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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Kicked while I'm down- my second son is diagnosed deaf also!

March 19, 2004
Well it has been a long break between writing. With good reason. We have been knocked off our feet again, when we hadn’t really got back on them. Hunter (18 months) has been diagnosed with the exact same hearing loss as Indi. Moderate, bilateral, sensory -neural. He will also need hearing aids. We are yet again in shock and absolutely overwhelmed. We are very, very confused. We want to know why this has happened to our boys’. We even had 2 hearing tests at Geelong Hospital Audiology for Hunter just to make sure there was no mistake. Warren and I sat in there, watching him play the game. He was having fun and enjoying himself. In typical Hunter style- smiling and charming the 2 ladies that were testing him. But, he simply did not hear the quieter sounds. It was so sad, I was so shocked. I honestly thought he was fine. I had no idea. He appears to be so responsive; he turns when I call his name. He can’t be deaf too. I don’t understand it. I was trying to talk myself into the fact that he was young, and maybe not paying attention to the game. But he was paying attention. We went over to the other room and did a special auto-acoustic computer test. This is where he had probes put in his ears to see his response internally. Not relying on his reactions. His cochlear proved that the nerve hairs were not responding to the sound. He definitely has inner ear nerve deafness. So, we were dealt another blow. This time Warren reacted worse than me. He was really quiet, and when he did talk about it, he just kept saying it was so unfair. “The boys have been ripped off. What about all the kids born to parents that don’t give a shit, and there is nothing physically wrong with them”. He was really angry. I remained positive for some crazy and unknown reason. I kept telling Warren the boys’ would be fine. They will have a normal life. They are happy boys. They will become closer now that they both have the same problem. They are not in pain. As long as they are happy I can cope with it. I surprised myself at how positive I remained. Everyone else around me was falling apart at the news of Hunter. I tried to analyze my feelings. I actually thought maybe this whole deaf thing wasn’t my fault after all. Maybe I wasn’t to blame.  I can’t have done something wrong to both of them. I started to accept that it wasn’t my fault. I felt less guilty once I found out about Hunter. Don’t get me wrong, I still felt sick at the thought of poor little Hunter being deaf also. But, maybe I was coping better this time because it shows that I can’t have done something wrong in both pregnancies.  But then I thought a bit more about my feelings. Maybe, because everyone else was so shocked and upset this time, I was the one who had to remain positive. I couldn’t let myself go, with all the grieving, like I did with Indi, because who would be the positive one? Who would be the one to say everything was ok? No-one was saying that right now. Everyone was saying how unfair it was, and how much more work I will have now. People ask me how I’m coping with the news that both my sons are hearing impaired? So I stay positive for that reason. I had to keep my wits about me in front of the boys. Life goes on.
Then, about a week later, it really hit me hard. I fell in a big mess.
We were staying overnight at a friend’s house. We had both the boys in the bedroom with us. As we crept into bed later in the night, I noticed Hunter’s blanket was off, so I put it back over him. Silly mistake!  He woke up and started crying. I tried to console him in his bed, kept lying him down and stroking him. He would settle and when I walked off he would start again. This went on for about 30 minutes. I was cuddling, caressing, rocking, everything I could think of. It felt like all night. My stress levels went up quickly. In the end I just thought - well he has to cry himself to sleep. I’ve tried everything. I can’t do any more. He cried and cried. Indi stayed asleep. Although I was glad he didn’t wake, I felt upset that it was because he was deaf. Eventually, after a lot of crying, Warren said “Well aren’t you going to do something? Indi will wake up, if you let Hunter keep crying!” Anger building, I went and picked Hunter up and brought him over to our bed. Hunter kept crying. I felt exhausted. I felt helpless. My frustration was building and building. Suddenly I yelled at Warren, “That’s right; you just keep lying there doing nothing and trying to get some sleep, while I try everything I can to keep him quiet! Don’t you worry about me”!!!  Hunter started really screaming then, watching me yelling at Warren. It was all too much, and suddenly I just started punching Warren’s chest, over and over and over again. I screamed uncontrollably at him. I can’t remember what I was saying, but I was hysterical. Then I finally stopped, Warren took Hunter from me, and I turned over and balled my eyes out for a very long time. I finally released all my anger and frustration that had built up since we were first told about Indi. It was the most awful moment of my life. I have never felt so low. Poor Hunter fell asleep on Warren’s chest. I fell asleep on a pillow full of tears. Our darling Indi never woke and never knew any different.
The next morning Warren immediately apologized to me. I apologized to him for hitting him. He said he knew I needed to release some energy, so he just understood my reaction. He then joked and said “it’s only a couple of bruises”!! We had a big long hug, and blundered through the day, both exhausted.


  1. you are a very brave woman for sharing such a very personal and intimate journey with us. Thank you.

  2. OMG Monique, I don't know how you do it, I would be absolutely devasted if both our boys were hearing impaired. You are one strong woman and I admire you for telling us your story...can't wait for your next blog. xo