Seen & Heard: Glenice Swenson

6 07 2012

Glenice Swenson, a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), made her Seen & Heard profile debut in the July/August 2012 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which just arrived in member mailboxes. Seen & Heard is a new column I developed for the magazine in 2011. We had 48 members get enthusiastically involved in our first outreach effort and just last week I photographed more than 20 members during HLAA’s Convention 2012 in Providence, R.I. We’ll be publishing one or two profiles (as space allows) in each issue of the bimonthly magazine. Other members previously profiled were Danielle Nicosia, John Kinstler, Judy Martin, Anne Taylor, Sam Spritzer and Jeff Bonnell and Eloise Schwarz.

Join the Hearing Loss Association of America!
Do you have a hearing loss or know someone who does? Consider membership in the Hearing Loss Association of America. Student annual dues are $20, individual annual dues are $35, and family/couple annual dues are $45. Fees outside the U.S. are slightly higher. All memberships include discounts on hearing-related products, convention and special event early bird discounts, AVIS and Alamo car rental, and the award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine. Sign up for membership here.

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GLENICE SWENSON  

Owatonna, MN / born Sept. 2 in Grand Forks, ND

WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT MY DAUGHTER, JANA… I love many things about Jana and today I love that she chose an education and profession that makes her incredibly aware of what it is like to be hard of hearing. Because she pursued her degree in Deaf Studies and is a sign language interpreter (even though I do not sign) we have had many interesting conversations about subjects regarding challenges of people with hearing loss.

MY HEARING LOSS… Although my mother and my pediatrician suspected there might be an issue with my hearing, I wasn’t actually diagnosed until I was 14. The junior high I was attending did a screening of all 9th graders in preparation for high school. As recommended by my school, my mother took me to our doctor to be checked out and they found I had some hearing loss—possibly progressive. When I was 18, I graduated from high school. I decided I better find out more about this hearing loss diagnosis. At that point it was determined that it was definitely progressive as I had lost more since the diagnosis. At the age of 28, I got my first pair of hearing aids. When I was 44, I had my first cochlear implant surgery. I currently hear fabulously with bilateral cochlear implants. Life is grand.

SAGE ADVICE… During my most challenging years of hearing loss, I did not have a support system other than my hearing family as I knew nothing about support groups and none were readily available. My advice is join HLAA, seek out others with hearing loss, learn what your options are, and use the tools and technology that is so available in this modern day!

MY FUNNY HEARING LOSS MOMENT… After a family gathering, I was out with some of my cousins who I didn’t see very often. We were having a great time in one of the local bar and grill joints when it was time to close. As is the tradition to signal closing, they shut the lights out and without skipping a beat, I said, ‘Oh, no! I go deaf in the dark.’ When the lights came back on, the cousin I had been visiting was looking a little uncomfortable, but chuckling and grinning from ear to ear, was looking at me with an expression of surprise. He had no idea that I had a sense of humor about my hearing loss and need to read lips.

DISADVANTAGES OF A HEARING LOSS… It takes a lot of energy to pursue the same things as hearing people.

ADVANTAGES OF A HEARING LOSS… I don’t usually think of hearing loss in terms of advantages. Communication in our house is a priority. We developed many communication rules and courtesies in our home during the years I was losing my hearing and our daughters were growing up. I think the courtesies enhanced my relationships with my daughters. The fact that I needed to stop whatever I was doing to read their lips and focus my attention on them was a good thing.

WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I WANTED TO BE… in the Navy, a WAVE! My second choice was to be a hairstylist. Due to my hearing loss, I did not get to serve my country as a Navy WAVE. I did go back to school for cosmetology after having my children. I ended up leaving that profession after three years when I had reached the point where I could no longer make appointments by phone.

MY FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY… is my first bike! When I was seven, my dad had a friend who knew he was looking for a little bike for me. His friend was working out at the Grand Forks Air Force Base when he spotted a little bike in someone’s trash. It was awful, but my dad was great at fixing things up. He worked on it until it pedaled like a dream and it was fast too. He was going to paint it my favorite color—blue. Dad got the primer on it, which was an ugly gray. I was trying it out before he got it finished and discovered how fast it was. When the neighborhood kids saw me riding this bike and how fast I was going, they wanted to try it. The next thing I knew one of the boys got out a stop watch and we were timing each other to see who could get around the block the fastest. That bike was so busy getting ridden that it never got painted blue.

