A Deaf In the Family (this is how I will keep my hobbit alive in my head)

Bobby woke up in a white room, surrounded by clinically white walls and the smell of iodine.  The first person he saw had a badge that read John Thompson, RN.  Bobby thought it was profoundly disappointing that his nurse was male, and it was just his luck.  His right hand hurt, and with a quick glance down his arm, he quickly figured out why.  He had an I.V. going.

The nurse opened his mouth to start talking, but BObby couldn’t understand him, not only because BObby was deaf, but because he was also going blind and the nurse was too far away for BObby to read his lips.

BObby shook his head and pointed at his ear.

The nurse pulled a notebook and a pen from his overly large pockets and started writing.  When he finished, he turned the pad around and showed it to Bobby.

“What is your name?” it read. The nurse handed over the pen and Bobby took it with his i.v.ed hand.

“Robert Sargent III,” he wrote awkwardly against the slightly mobile pad braced in the nurses hand.  He handed the pen back.

“Are you deaf?” the nurse wrote.

Bobby chuckled and would have wrote “duh,” if the nurse hadn’t been so overtly trying to help him.  “Yes,” he wrote instead.

“Do you have family you can call to come and help you?” the nurse asked on the pad, then turned the page for a fresh paper.

“No,” Bobby wrote back, and he didn’t bother explaining that his family and he weren’t talking at the moment–at least his sister and he weren’t talking, and that put a wrench in everything else, even talking to his little brothers.

“Do you know where you are?” The nurse asked.

Bobby looked around.  He could be in a mental ward, he thought, or in a clinic.  He shrugged in lieu of writing an answer.

“You are in Pass Hospital in Banning.”

“Oh,” Bobby mouthed a reply.

“Do you need an interpreter?”

Bobby laughed dryly again.  “I can speak fine,” he said, knowing his voice was deep and clear–because everyone had told him that–and that he could be understood quite well.  “But if you want me to understand YOU clearly and want to save us all a lot of time and ink, then yeah, an interpreter is a great idea.”

The nurse nodded and took a step toward the door of the cramped white room, but he hesitated, looked down at the notepad and wrote something.  He finished and held it back out to Bobby.

“It will probably take a while to get an interpreter here.  They will probably have to call Riverside.  I get off shift in a bit and I have a friend who knows ASL–his son is deaf.  Do you mind if I call him and we both come by to visit you a bit later?”

Bobby read the note and shrugged.  “Sure, why not?”  He laid back on his crappy pillow, which was better than the rolled up bag he had slept on the night before, even if it wasn’t all that much better.  “It’s not like I’m going to have a bunch of other people visiting me…”

Concerning hobbits … and other folks

My hobbit has three siblings still alive. His sister and two brothers. Sam was the oldest. All of his siblings were adopted, as he was, and all of them were, from what I understand, special needs adoptees.  When my mother asked me if Sam’s brothers looked like him, because she was going to pick them up from the airport for me, I told her, “No, mom, Sam’s brothers are black. They don’t look like him.  I don’t think they are hobbits.”  It is common knowledge among all of the family–both my side and Sam’s side–that he was my hobbit, but none of my family knew much about Sam’s childhood. It was something he didn’t share often because he had so many regrets about how he had behaved as a child, especially with regard to his mother who passed away a decade ago.  My hobbit loved his brothers deeply. He was always, as an older brother, constantly concerned about how they were doing and getting along. His sister was closest to him in age and they were best friends as children but my hobbit often had always with her as an adult.  Sometimes I think his sister became the proxy for his mother once she passed and Sam was still working out his frustrations and guilt on his sister. But he did obviously love her and even when he had a spat with her, he was concerned for her well being.

I met them all, except their youngest sister Bethany, who passed away last year (also, ironically from an infection), for the first time when they flew out for the memorial.  I got to hear stories I had never heard before about my hobbit, which was wonderful.  And they fill the empty spaces left by my husband while my mind struggles to get over the shock of a presence in my life being suddenly ripped awayand I personally try to forget seeing him dying and dead and stretch my broken heart to remember him being alive. To remember the six short years I had with him. They were beautiful, hard, glorious years I would never trade and fear losing through the entropy that comes with time. I will be filling these pages with memories of him so I can remember and you can learn about my hobbit.

