The Bright Side

I am not the most optimistic person on the planet. I have been known to expect the worst. This is easier for me than thinking everything is going to be great and then being disappointed. I’d rather be prepared for the difficult stuff, and, if it turns out not to be so bad, be pleasantly surprised. But going through life with a shadow of cynicism sitting on my shoulders can get weighty. I don’t sleep well when I’m worried. My negativity can sometimes bring people down. Myself included.

So, as a difficult, even scary day approaches, I am working hard to do things differently. I am trying to look on the bright side.

Grace’s right internal CI device has failed. On Friday, she is going to have revision surgery to extract the hearing technology that isn’t working, and replace it with a working implant. This surgery, we are told, is not supposed to be as difficult as the initial implant procedure was. But I am still pretty shaken up about the whole thing.

Here is the list I have been compiling of Bright Sides, in an effort to keep myself calm and positive as the day approaches:

  • Grace doesn’t need surgery because she is sick or injured. She is healthy and thriving. She is not broken in any way. The only thing that’s broken is the technology.
  • Kali has been an inspiring sister. When I asked her how she wanted to handle things on Friday, expecting her to ask us to find a friend she could stay with while we are up in Baltimore at the hospital, she said, “My sister is having surgery. Of course I'm going to be there. It's really important.” When I explained it was going to be a long day, with a lot of sitting around, and that Grace is likely to be grouchy, mean, and not at all herself, she looked at me like I hadn’t heard her the first time. “She’s my sister,” she said, looking me straight in the eye. “I’m going.”
  • Grace will get new N6 processors. They have Bluetooth.
  • Grace will get her surround sound back. It’s been a month since she could use her right CI, and she is really missing being a bilateral listener. Although she spent the first seven years of her hearing life with only one CI, she has become increasingly dependent on having two. She misses a lot now, she can’t locate the source of sound, and she has to work harder to capture conversations.
  • Going through something like this reminds me how amazing Jason is, and what a fantastic compliment his personality is to mine. He is supportive, pragmatic, and calm. Whereas I’m inclined to panic, he goes into action mode. I perseverate, and he maintains perspective. He talks me down. He carries us.
  • And, as Friday approaches, I marvel again and again at Grace’s own sense of calm, pragmatism, and rationality. I am awed by her strength and her courage. I am held afloat by her persevering optimism.

I promise to update you all over the weekend. We are in extraordinarily good hands with our surgeon, Dr. F. He did both of Grace’s implant surgeries and I am convinced there is no better cochlear implant surgeon in the galaxy. Till then, thanks to you all for the support and love you give us.