My first trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, happened when I was a junior in High School. My oldest sister's first teaching job out of college was in Jacksonville, FL and my parents decided to take the family to visit her over labor day weekend, if memory serves my correctly.
Of course, when you travel like this, and we did it rarely, you needed to hit the sights, so we drove from Jacksonville down to Orlando in a rented station wagon.
Again, if memory serves correctly, the only ride that we took while there was "It's a small world". I have no recollection of how long it took to get through the ride, but I know it took a long time for the song to get out of my head after we left Disney, and Florida. It's one of those earworms that hangs on in your head forever.
My apologies for giving you that earworm. I know I did.
This post isn't about earworms, though. It is about how small of a world we live in. In our everyday lives, we really live in a small world. Chance encounters with people we have never met before, but that have some connection to us or where we live or grew up prove that point. Then when you add in the fact that some have chronic illnesses, or some other limiting thing in our life, the world becomes even smaller. And really, in unexpected ways.
The third weekend in February, I spent 5 days in Orlando, at a Disney resort, for Cochlear Americas Celebration! 2017. While there, those of us with Cochlear implants, or baha technology, have the chance to get our processors "cleaned and checked" by a team of professionals within the Cochlear organization. This is a free service that they offer at all Celebrations. It gives them a chance to look at your equipment and recommend, if they can't do it on site, maintenance on your processor.
As I did 2 years ago at Celebration, I signed up for the clean and check. This time with two processors that I use every day and two backups. They were also demonstrating their newest processor for those that wanted to test drive it. I did not. Mine are new enough that I am very satisfied with what I have, and I am a few years from being eligible for an upgrade to a new processor.
When it was my turn to go in to the clean & check room, they directed me to a table with one of Cochlear Americas clinical audiologists. I gave her the first CI processor and she started looking it over. She asked me when I was implanted. Then where. When I told her, Mayo Clinic-Rochester, MN, She stopped what she was doing and said "My dad started the cochlear implant program at Mayo!"
I said, yeah, Dr. #####! And I looked at her name tag. Same last name. But here is where it gets to be a small world. Although her father started the CI program, he did not do my implants. He had long since retired. But, what he did do was diagnose, and treat, my Meniere's disease! 24 1/2 years after being diagnosed with Meniere's disease, the disease that would steal my hearing, I am sitting there having my Cochlear implant processors cleaned and checked by the daughter of the man that diagnosed me!
It is a small, small world!
Especially in the world of audiology and Meniere's disease.
'til next time
Just a guy trying to live with an invisible, potentially debilitating illness