The past few days have been particularly hard. Harriet’s operation was not as straightforward as one would have liked, and her recovery hasn’t been straightforward either. Which, really, is typical of how our lives seem to pan out and probably not even worth complaining about. But still, what a crock.
The implantation itself went well. Hurrah! You would think wouldn’t you? But no, because she had a dormant chest infection (who even knew that was a thing?!) that caused all kinds of problems with the anaesthetic. Her breathing had to be closely monitored during a 24 hour stay in hospital.
Then there’s her balance. The nurse said ‘as soon as she’s toddling around like normal you can go home’. We’ve been home since Saturday evening. She’s still not toddling. Or crawling. Or sitting unaided. She does, however, have the strength in her neck to support her own head. She didn’t for 2 days after the op. They tell me this isn’t a cause for concern because every day she is getting better. But is also not typical. Or even heard of by our local deaf team. It could only happen to our Harri.
It’s shit. It’s unexpected and it’s shit. And you know what? It is bloody typical. Everything seems to be that little bit harder for us.
I’ve been having serious doubts about whether or not this was the right thing to do. She was fine. Better than fine. She was awesome. She was happy. What have I done? It feels like such a selfish decision. She wasn’t ill, she was deaf. She could have grown up deaf and been just fine. I could have gotten better at sign language. Everyone else could have learned sign language; should have learned sign language.
I have butchered her ears and her lungs and her balance. Why? Because I can’t be bothered to accept and embrace how she’s different from me?
She’ll get better. And maybe when she does I’ll retract all of this. Maybe in a week, a month, a year, I’ll be pleased she has cochlear implants despite all of this.
But right now I’m not sure. And the guilt is suffocating.