Sunday, November 15, 2009


I spoke before speech therapists and child psychiatrists at the two day Cochlear Implant Conference in Pisa, Friday and Saturday, and my favorite line- in honor of Naomi- was "A mom should be allowed to be a Mom and an ice-cream ice-cream cone!" - Not just teaching moments 24-exhausting-7.

Whenever I have to speak, I get extremely nervous and have this emotional shake thing take over. So, when I stand before the group- and for some reason speaking before 50 is much more intimidating than 500-maybe because they can see my wrinkles and visible shakes better than when there's a huge crowd...I shake more. I tried to hold hands with myself. It kind of worked. Anyway, I made my points, and gave resources for them to take back to the parents.

My speech therapist, Iris was there and there we were in the same room, listening to the same Professors and Doctors delivering information on arguments like Cochlear Implant Surgical Techniques, Mapping a Cochlear Implant, The Cochlear Implant and Multi-Disability, etc. At one point, I swear I laughed out loud. People turned and stared. I just kept thinking how twelve years ago, I walked into my speech therapist's office, didn't know a word of Italian and literally broke down crying hysterically trying to explain that fact to her as I handed over Jordan.

Fast forward twelve years later and there we were at the same conference and I could understand everything. Insane. I thanked her during my speech and admitted I was the worst mother at creating those damn teaching books and gathering material necessary for her speech therapy lessons...but somehow we made it work together. We ate together during the "Working Lunch" and at one point another speech therapist walked over to us. She said, "Jodi, you know, first of all you did a great job. Second of all, you look like a teenager. I saw you and Jordan just before the cochlear implant surgery and you were another person than the woman standing in front of me now. Really, you look ten years younger."

My jaw dropped.

A compliment made woman to woman may be held as an undeniable truth. There's absolutely no risk that they want to take you to bed, so you have no choice other than to accept it as fact. And so I did.

Forget about youth cream, get your kid a cochlear implant.


And I will admit, lately I've been getting the urge to cube.


Anonymous said...

Great Post... I loved it
Nice song too!!
deb b

Stephen said...

Congratulations Jadoo,
On another coo.
You're lookin good - YES that's true;
And helping others is the work MEANT for you.
12 yrs ago to today,
Wow! You've come a long way.
And TODAY IS SPECIAL I'm happy to say;

Love, Dad

PS: I'm very proud of you! No rhyme required!

Jo (Australia) said...

How cute - I'm sure you haven't aged a bit. Is it really your birthday? If so, Happy Birthday hope you had a great day and got spoiled!

Paula Rosenthal said...

Happy birthday, dear friend! :)

When your kids comes out the other side of the tunnel, after years of therapy and hard work, the sun shines brighter and the family can breathe easier. The person I was when Julie was diagnosed was a hair pulling, overstressed woman who was fighting with teachers and administrators 24/7. It seemed no one would help or listen to me. I was incredulous. After all, I was hearing impaired with 2 hearing aids most of my life, I knew what I was talking about! If professionals wouldn't listen to me, I knew typical mothers were struggling everywhere. That's why HearingExchange was started. Nine years later, with my daughter standing solidly on her own 2 feet and doing quite well, I'm moving on to another chapter of my life. And yet, I find myself talking for 20 minutes with the young woman taking my dinner reservation about herw husband who wears hearing aids and was told that because of his cilia he can't get a cochlear implant! I'll never let it go. :)

tammy said...

Great post Jodi! Think I'll join that "aging" CI path, so hopefully when Aiden's 12 years old I can only hope I look 10 years younger! LOL! You're beautiful - inside and out! and I have to say your a lucky girl to have such a wonderful dad! Reading your dad's comment brought tears and a smile ... my dad always wrote me little birthday rhymes in my cards! Save them. I'm glad I did! Happy Birthday girl!