August 17, 2010

They're Not YOUR Friends!

Here's the catch: You meet the professionals. They are, in all sense of the word, professional. They are the lifelines to your goal. It doesn't matter their role, their age, their gender: you will do whatever they say in order to get what your child deserves (after researching the advice to the nth degree, until you trust their knowledge). Some will have a front desk staff. You will kill them with kindness, because you need these people on your side: to get faster appointments, receive calls about cancellations, be squeezed into the calendar at the last minute. Your notes have little comments in the margins, marking children's names, spouses, any personal information. You are pretty much willing to exploit any possible connection you might have to, again, get what your child deserves.

Then, suddenly, you realize that you actually like these people! You are no longer being friendly just to win them over, it's because they are really nice people.

We have an amazing group of professionals who truly care for Hadley. We lost the dead weight early on and built up a team of people who want-- in fact, insist upon-- nothing short of the best for her. Along the way, we have relied heavily on their expertise and advice as we made tough choices for Hadley's future. In the nearly nine years we have been on this expedition, I have come to know everyone very well, trading stories between ear mold fittings, sound booth visits, ear examinations, scheduling appointments and therapy activities.

One problem, though: I'm not the patient.

In the past year, Hadley has made it very clear that her medical appointments are about HER, not me, and I should keep the chit chat to a minimum. She's exactly right, but it's hard to break old habits. Plus, I like these people! Sure, we don't make plans to get together (or, at least, not all of the time), but they all know that if they ever need a hand, we'd offer a dozen.

However, these are her appointments and not my social calendar, so I've made a concerted effort to let her run the show, add her input, and minimize my mouth until she has had her say. Some days she asks that I stay in the waiting room (okay at the audiologist's office if it's a routine visit, not okay at the ENT where she'd be waiting alone in the exam room). Sometimes she even beats me to the punch and makes inquiries about the new baby or house or recent vacation.

After all, she now knows these folks as well as I do, too.


  1. LOL that sounds just like me and my mother at audiological appts!

  2. yeah, deaf people hate it when people talk about them around them because they have a hard time keeping up with the conversation. My audiologist always seem to LOVE to talk to my mother while I don't have my hearing aids on (mold fitting and all that). Not fun and easy feeling.... kinda make you feel resentful.

  3. I should clarify: this has nothing to do with Hadley not understanding the conversation or feeling left out because of her hearing loss. She wants these appointments to be hers and is striking up her own relationship with her team (separate from mine).

  4. Haha! I can totally relate to Hadley! My mom is no longer allowed into the audiologist's office until I have been mapped and everything is set- then she can talk to the audiologist all she wants :P