Tuesday, November 8, 2016
"I mean...I always trusted God"
As to be expected, Rowan does not remember anything from the last few days he was upstairs on the Cancer Care Unit, or from first ten days or so that we moved down here to the ICU. Today he told me that he did remember not being able to hear at all. I asked him what he was thinking during that time, and he told me "I was kind of freaking out inside". I asked if it was that he had been afraid that he wasn't ever going to be able to hear again, but he said "no, I mean...I always trusted God". He went on to explain that he just didn't know what anyone was saying, or what was going on around him, and that was scary. I told him how very proud I was of him, for how he handled such a frightening ordeal. He simply smiled at me and said thank you.
It really is remarkable if you think about it. Not once did Rowan scream out to us "I can't hear anything". He never even said it, we just knew. Not once did he throw a fit or thrash around the bed in frustration that he could not hear. Instead, he remained very stoic. He nodded and shook his head whenever we wrote messages on the board. He let us test him repeatedly by speaking loudly into his ears. He didn't get angry. He didn't act out. He just simply sat quietly and had tears roll down his cheek occasionally. I don't think many of us would have behaved the same way, if we suddenly and completely lost our hearing in a matter of days. I know I probably wouldn't have.
But now I know why he was able to handle it so well. Because as he said, "I always trusted God". He was frightened, but he still had hope. That is how he handles everything in his life, I suppose. It is how we all should. It's ok to be scared, it's ok to feel nervous, but acting out doesn't help...only hope does. Another life lesson from Rowan, in the midst of great adversity, he continues to teach us daily.
Today Rowan had the hearing tests. There was some good news and some not so great news. Our observations were confirmed, Rowan has regained some hearing in his right ear. He has normal hearing in the mid range on that side, but still mild to moderate hearing loss in the lower and higher frequencies. In the left ear, he has quite significant hearing loss in all ranges. The different tests they did show that the loss is mixed hearing loss. Some can be contributed to the fluid seen on his head CT scan (conductive hearing loss), and it should improve. However, there is also a major component of sensorineural hearing loss. They believe the SNHL is as a result of drug ototoxicity, quite possibly from gentamycin. This part is unfortunately considered permanent hearing loss. He will be molded for hearing aids later this week, or early next week. We haven't told him this yet. Mainly because he had a really busy day today, and the ICU delirium and mental status changes still come and go. We will wait until one of his most lucid moments, and explain what they will do to help him hear. I have no doubt that he will handle it well. We just want to make sure he is in a state that he understands.
We know without a shadow of a doubt that Rowan will rise above this too. We know this because he always...and I do mean always trusts God! We are trusting God alongside him.