THE FIRST THING I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY WAS… a bike! I started babysitting when I was about 12. I saved my money until I had enough to buy my first big bike. I ended up finding a used 26” blue bike for $13.

THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE… When I read this question, the memory that jumps out at me is my last hearing test before I qualified for the cochlear implant. When the audiologist went to get the picture board to give me clues to the words she was saying, I knew it was bad. Getting through that testing session was really hard.

I LOVE THE SOUND OF… I did not hear birds for many, many years. Even with my hearing aids, I never got the songbirds back, only the coo of a dove. With my cochlear implants, I can hear all birds! There is a pair of cardinals that live in my neighborhood and it still chokes me up when I hear them. I love listening to the birds. I also love listening to my grandchildrens’ giggles.

IN MY SPARE TIME, I… I’m almost always reading something. I enjoy getting outside to Trikke, bike, or walk. I also enjoy swinging kettlebells and going to kickboxing.

I MOST DEFINITELY AM NOT… a couch potato, except when I’m working on my laptop!

I MISS… my kids and grandkids. They are spread out from 40 to 1,000 miles away.

HOBBIES? photography, writing, sewing, crocheting

PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED THAT I… like motorcycles and used to have one.

MY LITTLE KNOWN TALENT… This is a new thing that I’m doing, but I’m pretty good at carving a Trikke!

I WISH I HAD A TALENT FOR… public speaking.

YOU JUST WON A $10 MILLION LOTTERY. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?  I would plan a trip to St. Moritz in Switzerland!

MY FAVORITE PLACE TO BE… is on a ski slope when it is 28 degrees, the air smells great and the snow is perfect.

I HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR… chocolate.

I WOULD LOVE TO MEET… the Queen of England.

MY FAVORITE SEASON… is autumn. I enjoy the cooling of the air, the beautiful foliage changes and the anticipation of the holiday season.

I COLLECT… crosses in the forms of home decor and jewelry.

I HAVE A FEAR OF… big bridges.

YOU HAVE JUST WON A $1,000 SHOPPING SPREE TO A FAVORITE STORE! WHAT DID YOU BUY? I would probably get an iPad and an iPhone from the Apple Store.

PLACES I’VE CALLED HOME… Warren, MN; Grand Forks, ND; Crookston, MN; Owatonna, MN

WORKING NINE TO FIVE… carhop at A & W Drive In; waitress at Del’s Coffee Shop; parking enforcement officer for the City of Grand Forks; bookkeeper and teller at Polk County State Bank of Crookston; full-time mother

MY FAVORITE FOODS… chocolate, dark cherries, peanuts, avocado, shrimp

MUSIC TO MY EARS… You and I by Stevie Wonder; Manheim Steamroller’s version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Don’t Take Away My Heaven by Aaron Neville; I Believe in You by Don Williams; Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole

LITERARY FAVES… The Bible, The Biography of Hellen Keller, The Biography of Annie Oakley, All Creatures Great and Small, Where Angels Walk

THE BIG SCREEN… Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Parent Trap, Sound of Music

THE LAST BOOK I READ WAS… The Secret

MY KIDS HAVE TAUGHT ME… patience.

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME… to never judge a book by its cover.

MY FATHER TAUGHT ME… to love music.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD? Microwave bacon cooker!

WORD OR PHRASE THAT I OVERUSE… “and stuff”

I SIMPLY CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT… chocolate!

SONG YOU LOVE BUT ARE EMBARRASSED TO ADMIT… the original recording of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause” by Jimmy Boyd

NAME SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOME THAT YOU ARE SURE MOST PEOPLE DON’T… antique Lincoln rocking chair

MY FAVORITE QUOTE… “If it was easy everyone would do it. It is the hard that makes it great.” — Coach Dugan in A League of Their Own

MY LONG-TERM GOAL IS… to write a book.

MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE IS… when people assume versus finding the truth.

RIGHT NOW I AM CRAVING… Good Earth original recipe tea.

MY MOTTO IS… never say never.

I WOULD LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED… as a good, kind and caring person.





