Two Days After my daughters CI surgery

I’m having a sad attack! Fiona’s doing ok following the Cochlear Implant surgery. She has no swelling or redness. Today a streak of bright red blood dribbled down her neck. It was after she ran down the hall. She is not complaining of any horrible pain. She has not talked about the CI either, she hasn’t asked any questions. When I asked her if she missed school, she said, “No, not at all, I never want to go back to school”.  This is virtual school, which I spent today worrying how horrible the CI would sound during virtual learning. Fiona already decided she would rather “watch the teachers’ lips” that use her FM or watch the interpreter. I’m going to have a hard time getting back on-line. See here I go again, worry, worry, worry. Now wonder Jack is such a worrier, all I do is worry. But it’s all in my head. So he wouldn’t really know. While I was playing with Jack, I just started crying in the backyard. Jack asked me “what’s that stuff in your eyes?” I told him I was sad. I was sad about the surgery. He said “is it that plant, the one you are allergic to?”. They don’t understand when I’m sad. Because I’m always happy. And sad, at the same exact time. But sometimes the sadness takes over.

The patient. The ever and forever patients of the world. The sick ones. The system. I feel trapped in a system. I started spinning out of control in my mind about how my “job” has been to make my daughter hear, all these years. Make sure she wears her hearing aids; I’ve already been told she needs to wear her CI all waking hours of the day. I feel like I’ve been pressured by the public-school system to get Fiona a CI. It’s not the “district” or the “county” it’s the system, the whole system. My job is to make sure Fiona can hear, even though she’s deaf. I started spinning out of control today about the CI and how awful the sounds may be for Fiona; she hasn’t worn her left hearing aid for over a year. I caught hell for that. The school did encourage Fiona to wear that aid. But the volume was turned up so loud and Fiona couldn’t understand speech and she had tinnitus, she refused, and I finally said enough is enough.

I went to acupuncture today. I love acupuncture. I wish my mind didn’t work like this; I wish I could let go. Everyone is super happy about Fiona’s CI. Everyone has said I’ve made the right decision. Why do I feel like I made a mistake? Everyone says Fiona will love her CI and it was the right thing to do, I want to believe them. One-time last year, when I was still opposed to a CI for Fiona a friend said I was keeping my daughter from sound. What I don’t get is how come nobody ever thinks about quality of sound. Just because Fiona can hear with her hearing aid it doesn’t mean it sounds nice. Often it’s distorted sound, it’s frustrating for her. Or it feels very loud to her. The sads, the regrets, the frets.

We’ll get through this. I will get through this; Fiona and Jack will get through this. Everything will be fine. One thing that would make me feel way better would be a Teacher of the Deaf and a proper deaf education program for Fiona. Then at least when they return to in-person and they go back to 24 students to a class I wouldn’t have to worry about her with a new Cochlear Implant and a noisy environment. That sounds awful to me. There I go again, it’s problem and worry after problem and worry. I need to snap out of this. I’m freaking out and it’s the same thing over and over. I’ve got to get In my studio and make some art. We’re having a Being Human reunion show in November! I’ve got to get busy. Put this worry into some work. I want Fiona to collaborate with me.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist