I don't know why Abel is deaf. He's not broken, but I still grieve for his "normal" life from time to time. It hits me like a ton of bricks. It comes at me when I least expect it. 'Sorry, we can't go to the park right now. We have to go to an appointment.' Little things like that get me. He's (almost) two. Now's the time to play. Instead, we spend a lot of time driving and waiting. Waiting for an appointment to start. Waiting for some other problem to arise. Waiting on him to hear consistently. Waiting on him to try to talk. Waiting for me to feel okay about this decision we made to get him cochlear implants. That's what this is about, really.
The truth is, I've never felt completely confident that this is the route we should have taken. Sure, the surgery is in and out for most kids, but my curly headed middle child has had more than his share of hiccups already. It has been roughly three months since his surgery. Since then, he has dealt with constant ear infections because the surgeon removed his tubes during the procedure. While many babes are up and running around within a few days, our post surgery days looked more like this:
He couldn't move his head off the pillow. Then when he finally did a day or two later, he was very off balance. That comes and goes. This past week, he started having symptoms of Bell's Palsy on top of the ear infections. His immune system has been compromised and now he has come down with the flu. And I can't help but think it's my fault that he's dealing with any of it. What if I had just developed my sign language more fully? What if we sent him to the deaf school so he could be around that language? What if I hadn't allowed the cochlear implants to be put in his head, would he still be having all these health problems?
There's the other side of it, too though. What if he resented me for not taking advantage of the window of time as a baby that is best for success with CIs? What if he felt disconnected from his family or his brothers because our sign language skills lacked? What if he never heard his child's voice thirty years down the road and he wondered why I let him miss out on that opportunity?
I could go on forever. Back and forth. Back and forth. I'm not called to do that, though.
In the book of Luke, it says: "Who of you can add an hour to your life by worrying?" Still, I tell myself that I will go into each situation with a positive attitude and I keep up the facade (fake it til ya make it!) for as long as I can muster and eventually end up in a puddle of tears.
Today was no different. Because he has all the issues going on, they wanted to put his ear tubes back in immediately. That procedure is pretty standard. But what was planting itself in the back of my mind was that he had the flu and is having a hard time breathing. It turned out to be a problem with the anesthesiologist, too and he refused to do the surgery. The surgeon was persistent saying that he had to have them (which gave me more to worry about in the back of my mind) and the two of them went toe to toe eventually settling on having the surgery today. I stayed back with the baby because he seems to be developing a cold and I'm nursing. I also needed to be here to get the oldest kiddo, too. During these heated conversations with the doctors helping our boy, I didn't hear from Jordan. After multiple calls and texts went unanswered, I called my sister in a panic attack. I couldn't breathe. I was crying hysterically. I just knew something bad had happened because it always seems to this time of year. I have so many people tell me I'm strong, but these moments remind me I have a long way to go. I think maybe God is slowly peeling back all the layers. Guilt, be gone. Worry, be gone. Trust in ME. I hear it, but I'm like Paul in Romans
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15)
So while this may not seem like a typical Thanksgiving post, it's mine. I'm thankful that God is still working on me, that He hasn't given up on me, that He won't. I'm thankful that He is authoring Abel's life. I'm thankful for this amazing opportunity for my boy to have cochlear implants. I'm thankful for his deafness....and I hope he will be, too.