Surgery waiting Room in Times of Covid

I’m sitting in my car in the hospital parking lot. My daughter is in surgery getting a cochlear implant. There was a moment we almost left. Fiona went from being excited to scared and crying. She said “but I’m not going to want to wear my Cochlear Implant today”. I don’t think she understands how many weeks it will take until it works. I just received this text:

“KP Surgery Update- Patient is in the procedure room and procedure is ready to begin.”

As I sat on the rolling bed with Fiona before the surgery my mind flashed to all these years in the hospital, from birth until now. From day one Fiona and I have been to the audiologist, the Head, neck, and throat, getting hearing tests every six months, getting a cat scan. Sometimes its talked about as a medicalization of deafness, I think that’s how it’s said. I wonder what that does to a person. How has this course we’ve taken altered Fiona?

I’m very confused now. I hope I’ve made the right decision. A CI is just a tool and I hope it works for Fiona. There’s a possibility she will reject wearing it just like she did her left hearing aid. There’s also a possibility it will work great and she will love it.

I ordered a kids book on a little girl who got a CI, actually a few. I was disturbed by the tone in which the books were written. They started off saying how sad the kid was because they couldn’t hear like their friends. I don’t think I will read it to Fiona because it’s almost a form of propaganda. That if you can’t hear you are sad. Fiona does spend a lot of time frusterated because she misses what people say but how can the blame be put on her? Why does she have to be sad because she can’t hear? Shouldn’t people in Fionas life learn ASL and use all the tools of communication with a deaf person to make sure she understands them?

Fiona wears her hearing aid, she’s getting surgery right now for a Cochlear Implant so she can communicate with friends, family, teachers, ect. But have friends, family, the school done their part to communicate with Fiona?

This operation has really stirred up all these questions in me. it really is an audist world we live in and my daughter is living in the thick of it.

Last night while I laid in bed I dreamed of Fiona going to college at Gallaudet. That is my dream for her. I won’t force her but I will encourage her. With her experience she could help make a difference for other kids like herself, born deaf with hearing parents isolated from ASL, mainstreamed and forced to fit into a hearing world by any means necessary.

We have to think about the conditioning that goes on. On of the lines in the book about the little girl who got a CI was that she did well in school because she was a GOOD listener. This bothers me, Fiona tries SO hard to be a good listener but she can’t understand all the words that are said no matter how hard she listens. And she gets auditory fatigue. It just seems unfair to frame things like that for a deaf child. I don’t like it.

Don’t worry, I will work hard with Fiona doing the CI recovery listening work. I want it to be a success. I want life to be easier for Fiona in her world and it’s not an ASL world we live in, YET! I will keep trying to get more friends and family and teachers and classmates to learn ASL so the burden is not always on Fiona’s listening skills.

Its so crazy! I think we have about an hour until the surgery is over. I will let you know how it goes.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist