Landing in the USA is like landing on another planet. Really. I need time to adjust...and to unwind. For example, I went to a bar/restaurant with my mom to meet her friend and I threw on some clothes...Grosseto beach clothes. Wrong move. I stepped straight out of prairie land into the heart of boobs and diamonds, gossip and staring...and saw the man with the hairiest chest I've seen in my life - literally his white chest hair stretched straight up to his nose hair.
I have been so overwhelmed with work, projects, kids, house, crazy dog and Italy that stepping off the plane to the open arms of family, support, love and relaxation wiped me out.
You can't just go from there to here and here to there and remain 100% sane.
On my facebook page, I've been complaining about the heat. Take the US heat and live it for 20 days straight without air conditioning, sitting in front of the computer, hanging clothes under the beating sun and ironing while sweating 24/7 to suddenly sit your butt on a planeride of 10 straight hours of air conditioning and you will find yourself in the middle of a mental breakdown two days later as the two worlds collide in your sizzling skin.
I opened the book, "Eat, Pray, Love" and I'm devouring it. A friend I met through the CI Circle told me that the period after her separation was a period of great introspection. I am concentrating on loving my kids and loving myself. I sent a friend of mine a text message saying that I'm stuck in Tweenerville yet again. He told me to be American and relax.
Last Friday, I went to Pisa to meet with a family interested in the cochlear implant. I met the mom, dad and baby Tommaso. Tommaso was diagnosed just like Jordan when his pediatrician performed a routine ring-the-bell-behind-the-ear type test and then the doubts and tests ensued. Only every time the family took Tommaso to have his hearing tested, the people behind the counter would say- "Look at him! He's so alert and active, there's no way he's deaf!" So, the mom left and ran some errands. People should just shut up sometimes. Nine months passed. Doubts and worries pounded the family. They insisted and Tommaso was finally tested. He was diagnosed with a profound bilateral hearing loss. One day later, the mom found out she was pregnant with her second child. *Smile*
When I go to Pisa to meet with a family, I never know what type of situation I'll find. They were amazing. Tommaso- alert, active and adorable. His parents knew every single thing possible and imaginable about their son's abilities and difficulties...both of his parents- Dad and Mom.
For the first time, I left a family thinking, that little boy will be okay. And so will his sister. Tommaso will have the surgery at the end of August and the family is moving forward...and growing.
Me...I'm packing up my kids and heading to Baltimore. Next blog will be from the USA...where my kids will be with my family for the first time in a year. A year is a long, long time.
I received this email from a parent/psychologist in Jerusalem 10 days before receiving a communication that the Italian Pediatric Federation (I collaborate with) has struck up an agreement with the Israeli Ambulatory Pediatric Associations. I'm trying to get a collaboration going, but I have no idea regarding the actual newborn hearing screening situation in Israel...anybody have any information? Because there also just happens to be a Pediatric Congress in Jerusalem in June... And if you've been following this blog...stranger things have happened. *Smile* In any case, check out this mom and her new site!!!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Parents of Children with Hearing Loss Go Online to Find Support and Advice
(Jerusalem, May 10, 2010) In this age of Web 2.0, more parents are going online to find support and advice. Parents of children with hearing loss often struggle to find guidance on raising their children with unique needs. One new website has opened up the lines of communication, offering advice and support to families of children with hearing loss.
HearingFamilies.com was launched by Dr. Efrat Schorr, a developmental psychologist, specializing in the social and emotional development of children with hearing loss in April 2010 because, "I needed this website myself." Schorr continues, "As a mother of a child with hearing loss, there were so many questions I had about my son's social and emotional development and I had nowhere to turn. I decided to start this website to share information that is hard to find."
Since the launch one month ago, parents have started conversing on a range of subjects from how to help adolescent children cope with the stress of cochlear implant device failure to answering children's questions when they wonder "will I always have a hearing loss?" Dena Lehrman remarks "This website makes me feel like there other parents out there who can relate to what we're going through as parents of a delightful 6 year old hearing impaired boy. We live in a community where there are very few hearing impaired children and it's wonderful that we can connect to a whole community of parents who are going through very similar issues."
According to Schorr "These issues are very emotional for parents since we want the very best for our kids. When we aren't sure what to do, we don't have many people to turn to since our usual sources of advice - family and friends, haven't dealt with these issues that are unique to our kids with hearing loss. This website aims to fill in this gap."
HearingFamilies.com is a website dedicated to supporting and strengthening families of children with hearing loss. By combining insights and perspectives from real families with the most up-to-date research, HearingFamilies provides advice and information that families of children with hearing loss need, along with encouragement and caring.