That Magical Feeling

No one likes having a full bladder and not being able to use the toilet. Except the looming ultrasound scan was almost imminent. Just half an hour left to go in trying to hold it. Jeez!

Previously, on the bus journey over to the women’s health day unit, I felt good compared to my last experience. Then, I was worrying and contemplative but this time around, it is what it is. Of course the results will be anticipated, I just do not wish to borrow tomorrow’s troubles prematurely.

Right now, what I am really looking forwards to is emptying my bladder! I really cannot hold it any more, it does say on the letter if one is desperate to go, they can release a tiny amount but to replace it by drinking more water immediately afterwards. Half an hour’s wait, too painful. Sod it.

A moment’s relief was soon brimming once more at the rim. “Bloody hell, how much longer can I hold it in for?” I thought… Recalling various moments of banter where I had teased others about listening to running taps and picturing waterfalls, that amused me still. (That made you chuckle I am sure.)

A woman suddenly appeared and asked to see my letter, who said, “I will call you in, in a few mins.” “Heck, I had just relieved myself of a little – was that little enough?” I hoped it was.

Her face was priceless as she first started the scan “Whoa! Your bladder is very full! You would not have made it if you had to wait until your allocated time!” She had called me in 20 mins early. By this time, I was bursting once again and once I was permitted to empty my bladder, it seemed never-ending. A bit, like when Austin powers was defrosting from his cryogenic period and they made him use the urinal. Funny indeed.

More probing… More questions. “Have you had an operation before? Do you have a lot of pain?” Etc. Some I answered yes to and others, no.

Finally, all was done and she informed me that I needed to see my GP in a weeks’ time for the results.

Once again, patience has to prevail.

I feel okay, perhaps detached, which might be a defence mode of mine or subconsciously being strong, for others. I have been here before albeit in different circumstances so I have been prepared in a sense for anything, if anything.

I decided to take a detour on my way home to the high street, for some “me time” to reflect on today’s roller coaster of a ride. Do I hide the fact I have had a smear test and ultrasounds from my kids as not to worry or remind them of our ordeal last time around… Alternatively, do I stick to a habit of a lifetime of which honesty is the best policy? The latter I decided on.

magicalfeeling

Walking through the high street, the Christmas cheer was welcomed. My immediate family does not celebrate Christmas but the kids get do gifts for being good. That magical feeling is certainly present and today it helped. The twinkling lights, shimmering tinsel, glowing smiles, scent of pine trees, I hope the very same magic will see me through the next few weeks of having to remain patient and positive. Some falling snow though, would add that extra magical touch in completing the overall picture. (Hint hint!)

On one hand, it is most probably nothing but on the other hand who knows. Being sporty and keeping fit does not deter what nature intended because with every beginning, there is also an end – nothing lasts forever and that is a fact of the matter, not a negative outlook as some have and may try to portray, lying to themselves in the process.

Where would we be this time tomorrow or even next year? God only knows. Life is extremely precarious and I cannot emphasise just how fragile it is to those who would much prefer to remain trivial. As I have been instructed to remember for my own sanity, other people’s shortcomings are not my problem but theirs alone.

I did feel a bit lonely today but in a good way if that is at all possible. No one I passed by knew where I had been or why and vice versa. The strangers I saw, I could not help but wonder if they too, were OK.

Family time is becoming even more so, precious – so please, do remember your loved ones and spare a thought for those you may not and do not know, for they might be lonely, cold, hungry, depressed, poor or even homeless. Especially over such wintry months. Be patient within yourself and thus with others. Not everyone will immediately appreciate that but the message is there, for those who do eventually understand, on their own terms.

Que sera, sera… Listen to your body and let nature work itself out as decreed. Do not ignore any potential symptoms or try to reign over nature, especially if the appropriate treatment could delay the inevitable, enabling your loved ones to enjoy the pleasure of your company furthermore. One day, you, they will be loving angels instead, and they will be there for us – in our hearts.

Have faith and trust in it. It all helps… That magical feeling.

Keep on smiling for it is free and does wonders. Moreover because, it suits you so… 🙂

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

The Next Hurdle

Today I had to pay the eye hospital another visit. This time around was a lot more stressful in the sense that I had to rely on the public for their kindness, patience and assistance.

