Tuesday, February 23

A Little Whine With My Cheese

This post is going to be whiny. Consider yourself warned.

I signed up for a gym membership. Five years of parenthood, and the stresses of having a child with hearing loss, as well as the stresses of every day life, have not been kind to my body. Sure, I pretty much look the same as I did PB (pre-babies), but I don't feel the same. So, I decided to be selfish and do something for me.

In order to get myself to the gym, I knew that I would need to join a gym with a children's center. With our crazy work schedules, this ensures that I can get my workout in, even if Drew's Dad is out of town or working late. Great idea, or so I thought. The very first night that I left the kids in the play place, all of the older children made fun of Drew and his ears. How sad is that? So, after my workout, as I'm tired and ready to head home, I have to deal with hearing about how all of the other children in the play place were whispering and talking about Drew and his ears. Sucks.

I've finally made the big decision to enroll Drew in swim lessons. We are heading to Disney World for our first family vacation in 46 days, not that I am counting, and I thought it would be a good idea to introduce Drew to real swimming before our vacation. Well, today I had a little pity party for myself about how hard it is for me to get him to swim lessons. I have to bring his spare left ear parts. I have to put them in the waterproof food saver bag. I have to turn it on, take his other ears off, hold the ear, in a bag, on his head while trying to put a swim cap over it to hold in place. It sucks that he can't just run and jump in the pool like the other children. And the alternative, him not being able to hear while in the pool, is unimaginable.

Drew loves sport. Seriously loves them. But his ears are always falling off. He has to stop and start playing so many times in a day just because his ears come off and he needs them put back on. And now, he has decided that he enjoys boxing. (I blame that one on his Daddy and the Wii.) Well, he wants to take his shirt off to box. Well, in order to do that, he knocks his ears off and then needs them put back on. It sucks that he can't just play what he wants to play, when he wants to play without having to make sure he can hear.

I am finished. Now back to our regularly scheduled (cheery) blogging.


Kel said...

First off, good for you for signing up for the gym and doing something for YOU. You definitely deserve it!

As for the rest, it's a total bummer. As wonderful as CIs are and lucky as we are to have them, it's these sorts of things that remind me that our kids will never be "typical" no matter how well they're listening and talking. I think, though, it's important to remember - at least at this age - we notice a whole lot more than they do. They don't know any different!

leah said...

How awful that the other kids were so mean! I wonder if the same group of kids will be around for the majority of the time Drew is in the daycare there. If so, maybe you could hold a little informational session to acquaint them to Drew's "ears?" Sometimes kids make fun of things they don't understand. Also, shame on the adult in the room for not stepping in and helping out with the situation!

Nolan doesn't hear very well in the pool (I am thankful for his residual hearing, but it doesn't do a lot of good in a crowded, noisy pool). I have no idea what we'll do for swimming lessons...some things are hard at times!

I hope that he loves swimming and has some "skilz" by the time you head to Disney World!

Christian and Lily's Mommy said...

Ugh. It's ok to whine and complain. It DOES suck that our kids just can't jump in the pool. And they are now getting to the age where they notice other kids being mean or nasty to them. It is so frustrating, but hopefully through these experience Drew will grow the thick skin needed, and the teasers will learn some tolerance.

Glad you joined a need to do something for yourself!

Julia said...

The swimming thing is something we've really wrestled with. Ben wears a bodyworn, and I don't think we could waterproof that with an aloksak. So basically he's deaf when he's under the sprinkler or near a pool. We're going to Cape Cod this summer and I want to get as much swim time in as possible beforehand to work out the kinks. Our experiences last summer were definitely a mixed bag. And yes, a good whine every now and then does wonders to relieve the pressure.

Drew's Mom said...


The bodyworn won't work with the aloksak/food saver method. You have to use the BTE rechargable batteries because they don't need air to work.

Did you only get one ear for Ben? We received two ears for Drew for each ear, so we actually have 4 sets. Two BTEs, Two BWPs.

I can't remember Ben's brand, but if he has Cochlear, they offer a trade in value for their product. So, if you wanted to trade in a BWP for a BTE they would do it. I've heard you actually can get one change out for free, although I've never actually tried it.

This is all assuming that you feel comfortable doing the water proof method. We've been doing it for two years now and it works absolutely perfectly. And Drew hears so, so well in the water it is amazing. If with how crazy, crazy loud pools are.

And I totally agree. Sometimes a good whine is what we all need.

Take care, Drew's Mom

camille said...

Both Ellie and Tessa are in swim lessons now. They still have residual hearing, but cannot wear their aids at all during lessons. Plus the pool environment is so, so loud that it really exacerbates the issues. I talk to their instructor whenever they get a new one, and give them a 30-second spiel on how to help them. Here are our methods, for what they're worth. Touch them to get their attention. Get another child to go first every time you change the activity (Ellie would hate it if she knew I were telling her teacher not to let her go first, lol). Look at them whenever you talk, never look away while talking. Simply understand that if they do something wrong, they probably didn't understand what you were asking them to do. Speak up, but even more importantly, speak closely.

Have fun in swim lessons! When we were out at John Tracy last summer, we met a very impressive young man who was a CI swimmer, who had been asked to compete for the Deaf Olympics, but he turned them down so he could concentrate on his studies. :) There are so many success stories out there!

Billy Koch said...

Truth be told - we have to deal with this all our lives. I'm 39 years old right now and I still deal with people mocking me of my hearing disability. We are discriminated, we are put down, we are mocked and it doesn't get easier. Granted I have a CI and I can interact with people and talk to people on the phone just like everyone else. But because I have that lil thing on the side of my head - I'm stared at, I'm mocked at by the uneducated and the ignorant individuals. So we just have to be strong and stand on our own two feet no matter how many times we are knocked down. And just learn to ignore those people - and move on.

Alex said...

It's very interesting and cool article!