Fiona will miss school today, she is resting. She is sore but not in excruciating pain. She’s definitely questioning the decision to get a Cochlear Implant. Also, I don’t think she fully understands any part of this yet. Even though I’ve gone over it with her several times, the timing, the anatomy, the microchip and magnet. Her throat, she keeps clearing her throat from irritation from the breathing tube. I tried to let Jack take the day off school because he had so much trouble in the morning focusing on school without Fiona. But the teacher said he had to come back to school. He promised me he would log on at 1:00 for writing group.  I asked Fiona if she would come in the classroom at 1:00 too and quietly write about her surgery, or draw about it, or draw anything or read.

Fiona hates the pink, slimy, antibiotic she needs to take a dose of four times a day. I am the enforcer; I am complicit in the violence against my daughter’s ears. Jack kept asking “why did Fiona want to get a cochlear implant? I want her like before.” I first said and thought “you should have learned and used ASL, I’ve been trying to tell you that” Then I thought that was bad, I’m casting judgement on my six year old child. And my husband. Why didn’t they try harder to learn ASL. I constantly justify my complicity with Fiona loving hearing, loving music, loving her hearing world and wanting to hear. And this is all true. So many people love their cochlear implants. Fiona probably will, right? Or will she hear horrible sounds and get worsened tinnitus and have more auditory fatigue by trying so hard to listen and understand with her hearing devices. Her little ear is so swollen. I can see the large incision behind her ear. I have directions I’m supposed to do specific things, like with alcohol cotton balls and cotton in her ear. She won’t keep the cotton in her ear, and she slept without the cone bandage. It feels like violence.

I don’t feel Fiona or I are convinced yet of the cochlear implant. Fiona even said “I want it taken out and I’m never going back to the hospital again. It was a terrible experience. I had to wear huge socks and a huge rag.”

When Fiona looked at me at one point yesterday crying, complaining about what she just went through, I wondered if she was upset with me for letting them cut her and put something in her body. Go through a frightening experience. I feel so sad and awful about this decision. Right now I hate it and feel so so sad.

When I got in the elevator to go up and get Fiona after the operation I started shaking and crying. I was so scared about the anesthesia on a little girl. Right now at this moment I wish I didn’t do it. I’m so scared and confused now. My husband feels strongly it was the right thing to do. I support him and his opinion, I know there’s no right or wrong. Between getting a cochlear implant and not getting a cochlear implant. I’m just telling you how I feel today. I feel sad and scared and regretful. And complicit. I went with the majority, our whole family’s opinion, experts in the field of deaf education, the audiologist, the surgeon, teacher, her interpreter even suggested a CI for Fiona. I signed all the paperwork and I’ve taken her to every single doctors’ appointment for her ears. I’ve done all the training offered and listened to “the experts”. I’ve created this reality. My heart and chest feel tight.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist