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.