Almost a Year

Well, it’s almost been one year since I started this blog. I originally intended that this blog would only be in existence for one year. I was going to use it as a way to post pictures of Josh (after he was born) for Hannah, so that she could track her new brother’s development while she was in Japan. I had also planned to spend time musing over the strangeness of having two teens and a baby at the same time. Finally, I planned to use the blog to discuss issues inherent in foreign exchanges. As is typical in life, none of this really unfolded as planned. In the end, it just seemed too personal and too raw to comment on the difficulty of having a child abroad for a year. Also, that year is really a process. You cannot effectively comment on a process while it is taking place. As of now, Hannah has been back home for one month. Only now, is she getting the first glimpses of what that year might mean to her, and how it might impact her life.

Hannah and I went to see the movie Babies last night and they followed the first year of four babies from across the world. One of the babies was from Japan. It was an interesting movie and effectively shows how a movie can be made with no words and how one can understand across language barriers. It was beautifully done. Anyway, after the movie, Hannah discussed how it would be to go back to Japan on her own and to travel around someday. This is the first she’s ever talked of returning to Japan. I hope she does; she has an amazing command of the Japanese language already. She will be continuing to learn Japanese this year at Macalester College, where she was admitted for PSEO (post-secondary education that you can do as a high school student in Minnesota and the state pays for it) during her senior year.

Finally, however, this blog did not end up tracking the “normal, average” development of the first year of Josh’s life. Instead, it was almost more about Josh’s health issues. These issues continue to unfold. We did not get the “syndromic” diagnosis that I referred to in a recent post. We were actually very disappointed. This diagnosis would have meant that Josh’s hearing loss was not progressive in nature. It would have also meant that all of his issues were already evident. As is, we are facing further issues, further testing to discover the cause of his hearing loss. It is very possible, at this time, that other physical issues will become evident as time roles on (there are other things that develop at the time the ears develop–in essence, what “instructions” to the body were lost during that time). Genetic testing also continues.

I am not yet certain whether I’ll continue this blog. I may still decide to end it next week and let it rest as it is, a testament to this year. I may, instead, begin a blog that is more devoted to the hearing (and any other health/developmental) issues. I do see how much support there is in the deaf community through blogs. I haven already appreciated that support myself. I also value the wealth of knowledge, experience, and advice available through deaf and HOH blogs. Right now, however, we are in a process of our own. I am not sure I have the strength or energy to blog this all right now. I may decide to take a hiatus from blogging for a time–at least until life begins to feel more normal again; until we find some firm ground to stand upon.

I plan to think about his over the next week. Will let you know what decision I come to soon.

  1. Leah said:

    I am sorry you didn’t get the diagnosis you were expecting- we’ve been thrown for a loop ourselves (finding out that the bulk of Nolan’s hearing loss is conductive rather than SNHL as we thought it was). It can be a difficult, turbulent whirlwind when things are unknown. Now we have an unknown cause of conductive loss (in addition to the sensorineural)- though with his conductive loss we are less likely to see progression, unless the sensorineural component goes crazy on us.

    Sending you every ounce of support I can (over the internet, anyway)- not knowing can be the hardest to deal with. *hugs*

  2. Julie Coleman said:

    Whatever you decide, I have really enjoyed reading your blog this year and seeing the photos you’ve posted. But with so much going on, it’s understandable that a blog might not feel like your top priority! In any case, I’m glad that Hannah is settling back in, though I’m sorry to hear about Josh’s (lack of) diagnosis. Would love to get together for lunch soon!

  3. Lisa Drew said:

    Hello, My daughter (16) has now been gone 1 month of her year exchange in Germany. I have been searching the internet looking to find other Mom’s that are or have gone thru what I am feeling with my child being gone and only stumbled upon your blog. It seems like I find alot about the Host parents but not about what the Mom and Dad experience while missing their child. I would love to hear how you handled the whole year. I am already feeling a loss, a feeling of grief with her being gone. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! Lisa Drew

    • Hydie said:

      Hi Lisa,

      I’ll send you an email. I agree–there isn’t much about the parent’s experience out there and it is a pretty dramatic/difficult year–it can be at least. I have a whole journal filled with musings, and grieving, and worries and victories from the year–but I didn’t really share it all online because I realized that in part–I was cutting in on my daughter’s experience (and her own blog) and she really did struggle on many occasions and yet, it was like she had a job with Rotary as a youth exchange ambassador and I didn’t want to undermine the job she was doing by posting about it. So much of my difficulty had to do with the difficulty that she encountered along the way.

      Thanks for visiting my site–as I said, I’ll send you a separate email.


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