Posts Tagged ‘hearing loss’

New me. New picture.

Some of you, all of you, or maybe just a few of you might have visited my “About Me” page at some point or another during the last [almost] two years of my blogging. If you did, you’d have formerly seen a picture I’d always figured kinda summed me up.

This one.
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When I took the picture, it was long before I had my cochlear implant surgery, and back when I struggled as a deaf person. Being born hearing but late deafened, my first year here as a blogger was my most difficult one. My children were still toddlers, my marriage was bumpy, and while I really wanted to be happy, it was just so very hard to be. I never quite looked life in the eye.

But now? Almost seven months post-activation of my cochlear implant, I know I’m a completely different person.

This is me.

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I normally hate pictures of me. I’m just not one of those people who is comfortable with being photographed, but I got this picture in the mail this week from the photographer we used a few weeks back for family pics. And I love it. I’m such a visual person, and it’s here in this picture that I can see for myself just how much I really am different. It’s one thing to feel it, but for me it’s something completely different to see it.

Thank you McGowan Images for this tangible product of my life now.

I gotta go find a kleenex now!

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Letters of my past

This week was a rough week for me personally.

My baby boy turned five last month, and if that wasn’t enough to make me weepy, he started kindergarten on Tuesday.
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More than those reasons for a difficult week, this week required something of me that I’ve really not thought much of.

Years ago, when my husband and I decided to have kids, we talked about the chances of our children inheriting the hearing loss condition that runs through many of my family. At that time, I had probably not even lost fifty percent of my hearing, and I really didn’t expect that I’d lose much more, if any. When my husband and I talked about it, we mutually decided that I lived a normal enough life, a very happy life, and we felt peace about having children. It really wasn’t a difficult decision for either of us.

After having my son, my first child, I had lost a significant portion of my hearing, and my husband and I knew that we’d only have one child. We certainly didn’t expect that I’d get pregnant with my daughter when my son was just five months old, but as a great many parents know, sometimes the unexpected brings quite a bit of joy.

I never think about what our lives would be like without our children. Some may pass judgement on me for choosing to have kids, but I never really think about that either. And another thing I don’t think about? Other than the one day my husband and I talked about whether or not we would have kids, I never think about whether or not my children will ever have hearing loss.

But this week I was forced to think about it.

Because of certain circumstances, I felt a strong obligation last week to really consider my children’s future. I’m not going to spend time worrying about what-ifs, but I did have to write a letter.

The letter I wrote was to my son’s kindergarten teacher. I told her briefly about my own hearing loss, I told her that it is a hereditary condition, and I asked her to look after my son. As a parent, this letter was by far the hardest letter I’ve ever in my life had to write. I didn’t cry, I just wrote a bunch of facts, but as I sit here and write about it, I’m overwhelmed at the emotions that I realize I hold at bay. To date, my son has shown no serious signs of hearing loss. But what I needed from his kindergarten teacher, was for her to be aware of conditions that may show up in his year-long tenure with her. I pray often for my son, that he never has what I do, but at the same time I want him to have every opportunity to succeed as a child. I want so much for him to have the best, even unimaginable, life as possible.

I hope that, by not denying to be aware of the situation, that I make a better life for my children than I had when I refused to admit my difficulties with hearing. I will be honest, though, and say that I genuinely hope and pray that the cycle of this hearing loss is broken with my children. I know it can be.

I pray for myself sometimes too. I pray that God gives me the endurance emotionally to hit this thing head on. To be prepared for it, even if it never happens.

Most of all, I pray for my kids. And I welcome your prayers too.

Day 6: My Little Helper

Day 6, after my Cochlear activation, began with a load of laundry.

I have laundry from a husband who changes clothes more than I do, a four year old boy who gets dirtier than our dog, a three year old girl who still uses her shirt as a napkin, and then there is also me. Needless to say, we have a lot of laundry, and I put in the first of a great many loads.

After taking my son to school around the corner, I fixed my daughter some cereal. I started hearing what I thought was the air-conditioner. I went to check it, since it was so cool that day and I had the windows open, but the air-conditioner wasn’t even on. I walked into the bathroom, checking to see if the vent-fan was on, but it wasn’t. What is that noise, I finally mumbled as I walked back to the kitchen. My daughter quickly scrambled out of her chair and ran to the pantry to place both hands on the washing machine.

“It’s this, Mommy!” She told me in her too-loud voice, as she tumbled into giggles.

I laughed, and gave her a hug, because she was right. The washer was filling with water for its rinse cycle, and I was mistaking the sound of water for what I thought was the a/c.

Later on, I’d hear what I thought was music, only to have my daughter tell me that it was my son’s train phone ringing. It doesn’t really ring, but make all sorts of train moving/honking horn sounds. Let me tell you, it was much easier to just ask my little girl than following these sounds all over the house trying to figure out what they were! Even three year olds can teach you things!

It’s weird, but even the static-type sound of spraying one of the kid’s clothes with Shout, or the abrasive sound of the toothbrush scrubbing a stain simply just amazes me. There were so many noisy sounds that I never realized I was missing.

Toward the end of the day, the kids were outside playing while I was in my bedroom on the computer. My bedrooms is the room next to the living room (which both face the backyard), and while my bedroom windows were not open to the backyard, my living room windows were. While sitting at my computer, I could hear the distinct sound of one of my kids crying, and I was able to get up and go see what had happened. I can’t begin to tell you how much this means to me as a mother. I’ve spent the last six years not being able to hear either of my children cry from infancy, and to now be able to hear them when they cry just stuck with me emotionally. I feel like they are safer now. And I just love that.