The Road Goes Ever On and On

My hobbit passed away this morning.  He made my life better and I hope I made his life better too.  Thank you for all your support for us and our struggles.  I know he is out there trying out his brand new eyes and ears and I honestly can’t wait to join him on that forever journey to the Gray Havens.

Regarding Hobbits…

My hobbit was recently in the hospital.  That’s why no updates for so long.  He had pancreatitus and was in for an entire week.  I also started a new, well paying,  job downtown.  Taking the bus everyday, I didn’t have a car to rush home and help him, so he called an ambulance.  It’s a short, muddled, painful story about how to cope with disabilities and still manage a relatively stable home life where everyone feels safe–that help will come in time.

The hobbit is feeling better, but there do appear to be some after effects, and maybe some side effects.  We are continuing to follow up with the doctor.

We are looking into a service dog for the blind as well.  I just wanted to give you an update and let you know that we’re fine.  We’re all fine here.  How are you?

If you’d prefer something about a dwarf, check out my latest post on my personal blog.

All arayed in spotless white…

Feel incredibly depressed today, but I also feel like I don’t have a right to be depressed.

A good friend passed away this week.  I knew there was trouble because I hadn’t heard from his wife in a while (with a personal contact).  His wife was essentially my mentor in ASL.  She is a professional interpreter who corrected me, taught me and helped me through my trials in the Deaf Community and with the problems of having a deaf spouse brings into a family.  I generally know enough now that I have been on my own in most cases regarding ASL, but when it came to family problems, she and her husband, who just passed, were always there to help us through them.

Before this friend passed away, he had been through a coma/stroke that affected his brain.  He almost died.  It was remarkable that he pulled through it.  The Deaf Branch prayed and fasted for him, and he recovered.  He was remarkably recovered, but there were still obvious new quirks that reminded us that he had not got back everything he had lost.  His wife spent a lot of time with him, helping in his recovery, the therapy, and just enduring the times when he wasn’t quite himself.  This is where we became more similar as a couple than we had before.  She had frustrations when her husband wasn’t quite himself like I did, and frustrations when her husband thought he could do things that he used to do before when she would have to remind him that it just wasn’t possible now, like I do sometimes too.  In this way we commiserated and supported each other.

Then her husband got cancer.  It must have been quite a blow to have recovered from one near death experience only to face another.

Her husband was one of My Hobbit’s dearest friends.  They traded hats like some kids trade CCG’s.

I asked My Hobbit how he was doing, because I could tell he was feeling low after the Memorial for this dear friend, and he  said: “I am doing ok.  I didn’t cry.”  And I said: “I cried for you.”  And I think I did.

I am very sober this evening.  I am glad that the challenges we have at our house have given us an opportunity to be so close and spend so much time together, even if it presents other challenges (like financial challenges) that are difficult to navigate. I am glad to have My Hobbit, for as long as I have him, and now I am even glad for the challenges that have brought us so low financially.  I get to be with him, my eternal companion, much more often than I would be if I worked.  I think, after the Memorial today, that I appreciate that much more than I ever have before.

Cats and Deaf Men

Discovery of the day: Squirt bottles work great on cats and deaf men.

When I’m outside and I need help, it’s not just a simple matter of waving in my window to get my husband’s attention.  With his RP/Ushers Syndrome, he can’t see me, and since he’s deaf, he can’t hear me.  I had a squirt bottle on my window (which was open) for my orchids, which I decided to try in a stream to get my Hobbit’s attention to come out and help me finish cleaning up the pool pump.  I gave him a little squirt (it barely reached him) and he came outside to help me!  It works!

Houston, We have Liftoff!

Sam got his new CI all put together, programmed and processed!

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I wanted to make sure he didn’t think this was going to solve all communication problems, so I told him very seriously:  “We’re always gonna have communication problems because… you’re a man.”

It never hurts to be honest about important things like this ;)