Saturday, November 8, 2008

If You Could See What I Hear

There are some things that just can't be explained in life. This week, there were no exceptions to that rule.

When my youngest was two years old we had tubes put in his ears due to the numerous ear infections he was experiencing. I went back and forth with the idea before actually deciding. Most of the doctors we spoke with advised us to have the procedure done, while there was only one that told us to hold off. She said that probably within a year the infections would be under control.

A year is a very long period when you have a sick child. There are sleepless nights, endless crying, continuous trips to the pharmacy, and a million prayers asking for that miracle drug that will put an end to the infections.

So we went forward with the surgery. And indeed everything did turn out alright. That was until about four months after the surgery. It was then that I noticed a very peculiar thing happening to my son. He began to hear things that were almost too quiet to hear. For example, my husband and I were whispering about something while he was in the other room. The following day, he repeated some of that conversation to me. I began to worry when he started complaining about the volume of certain things. So much so that he was unable to attend events like parades, fireworks, and parties where they were playing music. He even shied away from going to the movie theater.

His doctor insisted that he was fine, and that some children do indeed become sensitive to sounds since for so long what they heard was muffled. This seemed to be a likely explanation, but I couldn't help but be sad for my little boy who seemed to be missing out on so much. It was hard to determine just what sounds would set him off. Before the surgery he loved going to get his hair cut, but afterwards the buzzing from the razor was too much for him to handle. One doctor even suggested that it wasn't his hearing that was the problem, but that I may want to talk to a neurologist.

We tried ear plugs, which by the way, don't work that well in little ears. Then one day while taking a ride in our minivan, my son put on the earphones that come with the DVD player. It was as if a light bulb went off. From that day forward, we never went anywhere without those earphones. They became his safety net... and our sanity.

But just last week, nearly two years after the surgery, another breakthrough occurred. My son asked me to take him for a haircut. For the past two years my husband has been cutting our sons hair. Well, that's putting it nicely. In actuality it often would look like a horror movie was being filmed on our back porch. From the crying to the screaming to the down right temper tantrums, most of the time our son would reappear with a not so even trim. My husband would enter behind him dripping in sweat and swearing: "This is the last time!" Needless to say, when my son asked me to take him to get his hair cut, my van couldn't drive fast enough.

I did my civic duty by first warning the hairdresser that this was the first time in a year that my son had gone to a salon, and chances were good that the situation could go very bad. Turns out, the warning wasn't necessary. He was an angel. He looked so handsome. The hairdresser gave him a lollipop and we were on our way.
I tried not to cry, but I'm sure some tears slipped by. Our car ride home was filled with so much excitement, especially since my son had one more request to make. "Hey Mom," he said. "I think I'm ready to go to the theaters now."

We shared a bucket of popcorn.

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