I'm actually walking much further with the help of a walker. Not sure when I'll be able to graduate to a cane and when I'll be able to fully straighten out the knee. I'll be having that CPM machine and home therapy as well. A hearing blog, Booktoots's Weblog, has been my source of information about someone else who went through the same thing.

Sherlock says I'll be having some future posts about my experiences in his Deaf Anthology's post of the Deaf Sherlock post. He's right. I'll be posting some thoughts about what I went through. It's not all negative, rather, mostly positive. Give me a little time to do a writeup.