A few weeks ago, 4 maybe, Harriet had grommets put in her ears. Grommets are little tiny tubes that sit in the ear drum to drain the fluid. She had too much fluid, you see, and it was affecting her hearing.
The difference was awesome. She had never really turned or startled to sounds.
Now she did.
Harriet has been, more or less, profoundly deaf since birth and cochlear implants have always been on the cards. I think, really, she should have had them before now but I wasn’t ready. The idea was too much – the surgery, the acceptance that this was it, that she would have no natural hearing whatsoever. But I came round. And the assessment process was started. And the grommets were inserted.
And she could hear.
I tried really hard not to let him in.
I tried really hard not to let myself think that way.
I tried really hard not to believe that maybe, somehow, hearing aids would be enough.
I tried really hard not to hope.
But she turned.
And then came the hearing tests.
She can hear. She’s out of criteria for implants.
But she’s still severely deaf. Hearing aids won’t give her enough access to sound to develop speech. That’s a terrible position to be in. Too deaf to talk but not deaf enough to get implants. I surprised myself at how calm I was relaying this tale. How I managed to keep myself from crying.
Today we had another hearing test. Turns out she can’t hear after all. She’s still in the criteria to get implants. She still has 2 profoundly deaf ears.
Is that good news? I guess so.
So why do I feel so utterly floored?
I’ll tell you. Because of that bastard hope. I tried to keep him at bay, I really did. I didn’t even realise he’d let himself in. I had no idea what had been going on in my very own mind until today when it was crushed.
We can do it without implants. We’ll work hard. We’ll try hard. She’ll talk with just her hearing aids. She is better off without this major surgery. I’M BETTER OFF without this major surgery. The odds are against us but we’ll win. We’ll show them all.
But we won’t. Because she needs surgery. Because she’s deaf. Always has been, and always will be.
My beautiful, beautiful girl.
My heavy, heavy heart.
Fuck you hope.