Seen & Heard: Anne Taylor

14 01 2012

Anne Taylor, a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), made her Seen & Heard profile debut in the January/February 2012 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which just arrived in member mailboxes. Seen & Heard is a new column in our magazine and we had 48 members get enthusiastically involved in our first outreach effort! We’ll be publishing one or two profiles (as space allows) in each issue of the bimonthly magazine. Other members previously profiled were Danielle Nicosia, John Kinstler and Judy Martin.

One of Anne’s answers was really original. When asked to “Name something you have in your home that you are sure most people don’t,” she answered: “My husband!”

Join the Hearing Loss Association of America!
Do you have a hearing loss or know someone who does? Consider membership in the Hearing Loss Association of America. Student annual dues are $20, individual annual dues are $35, and family/couple annual dues are $45. Fees outside the U.S. are slightly higher. All memberships include discounts on hearing-related products, convention and special event early bird discounts, AVIS and Alamo car rental, and the award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine. Sign up for membership here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

MY HEARING LOSS… A teacher noticed I was hard of hearing when I was six years old. I have worn hearing aids all my life until two years ago. I received my first cochlear implant in August 19, 2009 and my second one on September 1, 2010.

SAGE ADVICE… Just know that you are one of approximately 36 million Americans with some level of hearing loss. Join a support group (e.g., HLAA) for information exchange.

MY FUNNY HEARING LOSS MOMENT… I thought God’s name was “Harold.” (Hallowed be thy name)

WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I WANTED TO BE… an airline stewardess.

THE FIRST THING I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY… clothes

THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE… was admit that I had a hearing loss.

I LOVE THE SOUND OF… the patter of rain, the click of a switch and my husband’s voice.

IN MY SPARE TIME, I… study in a peer mentoring program,work out, play tennis and travel.

I DEFINITELY AM NOT… stupid because I lost my hearing.

HAPPINESS IS… hearing again with cochlear implants.

I MISS… my family in England.

PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED THAT I… maintain tennis courts.

WORKING NINE TO FIVE… I was a French teacher, a barmaid and in the British Civil Service.

MUSIC TO MY EARS… “Imagine,” “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” and the “Sound of Silence”

LITERARY FAVES… 10,000 Puns, Water for Elephants, The Girl Who Played With Fire

THE LAST BOOK I READ WAS… The GIrl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

FAVORITE MOVIES… Cadence, On Golden Pond, Rainman

I AM… sympathetic, nice and friendly.

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME… to knit.

MY FATHER TAUGHT ME… to play cards.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD? Cochlear implants!

NAME SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOME THAT YOU ARE SURE MOST PEOPLE DON’T… My husband!

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? Coming out of the deaf closet

I love reading about other people’s success stories in Hearing Loss Magazine.





Seen & Heard: Judy G. Martin

15 11 2011

Judy Martin, a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), made her Seen & Heard profile debut in the November/December 2011 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which just arrived in member mailboxes. Seen & Heard is a new column in our magazine and we had 48 members get enthusiastically involved in our first outreach effort! We’ll be publishing one or two profiles (as space allows) in each issue of the bimonthly magazine. The first two members profiled were Danielle Nicosia and John Kinstler, who appeared in the the September/October 2011 issue. You can read more about their debut on my blog here.

I especially enjoyed Judy’s responses to my questionnaire—she’s very funny, interesting and outgoing and her answers definitely reflect that fact. She and I share an affinity for true crime books and tv shows and I laughed out loud when I read her long- and short-term goals. I photographed her at HLAA’s annual convention this past June, which was held in Washington, D.C.

Judy G. Martin / Jacksonville, FL / born July 15 in Columbus, NE

MY HEARING LOSS…began about age seven or eight. I got my first hearing aid at age 17 and had two hearing aids at age 42. I received my cochlear implant in January 2006 and I still wear one hearing aid.

SAGE ADVICE…Find a good audiologist. Make sure your hearing aid has a t-coil. Join or start a local HLAA chapter.

WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I WANTED TO BE A… nurse or a teacher.

THE BEST GIFT I EVER RECEIVED WAS…a blue and white two-wheeler Schwinn when I was seven.

THE FIRST THING I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY WAS… a 1965 Black Mustang with red leather interior.

THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE WAS… to quit smoking cold turkey in 1981. I had a two-pack-a-day habit. There is a story behind why I quit (not health).

