I got a bit of distressing news yesterday. My eight-year-old, whom I call Amazon (she is tall and slender, which I've never been) had an audiological appointment yesterday. We discovered when she was five and entering kindergarten that she had profound loss in one ear. I was shocked and out of sorts during that time (that time was a really bad time for me emotionally to begin with). But once we got the news and were told how to cope, we moved on and have lived a normal life. Then I got an email from the school's audiologist needing a new report. So I made an appointment and was able to be seen the next day, which was yesterday.
The audiologist did a double testing, which means she had a second audiologist do a new series of tests to confirm her suspicion. The suspicion is that my child is losing her hearing in her "good ear". What?
So we scheduled an appointment for another double audiology in two weeks. Then Amazon will see the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to discuss "options" of services. The word "options" sent me in a tizzy of fret and sorrow. I was internally beside myself.
You see, I put up this huge outward, take-charge, make a plan facade. Internally, I am freaking out. I don't ever want my daughter to see me out of control with fear. She needs more. She needs to know that her hearing loss is like having vision problems; instead of glasses, she "may" need a hearing aide. But the may-need-what is the concern because in scheduling the appointment they didn't know which type of ENT we should meet with. That could also mean surgery. And at worst, a cochlea implant--I say at worst because of cost, expense of maintenance and change of "normal" lifestyle to accomodate.
We had tried to keep her as normal as possible. What I mean is that my husband has lived his whole life with hearing loss in one ear, and he is okay. So I assumed she would be too. Her godmother has lived with hearing loss her whole life, and she is okay. So I assumed Amazon would be too. I feel like I neglected her. I somehow lost sight that she has needs.
Amazon told me that she had been having trouble for a while, and I asked why she didn't tell me? She answered, I didn't want you to worry. Worry? I responded, "my being worried is not your responsibility. My responsibility is to make sure you are healthy and safe, and I will do anything to make sure that happens." I reminded her of my actions when she flew over the handle bars this summer and split her lip open; how I took charge. During our drive to the ER, she asked me if I was going to cry. I suspect she wanted to see some emotion. But I told her that my job is to keep calm and composed so I can make sure she gets what she needed from the hospital. But that night, I binged. That was my inner lack of control coming out.
Last night we watched The Biggest Loser episode where they were being trained by Marines. She saw one of the contestants pass out from asthma (which I have) and her severe obesity. Amazon started talking about weight and how is it that I can run races, get up in the morning to exercise and do yoga, but haven't lost weight. It took her a while to get to the jist of her question. I responded that weight loss depends on the person. Not getting the answer she wanted, she started talking about how fat she is; which is not a topic I allow as discussion. I said, "you are not fat. You are not fat. You are NOT fat. No one in this house is fat."
But there is. I am. And my lack of self control is the cause of that fat. I can run races. I can spin for an hour. I can do downward dog for hours. But I will always be fat because when I heard that my child is losing the rest of her good hearing, that Halloween candy had no chance of staying in their bucket, those 4 cookies were eaten before dinner, and that spaghetti and meatballs with extra helping had no chance of becoming lunch for today.
Somehow, I need to make sure that exterior composure sees it's way into my inner feelings and know that everything will be all right . . . and no amount of food will make me feel better.