I was given eye drops on the spot so a test could be undertaken. This meant my eyesight would be temporarily blurry albeit for a good few hours only. I tried not to go into panic mode as my thoughts returned to the journey home, by foot, train and bus. How would I manage all that? One pondered.

Unfortunately, patients’ names are called out at this particular hospital so I could not help but daydream, gazing at the floor, unable to focus on anyone around me. I found myself trying to listen perhaps to compensate for the temporary sight loss. Each time a name was called, I paused to see if it sounded similar to mine until one name when I thought, “Ooh, was that my name? It could have been but perhaps not because the receptionist hadn’t come to alert me.” Doubts crept in as intuition told me that was my name so I looked up to appease my nerves and saw the nurse who had earlier, done the eye drops, approaching me and with her hand, waved for me to come. I explained to her that I could not focus on anyone’s lips. She understood. The doctor DID call my name. (Go me!)

While my hearing aids enable me to hear so much more – not being able to focus, I could not really hear as well which proves to me just how much we hear with our eyes – it became clearer to me just how unfair playing the deaf card can be. I never used to question why deaf people thought they were entitled to pay only half of their TV license fees, like those with blindness do. “It’s only fair,” they would state… ‘Tis not fair at all for blindness alone causes one to be so much more dependent, stressed and isolated than deafness can. Our eyesight is extremely precious, hearing less so. However, when it is combined?

When those who happen to be deaf, try their luck in taking advantage of any privileges that is usually taken for granted, they run the risk of offending those so much more entitled. For sure, there are those who rely on solely sign language and for some it can be a matter of life or death but for most, not really, because they can at least understand the nation’s language, be it written or spoken.

The eye doctor, who made every effort possible to speak extremely clearly, put me at ease very quickly. I could see enough to gauge, and what to do next all the while making mental notes of how it felt being unable to see, so clearly, for your information.

For example, I noticed how much more comfortable it felt to look down, it put less pressure on my eyes and relatively, my headache – no or less visible noise for my eyes to try to focus on. I also wondered if I was standing and holding myself, gazing to the side as a blind person usually do.

Eventually, I was free to go except the prospect of the journey home filled me with utter dread.

How was I going to cross the roads safely? How was I going to know which destination on the train it would be or which line the train was? Alternatively, which stop it was? How this and that, I could not answer.

hurdles

The first hurdle was taking a few tentative steps outside but I had to be brave and just go for it. I expected to see a green man at a crossing to indicate when it was safe to cross but it was not a man, just a green blob.

I had no choice but to retrace my steps home – from memory with an abundance of patience.

The next hurdle was checking I had the right (train) platform home. I decided I could only follow the colour of the tube lines I needed and then when I needed direction as to take which platform, I took consciously longer to look at the shape of the words, indicating its destination. Did the size and outline of their word match the word I had, in my mind? If it did not, it had to be the wrong platform. I had to triple check with myself before I had the confidence that I was going in the right direction.

The next hurdle was to be sure of the next train’s destination, or was it to be a train meant for elsewhere? Under so much stress, I reminded myself to look at the word once again; did the size and outline match? Yes it did – quick double check, yes off I jumped onto the tube. How would I know when it was my stop? This was not my usual or local train so from memory I recalled the stops on my way there, counting on my fingers – putting each finger down for each stop. When the time came to change lines, I underwent the same motions not once but twice more. On the last tube change, I could start to relax being in familiar territory.

The next hurdle was in catching the bus home. The people traffic by then had worn me out; having been on tenterhooks the whole journey, hoping people would be mindful and patient with someone who may have looked extremely lost.

As I stood at the bus stop, leaning against it, I could see in the distance a bus but it was stationary. At least it is coming, or so I thought. I realised I was still waiting… The bus had not yet arrived yet it was still there, in the distance. Perhaps something serious had happened. Still, I was kept waiting. What could the matter be? I then wondered if… the bus was actually a bus or a town house. Of course, that explained it!

Finally, a bus turned up except no one could get on it. By this time, I put my instinct into people power and followed them to the next bus behind. I was completely exhausted, mentally.

There were several text messages for me, on my mobile; I tried to remain calm, not being able to read them to understand if my kids urgently needed me. I had to ignore the texts… of which, my daughter read for me once I got home and responded to.

Of course as with last time, I later indulged in some sensuous chocolates but that is no longer important as I know there will be many more trips to endure to and from the eye hospital yet I do not mind because I anticipate that with each insightful experience, one will become wiser for it.

