My Kid Figured Out I Can’t Hear

As I was updating my hearing loss diary, I cried all over again when I came across this one. (see below) I just wondered how many other mothers there are out there who find a special type of frustration in what they are NOT hearing in their kiddo’s lives. I have a good friend who is completely deaf (culturally deaf) and she continues to tell me how blessed I am that I could still hear reasonably well when my kids were babies. I know she’s right, and yet I wonder how many conversations my children choose not to have because having a conversation with “mom” is so time consuming. They’re pre-teen and “teen”. I want to have conversations with my kids. I’m rambling, I know! Grin! I think I can see how being hearing impaired can make you lonely in your own house full of people. Can anyone relate? Anyway…

May 8, 2003
This morning around 2:25 a.m., my son Christopher woke me up by scaring me to death actually. He grabbed my arm and shook me! There was a time NO ONE could sneak up on me even when I was asleep! I said sweetly, ok…. I growled, “What do ya WANT!!???”, loud enough to wake my sleeping husband as well.

OK… I exaggerate again… it didn’t wake him but he did groan and turn over! My son, continued to grab at my arm. Now he’s 12 years old, and weighs almost as much as I do. When he’s grabbing at my arm, I feel like slappin’ him up side of the head! (At least I do when I’ve just been woke up from a sound sleep!) Finally, I realized something was up. (Proof positive hearing impairment does not mean one is mentally impaired as well)

I followed him out in the hallway and he turned to face me…. still clutching at my arm. I almost died of shock. (Well, perhaps death was still a long way off, but my heart did skip a beat!) His face was white and his lips blue. Asthma. He’d never had anattack before, but I’d seen this enemy in my own mirror. I knew just what to do. Steam, doctor call (which husband fully roused took careof….. afterall, I did more than CLUTCH his arm. More like used him like a trampoline!) and calm.

Ever try to be calm when your youngest isn’t breathing well? While we were waiting for instructions from the doctor, he managed to rasp out, “Mom… I’ve been calling you for a long time! I yelled until I couldn’t yell anymore!” I almost died of shock. Did I already say that? Ever feel your heart pound and race out of fear? That’s how I felt in that moment. I’d let my kid down. I wasn’t there for him when he needed me…. wait a minute. My husband can hear! Where was he at? I’m gonna KILL HIM! smile. But I didn’t. Some people sleep very soundly, he’s one of ’em!

Well… my son knows I can’t hear. What’s with that? I’m thinkin’ in his child-clouded panic, he wasn’t thinking that mom cannot hear when her ear is turned off. (the way the kids describe my hearing aid).

Next… the early morning trip to the doctor. I slap on my magnetic badge, “Please face me. I read lips”. No one faces me. I am now sleepy, scared and angry. All in that order. The doctor puts my son on a nebulizer giving instructions the entire time. Ok. I can hear now. At least I can hear the rumble and bubbles of this machine helping my son breathe better. The doctor’s voice is still lost somewhere. I’m guessing it’s behind that worn out painting that she’s facing instead of facing ME!

Finally, I stand up for myself. Stand up for my kid. Stand up for patients who can’t hear. At least I did in that one instant. Our doctor looks embarassed. That’s something I guess. So home again and time for a “mommy sermon”.”Ok. You are both 12 and 13 years old. You know I can’t hear. You know I especially cannot hear when I’m in bed, without the HA, without my eyes open. You have a responsibility to come to me. Your old enough for responsibilities. You must help me help you.”

It went on for another 20 minutes or so. But I stepped off my soapbox still shaking. Still devastated. Still in shock. I can’thear.

Denise P.
©2006 Hearing Loss Diary

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