Harriet and the arrogant surgeon

I have been feeling better.

Harriet is coming on so well. Her responses to sound are amazing.  She’s turning to her name and babbling constantly. She has very few actual words but she is trying very, very hard and really enjoys listening. She’s started dancing to music (Oh my heart) and asks to have her implants put in if they fall off or in the morning. She’s blown me away with her progress and how happy she is in herself.

Her balance has also improved. It improves every day. She still falls down a lot and is not where she was pre operation by any means, but she’s fearless and that is seeing that nothing stands in her way. She runs and jumps and climbs. And falls. And picks herself up and does it all again.  She’s a force to be reckoned with and I could not be prouder of her.

We went back to the hospital today for her 4 month check. We had audiology and a meeting with the surgeon. She performed beautifully in her audiology tests. She was so good and so consistent that they got a really good idea of what she can hear and what she needs. Superstar.

Then we saw the surgeon.

The surgeon I have made a formal complaint against because, at her one week check, when she could not stand, he told me that if he’d performed the surgery on me I’d be the same and refused to refer her for physio or occupational health. He made me feel like a hysterical mother and I have since proven that I was (and am) not.

I have been in talks with the divisional manager at the hospital and was expecting today to get an apology and an explanation for Harriet’s vestibular failure.


The man is the most arrogant beast I have ever come across. Not once did he say sorry. His dialogue was that he disagreed with the balance specialist. That Harriet does not, in fact, have vestibular failure. That there is a normal curve of balance issues after cochlear implant surgery and that she is just unlucky enough to be at the far end of this.

So what do I do now?

Do I believe him, over the specialist balance doctor? Is he just covering his own back, so I don’t or can’t sue? Why aren’t all the doctors in the hospital on the same page?

He said that ‘bilateral vestibular failure’ was an emotive term for the doctor to use. What reason does she have to do anything other than make a scientific observation based on what she sees?

I think I would have more time and respect for his opinion if he could have found it in himself to say sorry for not taking me seriously last time we met.

Arrogance is a truly repulsive trait isn’t it? So disappointing in someone in such a position of power.

I don’t know how I feel now and I don’t know how I will feel as time goes on.

But I do know that my daughter is phenomenal. She’s taken all of this in her stride. She’s recovered with speed and grace. She’s re learned how to balance while learning how to hear, listen and interpret sounds. And she’s done all of it whilst being a beautiful and challenging two year old.

She’s already a much better and bigger person than her surgeon will ever be.



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