My respect is well and truly reserved for those who genuinely need attention, not those who want attention.

Let us move on from campaigning for additional deaf rights, more deaf awareness when we should be supporting those campaigning for more deafblind rights and awareness since it would benefit every single one of us.  If it were not for any of the colour designated posts, i.e. green man, different colour tube lines, I would not have managed to get home – independently. Who then, deserves our consideration and assistance, the most?

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Survival Of The Fittest

survivalofthefittest

Today I read something that resonated with me, so much so that I just had to create this post.

The blacksmith would heat the metal to a certain temperature to melt off specific impurities, and then he would raise the temperature higher to melt off other impurities. This process would continue until the original ore was purified.

This provided me with the perfect analogy for what trials and tribulations has been decreed for us all, by God’s will.

Any attributes that does not meet the standard would then be filtered out and those who did, would go on to be tested further within our capabilities, until there was some respite in the form of happiness. We are all subjected to alternative waves of different trials and tribulations to help define who we are.

Any undesirables would then, always have their true colours exposed, be found out and then removed. Filtered.

It is also quite the test of good manners, to be patient with the bad ones.

Hence why I see it as a case of, a survival of the fittest.

Always be the best that you can be and strive to be as righteous as you can be.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

What Is A Hate Incident?

hate

I was reminded of an incident that happened to me some years ago, by the actions of this hateful woman who very recently hurled verbal abuse non-stop for about five minutes at a pregnant woman because of her religion. Not only that, she threatened to kick her in the stomach. The only thing I feel able to say in response to this offender is to “Take a look in the mirror”. For people to realise such hypocrisy. Her ancestors are neither white nor British – how dare she tell this innocent woman, to go back where she came from.

My memory of a potentially hateful incident serves as follows…

I was shopping one day in a maternity shop, for a gift to purchase for my sister who was expecting her second baby. I spied some pyjamas in the sale for my young daughter so I stretched my hand out to pick it off the rail. However, this woman snatched it from my hands and said it was hers. It was on the rails so how could it be hers I exclaimed. She refused to let go of the hanger and the garments I had picked up. There was a battle of words and anger took hold. She was absolutely vile.

We were in a maternity store and there she was, kicking me in the stomach with one aim, she obviously assumed I was pregnant and aimed to maim. The security guard and my husband rushed to pull us off one another yet she continued to kick me in the stomach. I had a life-saving operation on my stomach 2 years before and had to see the GP to be on the safe side.

It was more than clear to the shop’s staff that the instigator was, along the lines of not being respectable, good mannered and well-behaved. The contrast was rather apparent.

I was looked after while this vile woman was escorted off the premises, I had asked the shop’s manager for the police to be called so I could have it ‘on paper’ what happened in case the, let’s say… ‘ABH’, actually did some harm or long-term damage to my already fragile stomach. The police were not called but the shop very kindly put me into a pre-paid taxi for my safety, homeward bound.

Should my request then, for the Police to be involved, be respected or not?

Did my deafness hinder my opportunities to keep on top of the situation regarding what happened?

In addition, is it a positive thing that my deafness hindered me from understanding / knowing what was actually said to me during the incident? I feel somewhat fortunate that my deafness prevented me from being as exposed to the verbal abuse from her and her acquaintances.

Just to clarify any notions that this incident may have been along the lines of hearing vs deaf or vice versa. This is not the case as most people were not aware of my hearing impairment until after the incident, due to a hat I was wearing which covered my ears, therefore my HA’s.

I had to take it all in my stride as with everything else, as a good experience and challenge.

One of the problems with being deaf is that everyone else knows who we are yet we do not know who they (the hearing people) are.

All they have to say / think when they see us, ‘that’s the one who is deaf’… they can identify / recognise us.

We can change how we look, our names but not our disability, which at times, renders us vulnerable. Disability hate crime does exist.

I have since bought several personal alarms (key-ring pull ones) for my children. I already had one at the time but was unable to use it during this particular experience.

It is quite unfortunate my children were with me at the time and they were extremely distraught.

Advice given to me by a friend at the time was that I could always “go along to the police station and ask to speak to someone about it. They can still go back to the shop, ask questions, and if necessary take action. It is not always the best idea to call the cops in the heat of the moment as it can escalate hostilities” so they assured me I did right there.

