Sunday, October 07, 2012

A change of plans...

So. Where to begin? I tend to compose posts in my mind when I don't have easy access to a computer or time to write. I write and re-write many posts that never make it to 'print'. And over the past few weeks I figured by the time I made it to a computer (my laptop bit the dust recently which is seriously is annoying) I would write about the struggle I was having returning to work. How frusterating I was finding my job with it's crazy schedule, how I couldn't seem to keep on top laundry or groceries or dinner. It's amazing the difference a couple of weeks can make.

Two weeks ago I was knocked off my feet, swept out to sea by the news that my sweet baby boy now has permanent hearing loss in both ears. Although if I'm honest with myself I had my suspicions, I so desperately wanted it not be true that I clung to every instances that supported my belief that he could hear just fine. He had been born with hearing loss in one ear, and though learning that a year ago had been difficult I had reached a place where days or weeks would go by without thinking about it. As we approached the summer, H had a follow up with his speech language pathologist and we got the 'all clear' that his language was on track, just as we expected it would be. Then it was time to take him to have his hearing tested again, in a booth this time using puppets and music. There were one, two, three failed attempts to measure his hearing as the summer wore on. I wasn't concerned at all, until the final failed test and something in the audiologist's voice made me think back to how long it had been since we'd put a 'plus' in the hearing column. Did he turn when we called him? Look at us when we walked in the room? Get excited if he heard his dad playing guitar but couldn't see him? And before we knew it we were taking him to the hospital to have his hearing tested under sedation, and hearing the shocking words 'permanent hearing loss'. In both ears.

We're in a holding pattern now. We don't know the severeity of the loss so we need to go for more testing. We don't know the cause, so there are more tests coming for that too. We don't know what the future holds for our dear boy. Hearing aids? Sign language? Will he be able to play with other kids? Will he struggle in school? Will we watch him fall behind from his friends? And the big one, will this keep getting worse?

I don't really know how to handle any of this. I feel I could handle whatever comes my way, but for my child? When I stop and really think about it, I feel like the walls of my heart are caving in. Grief is such a funny emotion, and it ebbs and flows with almost no warning. I'll have days of feeling very positive, euphoric almost in my release from the sadness, then the most insignificant thing can sweep me back under water.

And yet, I know this is not really a tragedy. My boy is happy, healthy and full of life. There is almost nothing that I can think of that is out of his reach. And we're so lucky to know now and not later, after he's fallen behind. I've taken so much comfort from sharing what's going on in our life and have so lucky to feel the full support of my friends and family.

Still, it's strange and unfamiliar territory where I now find myself. It almost makes me laugh, looking back to a few weeks ago where I was feeling like I needed to change careers or go back to school. Well, I was looking for a change. It's not the one I expected, but I got what I asked for.


Bec Shulba said...

augh. eloquently described - heartbreaking to read. thinking you guys.

theRachel said...

I echo Bec's comment. Thinking of you lots, each day.