In August of last year, I started suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I went to see my primary physician, and they referred me to a local ENT office (ear, nose, & throat). They were able to see me rather quickly, within a few short days. However, in these few short days I lost my hearing. It was that quick.
I should give some background since this is the start of a new blog. I am 36 years old, been married 15 years, and have two children. Luke is 6, and Natalie is 4. When I was pregnant with Natalie, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I did quite well with it for several years, but this past year has certainly been the hardest.
I still have severe bilateral hearing loss, but in addition, I have some vision loss. I started having problems with the vision in September, but it has since improved some and found sort of a holding place. It’s difficult to describe how things look now, but I’ll try. I can see some things very clearly, but I have a sort of oblong white cloud on the left side. Also, colors are very distorted. I can recognize some bright colors like red or pink, as long as they aren’t terribly light. If they are surrounded by too much light, they are completely washed out. I need high contrast in order to distinguish objects or faces. I am able to read, but it is very tiring as I have to concentrate intently on keeping my place on the page. I do most of my reading on the computer or my Kindle Fire with high contrast settings or white lettering on a dark background.
That last bit was somewhat of a rabbit trail. I’ll have plenty of time to explain things here on the blog, but I wanted to explain where the title, “Still Mindy” came from.
When I first lost my hearing I was really struggling with my new identity as a deaf person, and was struggling to have hope that it was only temporary. I was talking with my dad about it, and he encouraged me by reminding me that, deaf or hearing, I am still Mindy. That really struck a cord with me, and I held onto it. I even used it to give myself my ASL (American Sign Language) name. So the first explanation for the name is that I will always remain true to who I am, no matter what.
The second part of the explanation is even more exciting, in my opinion. This whole experience has led me to a deeper relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been clinging to Him throughout it all. For many months it was dynamic, and He was speaking o me and teaching me new things. And then it stopped. I knew He was still there, but He wasn’t saying anything. I kept praying and begging for a word, and then one day it came. He said in Exodus 14:14 that He is fighting for me, and I need to hold my peace. I didn’t think anything of it, but then the next day the same verse came to me through an entirely different format. It’s been a couple of months and I keep asking what I should be *doing*, and He just keeps telling me to BE STILL.
So. I am still Mindy, and I am learning to be still, in God’s presence and peace. And along the way, I’ll be sharing what I’m learning, what makes me laugh, what makes me cry, and I hope that you will join me and let it bless you!