To quote him;

“What is a hate incident?

When a person or group of people treats someone badly just because they do not like whom they are.

Why does this happen?

Some people bully or hurt other people who are different from them because:

#They are disabled

#they have a different colour skin

#they wear different clothes

#they are old

#they are young

#they are gay

#they go to a place of worship e.g. church or mosque

If this happens to you or someone you know tell someone. There is nothing wrong in being different.”

Report it, always. http://www.report-it.org.uk/home

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Where Would It All End?

An extremely thorny subject for me to discuss however, I want to try to help warn girls out there against those who may try to use such tactics,that are basically, forms of sexual exploitation.

What I find most disturbing is that this form of sexual exploitation can occur at any age but perhaps the younger they are, the more vulnerable. However, adults are victims too, without realising it.

How many times has a person be it a friend or online asked you for a photo of yourself? This is otherwise known as ‘Sexting’. They will send you a photo of themselves, and pester you for a photo of yourself. You refuse to send one yet the pressure increases in their coercion tactics because they have sent you several and declare it is only fair you send them one in return. One fully clothed innocent photo will only give way to the next, and the next, and the next… They see their chance in this test of theirs and seize that path in exploiting you further. Where would it all end?

They ask to meet up with you, make you their best friend, their rock. Tell you they like you and make the first move, engineering a sense of love and happiness. Despite your being so guarded due to past experiences and fears of being hurt yet again– they realise this and reassure you they are not like that, tricking you into bringing down your defensive walls. They eventually enter your heart with their charms and constant attention. The intimacy is gradually geared up, making you believe it is all consensual. Any doubts are swayed by illusions and their desire to control and dominate you. They may expect favours or sex in return, without you having any immediate recognition. Except, once they are satisfied and no longer have any need for you, their true colours are shown.

Where would it all end? I ask once more. In heartbreak, of course but the worst kind ever. Weighed down even more so by the losses of confidence, appetites, faith, trust and heightened fear of people – especially those in authority. Depression, withdrawal and mood swings. Disliking shows of affection or invasions of personal space such as being hugged or touched once more, simply because they cannot handle it – it becomes too much. Loss of sleep and/or nightmares. Increasing levels of frustrations and resistance – people are kept at a distance and a degree of aggressiveness is displayed when any personal connections are attempted in order to push them further away. One may even turn to drugs, or more having had potentially their souls destroyed by being built up to mean something so special only to be trampled upon.

These are some of the warning signs associated with not just sexual exploitation and grooming but unfortunately the broader spectrum of exploitation in abuse or neglect also.

Be strong, do not be afraid to speak up or report people for their actions and the consequences of which they are responsible for. My only regret is that I let far too much time pass before I found the confidence and courage to be honest, with myself and others. I most certainly am not willing to lie or cover for any one else.

Please, keep your wits about you and guard your virtues 🙂

Time is the best medicine.
Time is the best healer.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow…

Somewhere over the rainbow...
Somewhere over the rainbow…

Hold your horses!

‘Tis not the Wizard of Oz version but this one from an awesome movie called “Face Off”. I still remember the very first time I laid eyes on this film, a particular scene has stayed with me since then because….

In my experience, being deaf in a hearing world can be such a cacophony of experiences, which can make it a most chaotic place to mingle, so much so that I tend to find myself wanting to tune out, recoiling into a world of my own. Some may say for one’s own sanity and protection, a chance to cease what mental fight there may be. A moment’s retreat is I suspect, what aids me in retaining a calm composure thus enabling me to think with more clarity whilst observing such a discordance of unrest and triviality.

Deaf people are oftentimes overwhelmed with what I term visual “white noise” the very moment we leave the protection of our homes, such as strangers’ faces distorting in order to express and enunciate. In going about their hasty routines, people appear to be clamouring. The meaningless bass sounds of congestion produced by the ongoing traffic. The wayward sounds of any tempestuous weather is lost and therefore, in vain. All of which, are seen and felt but not heard.

Meanwhile there are those of us who may be able to associate sounds with said actions, perhaps from memory or facilitated by hearing aids but silence otherwise, is at times golden, by giving us some respite from the full extent and purposes of sounds.

Yet being able to hear and appreciate music is quite something else to cherish hence, another reason why, I love this scene so albeit from differing perspectives.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Written to conclude my “Silence is Golden” article. 🙂