He was diagnosed as severely deaf in his left ear when he was 3 months old. At the time it was a shock. We had not noticed anything different or unusual in his behavior as compared to his twin brother, so when we went in for a follow through hearing screen at 3 months we more than expected the results to show that everything was fine. At the hospital he had failed, what seems like now, many hearing screenings in his left ear. But he was a newborn, he had a rough start, and we were continually reassured that multiple babies were also having trouble with their left ears and the machine was more than likely to blame.
This is not something I have talked about much, if really ever, in the cyber world. It was too real for us then, and I am finding still is now, for us to go about making random status updates regarding the facts and our emotions.
But now I am ready.
Yesterday was a day of tears. More than a year after Nolan being diagnosed with hearing loss I found myself struggling. And I was surprised. I thought I had dealt with these emotions to a point of completion the first time around.
The first time around I was heart sick, worried about treating him differently. And then there was peace. And life went on. We decided not to go down the route of hearing aids. He grew fast and kept up with his brother seeming to accomplish most milestones first. He sings. He “talks”. He loves music. He whistles.
He also plays this game where I see him cover his “good’ (right) ear with his hand, and then remove it, and then cover it, and then remove it… and I can’t help but wonder…
In the past year we have moved, changed insurances, and are now finding new doctors, so the last few days I have been working on scheduling his one year follow up/hearing screening. In the process I found a lot of paperwork I do not even remember receiving last year. It is filled with information, pamphlets, booklets etc… of how to understand and deal with unilateral hearing loss. As I sat skimming through it, devouring it yesterday, I started to wonder if I had minimalized this issue the first time around. I have always thought about “someday”, about when he would go to school. Having to explain “the situation” to his teachers and make sure he sits on the optimal sides of the classroom etc… But I haven’t thought a lot about right now. The pamphlets made me think about right now.
They recommended in these pamphlets that we always place him in the passenger side of the car so he can hear everyone best. It discussed that from far away he might hear noise but not be able to make out words. And as I read, the reality of the situation came crashing.
Today I felt good. I took the boys to a spray park. They ran and played and giggled and had a great time. But as I stood there watching Nolan continually run away and I would call to him, I heard all the white noise. I heard all the kids screaming and talking. And I wondered… could he hear me?? …