Hearing is important, can you HEAR me?
Learning to live with deafness and a cochlear implant
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Because this came up on the CI Circle AND I had actually thought about blogging about this very subject, today's topic is what hubby and I have deemed "The Look".
I forget that Max even wears an implant most of the time (other than putting it on in the morning and taking it off at bed time) until I see "The Look" register across someone's face. I always realize when someone notices Max's implant (he only has one so it may take some time to register). They get this look on their face and I can actually read their thoughts, "oh? I wonder what that is? is it an ipod? hmmm it's flashing? should I ask? will I sound like an idiot? will they be offended?" I can see all of these questions and emotions on their face and I'll usually take that time to tell them about the implant and "miracle" we get every single day.
I've had people ask what he's listening to, point out that his ear is flashing (only to be mortified when I tell them what it is and what it's for), and one lady just could NOT stop staring at it in the movie theatre (that red light does flash brightly in the dark). I'm pretty sure she was hypnotized by that light flashing quickly since she could NOT stop staring and can only imagine her telling her friends and family she couldn't remember what the movie was about maybe something to do with flashing lights? One time we were invited to a friend's church and a woman came up and started talking to my husband and I and she was yakking away (about her 20 yrs of christianity) and then noticed Max's implant and again it was "The Look". You could see her face change as if she had put on a mask, or taken one off, whichever you prefer. She actually told us that we should take Max up to the preacher and have him pray for Max!!!!!! I was so fired up over that I could have slapped her in the name of Jesus myself!!!!! I can pray to God myself thank-you-very-much, and he has answered my prayers, my son can hear and speak. ooohhhhhhhhhh I was hot.
Most kids notice (again the cool lights) and I've noticed that some kids are better than others. Some will ask and once they know it doesn't faze them in the slightest. I have noticed that middle school age kids, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th usually are worse, as they don't ask but point and whisper to one another about it. This caused a meltdown for me at vacation bible school this summer when I took Max and left him, only to think of the older kids and their pointing and whispering which caused me to start crying and freak-out and insist to my husband that I had to go back because I had thrown our son to the wolves. However, Max was fine and actually a 3rd grade boy had be-friended him. Usually Jr. and Sr. High school kids will ask and it doesn't faze them either. Sometimes someone will come up and ask when Max got implanted and they know all about the implant or someone else with an implant and that is kinda cool too. Get to meet people you wouldn't have otherwise talked to.
The best thing about going to the AG Bell Convention this summer was that no one even thinks twice about it. Don't have to explain, don't get "the look". Oh, and there's lots of other kids there with things hanging on their heads and ears.
So yeah, it is "different" for others (obviously not for us anymore though) and it is great opportunity to educate them. You never know, someone you educate may be really glad that they talked to you one day if they face hearing loss or a loved one, young or old is diagnosed. Can you HEAR me?