I wholeheartedly wish that we hadn’t given Harriet cochlear implants.
The whole point was to give her more. More choices and crucially, more independence.
With no balance system she has even less of those.
I can’t see in to the future and I don’t know what Harriet’s life is going to pan out to be. But I know deaf people that are happy. I know deaf people that can communicate, that have friends, spouses, children and jobs. They have success, ambition and independence. They can run, jump and function in the dark. Whether or not their footing is steady does not matter to them. They are fine.
I don’t know anyone that can’t balance without their sight. But it breaks my heart that my daughter can never take a stroll along the beach at night time. Never swim safely in the ocean. Will need a friend to assist her down the stairs in the cinema. Won’t be able to wash her hair in the shower because closing her eyes will make her fall down.
We still don’t know how or why it happened.
But I do know that it was the wrong decision. And that that is something we are all going to have to come to terms with.
So forgive me if I’ve got no time for cochlear implant ‘miracle’ stories.
Forgive me if this article in the Observer makes me want to throw things across the room. Of course I’m happy for these children but why wasn’t mine so lucky?
And forgive me if today’s emotional video of Joann Milne moves me to tears; not because I am happy for her (although I am) but because I am painfully angry that my daughter has a different story.
Why have none of these people had life altering side effects? Or, more importantly, why has my Harriet?
And how, as a parent, am I supposed to live with having made that choice on her behalf?