Monday, June 4

Thanks to Drew's Mom

I was sitting alone on the hospital couch which had served as my bed the night before. I think I was using my laptop, or reading - I don't recall. Drew's Mom was enjoying her first shower after becoming a Mom to her little boy.

A soft 'knock' pierced the silence, and I rose and strode across the linoleum floor gently. I slowly swung the door open and saw a girl (now a grown woman) that sat next to me while we practiced our first cursive letters in first grade. My old first grade classmate was now an audiologist working for the hospital.

We exchanged "hellos" and she asked where Drew's Mom was. I explained that she had just entered the shower and she said she'd come back in a bit. However, at my gentle insistence (don't want to bother mom with this), we sat down on the couch I had just vacated to go over the papers she held in her hand.

I glanced at the front page and saw different graphs with lines on them, and medical jargon. It was Drew's newborn hearing screening paperwork, indicating the results of his ABR and OAE tests. He had not passed. My friend left the room and I sat there alone. Alone in the silent room, I wondered what the test really meant, and how it would affect my son's life. I had no answers.

Luckily for me (and Drew), I was not really alone. Soon after, my wife emerged from the shower.

From the time she sat down on that hospital couch and I told her what I had learned, she has taken constant action to help all of us find information of deafness, information on genetic defects, seek out and meet medical and educational professionals, share that information with others, set appointments, attend appointments, set appointments to set more appointments which will lead to further appointments, (and attend all those appointments!) and so on.

From the beginning, when we walked into a meeting, we were prepared. We rode in there with a list of specific questions that both of us carefully thought about, an attitude that said "we will only accept the best", and the 15 pound maroon binder which Drew's Mom tabbed and organized. That binder holds all of Drew's test results, medical information, lists of prior questions, and all other material that we felt anyone might need to know about Drew to help us make the proper decisions. We usually got a laugh from nurses or doctors because they'd never seen such preparedness.

We didn't go in to these meetings asking "What's an implant do?", we asked "Is there any indication of whether Drew's deafness was caused by the mutated Connexin-26 gene or if it was caused by the mitochondrial abnormality." We didn't ask "Will Drew ever hear?", we asked "Now I understand that much of the speech banana is at a lower level of about 30 decibels. If Drew has a bilateral loss of approximately 95 decibels, where exactly will his CI-aided hearing fall?" At our last meeting with Dr. Kang, he didn't even go into a long speech about the surgery. He knew we had researched everything and just let us ask specific questions before he talked for a short while.

I can't detail here all the work that Drew's Mom has put in over the last 8+ months, but I do want people to know that it made a difference. I know I couldn't have gotten to this point with all the knowledge and comfort that I have, if I had to do it alone.

It's no stretch to say that Drew is going to have his cochlear implant surgery this Wednesday, Thanks to Drew's Mom.


Cam/Alex Mom said...

Because I know "mom" there was no doubt that she would handle the situation head on. She never let the grass grow under her feet. But "dad", "mom" would have never made it through this with out you to be there to wipe the tears that needed wiping. Drew will be in our thoughts and prayers tomorrow. Please give an update when you can.
We love you all,
Mary & Gil

auntangie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jluckman said...

Both of you are outstanding parents, and Drew and Avery are lucky to have you. It's so amazing to me that both of you have been able to work full-time, take care of both kids, and do all research, attend all of the appointments, and provide a place for others to benefit from what you have found. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers this week, and over the next weeks and months as Drew's hearing is turned on. Let us know how we can help you. Love, Julie, Brandon, Brady and Hayden

Anonymous said...

WOW! What an awesome entry. You are all so blessed to have one another. I don't know any of you, but my thoughts and prayers will be with you on Wednesday. Can't wait to read about how wonderfully everything goes. May God give all of you peace and knowledge that He loves you more than you can imagine. Leeann

Anonymous said...

Good Luck tomorrow, we can't wait to hear how the surgery went!!
We'll be praying for Drew, everything is going to be okay and Drew is going to be able to hear soon!! That's wonderful!!!
All the best!!

auntangie said...

The part about the 15 pound binder made me laugh out loud.

Like has been said all along, Drew couldn't have picked two better parents to help him along this journey. Wednesday will prove to be (after the initial anxiety and fear obviously) a wonderful day, and a beginning to such an exciting time for all of us. Next it'll just be about getting excited for June 28...

Although, I will miss his loud screeches! :)

Love always!

(And by the way, Drew's Dad, we all could write just as long of a message about you, too.)