Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Strobe

One of the things that worried me most when I lost my hearing was how I would be able to hear my morning alarm. Without my hearing aids, I am virtually deaf, and I had panic attacks about how I would wake up in time to get to work. Initially, the solution involved my husband waking me at an ungodly hour before he left for work in the early (early-early) morning. I used the extra time to watch the morning news, drink my coffee, and catch up on Facebook. But it meant having to go to bed after supper!

I knew this solution was only temporary -- my husband goes on trips for work, and he had a big hunting trip coming in November.  I began to fret over what I would do when he wasn't there. Having two German Shepherds, I wondered if I could train them to wake me when they heard my phone alarm. I picked a tune that they naturally howled at and reinforced them with doggie biscuits to wake me when they heard it. My female, Penny, had it down the first morning!

They love sleeping indoors with us (They love the biscuits, too!), and they are faithful to wake me, sometimes jumping up to put their paws on the bed beside me. (It is interesting that my husband changed his alarm tune to the same one as mine for a time. The dogs knew it wasn't my alarm and didn't howl at all! So smart!) As a backup plan, I ordered a Sonic Boom alarm clock with a bed shaker. I set it to go off a minute after the phone alarm, but I seldom need it. The dogs are that good! I haven't overslept since I lost my hearing!

I recently learned that my iPhone also has accessibility features for the hard-of-hearing. There is a strobe that can be used with the alarm. I turned it on, but it hasn't been much of a factor in waking me. It's not bright enough to wake me from a dead sleep.

Until Monday morning, that is.

Being the first Monday of my summer vacation, I was a little annoyed that the strobe chose this day to wake me. I thought I had turned the alarm off.

As I rolled over to turn it off, I noticed Penny asleep on the floor beside me. She wasn't howling. And my phone wasn't flashing.

It was Mother Nature's strobe. I'd been roused from my sleep by lightning.

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