I LOVE THE SOUND OF… symphony music, big band, golden oldies, birds (all kinds), wind blowing through trees, and a church choir.

IN MY SPARE TIME I… advocate for people with hearing loss and volunteer at church as acolyte, chalice minister, lector, and usher.

I MISS… New York, but not during the winter!

HAPPINESS IS… partying with my husband, family and friends.

HOBBIES? Genealogy. I have 46 first cousins and traced my German side back to the 1600s, but my Polish side eludes me and that goes back to only 1837. In 2002 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and at the same time found information that through one of my lines I was descended from French Huguenots through the Danish Huguenots. My love of genealogy and my excitement over this latest finding literally drove the fear of cancer from my heart and mind.

CITY, COUNTRY, BEACH OR MOUNTAINS? City and country. I was born on a farm, lived in the suburbs and as a young chick chose to move to Manhattan. Except for the fact that I met my first husband there, I loved every square inch of that beautiful city, from Battery Park on the tip of the island to the uppermost Inwood section, from the Hudson to the East Rivers. Although I’ve been a Florida resident for six years, I am a proud almost-lifelong New Yorker! You can take the girl out of New York but you can’t take New York out of the girl.

MY FAVORITE PLACE TO BE… is at home where I can putter.

I HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR… food.

I COLLECT: nativities and have 57 sets as of Christmas 2010. They get put up every other year because every other year we travel to New York to spend with family. During the intervening years, we travel north at Thanksgiving.

PLACES I’VE CALLED HOME… Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida

WORKING NINE TO FIVE… advertising, publishing, newspaper, church

MUSIC TO MY EARS… John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” (Tom—my husband—and my song), “Ave Maria,” “Adagio for Strings,” Mario Lanza’s “All the Things You Are,” Gershwin’s “An American in Paris”

LITERARY FAVES… Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Ann Rule’s book on Ted Bundy—The Stranger Beside Me, Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon, and Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s Understood Betsy

FAVORITE MOVIES: Them, Miracle of the Bells, Night of the Living Dead, Affair to Remember, Imitation of Life

THE LAST BOOK I READ WAS… Ann Rule’s In The Still of the Night.

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME… how to cook and how to iron men’s pants.

MY FATHER TAUGHT ME… that men can be moral and trustworthy.

GET ANYTHING GOOD IN THE MAIL LATELY? Yes—My N5 Processor!

WHAT’S THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD? Facebook!

I HAVE A FEAR OF… being stabbed to death. I read too many true crime books and watch too many true crime shows on TV.

EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL? Whoooooo? Night Owl, definitely.

SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOME THAT YOU ARE SURE MOST PEOPLE DON’T… Many, many books and three-ring binders filled with genealogy history and printouts of ancestors

MY FAVORITE POSSESSIONS ARE… my cochlear implant processors, computers, genealogy printouts and records, and finally—42 photo albums with pictures pasted in the old-fashioned way, 18,500 photos on my computer, and one box of photos and negatives to be sorted before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

EVER MEET ANYONE FAMOUS? Red Skelton, Rex Harrison, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ted Steele (bandleader from the 40s) Fred Astaire. I went around the revolving door twice with Willie Nelson at the old El Morocco.

MY LONG-TERM GOAL… is to live long-term.

MY SHORT-TERM GOAL… includes remembering what my long-term goal is.

PET PEEVE… drivers who talk or text on their cell phone while driving and weaving or driving slowly in the left lane.

RIGHT NOW I AM CRAVING… Boars Head Blazing Buffalo Chicken on white bread with fresh tomato and mayo.

IF I RULED THE WORLD… there would be no war or poverty.

MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IS… my happy 33-year marriage, my two children and through them my three grandchildren.

I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED… as a person who tried to live the best way she could—not always successfully—but with the best of intentions.

“Every issue of Hearing Loss Magazine is filled from front to back with fascinating, useful, thought-provoking, humorous, and educational articles. As a newsletter editor, I’ve done lots of interviewing and am incessantly interested (some say nosy) in the lives of others. Folks will often say they are not newsworthy, but I always respond that every life has a story. I always appreciate the absolute professionalism—the layout, the photography, the planning, the editing—of this publication. I’m proud to pass it on.” —Judy Martin