Ok, it is still frustrating…
Even if the glass is half full.
I posted what I hoped was an optimistic and balanced perspective on how having a child with a hearing loss is not the end of the world last week. I felt good about it – spreading the message about riding the waves of life and not letting them get you down. Also, I think children pick up on their parents’ attitudes – we don’t want kids to think “hey, if Mom and Dad are destroyed by my hearing loss maybe it is the end of the world.”
So I had to smile inside all the next day when the having a child with hearing loss got thrown in my face! Here is what happened…
I woke up at 6:20am to get the kids out to school and daycare while my husband and daughter were overseas. I thought I had lunches under control, backpacks ready – all set. Then my son lets out an exasperated shriek and hands me his left hearing aid – I put it up to my ear and heard very loud white noise. I always feel really sorry for my son when these kinds of things happen. So I told him to go to school and try to manage as best he could with one aid, I would take the aid to our audiology center in Jerusalem after I took the baby to have her ears checked (no ear infection, so she went off to play).
It’s a half hour drive to the audiology center in Jerusalem where we have long been good customers. I waited for a few minutes until the technician came out and told me they can’t fix it – it’s the microphone – and it needs to go to the lab in Haifa. I said – “Oh, ok, how long will that take?” She told me “I’ll tell them to rush it, it should take around 10 days.” I was stunned – how is the kid supposed to go to school, talk to friends, do whatever it is they are doing getting ready for 8th grade graduation with one ear?
So I got in the car and drove for 2 hours to the lab where a lovely acoustic engineer named Alex fixed the aid in an hour and a half. While sitting in the waiting area I met a family who inspired my next post, so that time was not wasted, and I found out where to buy luv pops (red heart shaped lollipops) in bulk. But by the time I got home it was 5pm and I was completely exhausted!
I learned several important things through this experience:
1. Appreciate every day that all the technology works.
2. Even if having a child with hearing loss is not the end of the world, the hearing loss part can be a real nuisance (ok, I’ve known this for a while, today just reminded me)
3. Things only break when your spouse is out of town Does Murphy have a law about that?
4. 10 days is too long for a hearing aid to get fixed – I need to call someone and talk about how we can improve things.
5. The friends who I spoke to during the day said “Oh, you are such a good mother.” While I try to be a good mother – this didn’t feel like a good demonstration of super parenting. Having a hearing aid broken is like having a part of the body broken, no one would congratulate me for taking my child to the doctor when he is hurt. (although my friends are very supportive – they might!)
6. Keep the receipt for the hearing aids in a place you can find ever again – since that is proof of the date you bought them – and pray that they are still under warranty when they break.
7. Don’t imagine that I have it all figured out! Parenting is a constant challenge of plate spinning and sometimes you get an extra plate thrown at you from behind and it breaks all over the place!