Friday, 15 February 2013

One year of knowing the truth...

It has been a year today. 
A complete year has passed us by.

And whether I am ready to rip off the bandage or not, I will have to do it.
In truth, all I want to do is to "pack-it-up-&-stow-it-away-in-the-attic-of-my-brain", cover it with old bedsheets and forget it.
Pretend it never happened. And let the cobwebs take cover, forever hiding it away, as if it ever existed.....

But that wont do, will it?
I will still have to recollect all that happened.

Because I know that a few years from today, Aarav will ask me this.
And I don't want these memories to fade over time or come back with a vengeance for ignoring them.

I have decided that it is time to start pulling off all the bandages.
To bleed off the pain and start a new round of healing.

And what better day to start than today.


October - 2010

Aarav was born a little before Diwali. I was staying at my Mom's.
We stay in a society that enjoys its Diwali fire crackers to the fullest. We always have big fire crackers and bombs bursting all around our house. And the loudest ones on Lakshmi Poojan.

We finished the Lakshmi pooja around 6:30pm. I fed Aarav and he slept on my lap. By this time the bursting of firecrackers had started outside.
Right outside the window I was sitting in, less than 15 feet away, a big bomb exploded. Loudly!
So loudly that even I jumped up in surprise. My mom came running out to see Aarav.
Kaustubh was sitting right beside me turned in reaction to look at him.

Mom - "Why are you sitting here, the fire crackers will wake him up! He needs his sleep!! Go in now!!!"
Kaustubh looked at Aarav still sleeping just as peacefully as always and then "How can he still sleep through this noise !!??? I thought he would be crying by now!!"
Me : "Maybe he's just a good sleeper. It must be a really nice deep sleep he is in"
Mom - "Yes yes yes! good for you. . . Now go in please !! You don't want him to be in this noise!!"

02 - April - 2011
2011 Cricket World Cup Final. India won by 6 wickets.

Indian hearts beat faster when Sachin is batting. And the shouts of anger and tears are real when he gets out.
We were in a mall when Sachin was batting. The women were busy shopping and all the men were crowding all nearby wall mounted tvs.
I was in the center of all the commotion. 

SR Tendulkar c †Sangakkara b Malinga
6.1 142.9 kph, The ball that silenced a billion. Most of Wankhede is silent. Some of it is very noisy, and has Sri Lankan flags waving away in a frenzy. Sachin's World Cup is over. No 100th 100 today. Malinga gets another over, another go at a wicket, and he responds with a wicket. It's that patent back of a length ball outside off and as always, Malinga got it to go away. Sachin tried the same shot, last ball of the previous Malinga over, trotting across and looking for the steer through the off side. This time he edged it, and though it was dying on Sanga, he wasn't going to put it down. He dives to the right and comes up with the biggest wicket of the World Cup. 31/2

When Sachin's wicket fell, the crowd of 80-100 men shouted. Cursed loudly.
This was the final match of the world cup and would have been Sachin's 100th century.
The volume of cries and shrieks, in that moment was too high even for me.

Aarav dint even flinch.
Kaustubh stared at Aarav.
I dint look at either of them. I dint need to know.

Kaustubh - "You know he should have reacted."
Jui - "Maybe he did and you were not paying attention to him."
Kaustubh - "Jui??"
Jui - "No. You were watching the match. Don't start. He's fine"


The months leading up to Feb 2012

Kaustubh - "We should have gotten his hearing checked when he was born. When we were in the hospital itself"
Jui - "You know the doctor said that its not needed. You were there!! Will you stop finding faults. He's fine. FINE."


July 2012 -
On a regular vaccination visit:
Jui - "I think Aarav may have a hearing problem. Is it possible??"
Aarav's Doc 1 = Tinkled a bell right in front of him. Obviously, due to his increased sense of observation, he saw towards the movement.  "He seems fine! Don't worry. Kids in a nuclear family don't get enough exposure to speaking. Most speak really late anyway."

It should have come to me, that Aarav in spite of being part of a nuclear family, used to spend 8 hours a day in a daycare with 20 other kids.
He DID have the required speech exposure.


August 2012

Aarav had cough and cold and fever straight for a week. And all the while our dear "Aarav's Doc 1" never suspected anything other than seasonal infection.

His breathing changed. He couldn't breathe when sleeping. He had fever constant at 102 degrees for over 3-4 days.
She still kept him on baby Paracetamol alone.

His condition worsened. His fever ran up to 103 degrees. Aarav become lifeless, with near white eyes, and boiling hot...
That is when I got really scared and decided that it was time to change the doctor.

I took him to our Family doctor, Dr. S. He saw Aarav and immediately knew what was the problem.
Within minutes of meeting him, he gave Aarav medicines, and brought down his fever. Prescribed medicines and started the medicine course first.
He also prescribed blood tests and chest Xrays.

In 1 day Aarav was much better and his fever had gone. We took him to get the blood tests and Xrays when he felt a bit better.
The results came out and it was confirmed.
Aarav had pneumonia.

Thankfully due to our dear Dr S, we dint need any hospitalization and only medicines worked. He got better in a few days.
I quit my job during this time.
He was back to normal in 2 weeks.


September 2012 -

Kaustubh - "He is right in front of the TV. How come you dint ask me to lower the volume now?"
Jui - "You wont stop will you?? Why are you so hell bend in finding a problem. Haven't we had enough of hospitals now?? Dint last year give you enough. Aarav is fine. Stop bugging me"


October 2012 -

Mom - "Happy Birthday Aarav!!! ... AAAARAAV!!! Aarav!! Why doesn't he turn? Does he not know that Aarav is his name?? AARAV!! Can he not hear me?? "
Jui - "He's playing Mom! let him be." And I stormed out of the conversation. My poor Mom always got the worst of my temper tantrums, but this time it was not just the temper that was hurt.


November 2012 -
We dint discuss Aarav's hearing as a topic. It was a forbidden one.


December 2012 -
After we changed Aarav's doctor, We took him to our family doctor who is Family first then doctor actually.... I can never thank him enough!!

Jui - "I think Aarav may have a hearing problem. Is it possible??"
Dr S = "I don't see any problem with him. But hearing problems may not be as easily evident. I wont say Yes or No. If you have any doubts you should go get it checked"
Jui - "Checked? How?"
Dr S = "Any sound clinic. Its a quick non invasive test. Get it done."


Jui - "Dr. S uncle said to get his hearing checked."
Kaustubh - "Hmm. Does he see any problem"
Jui - "No. Aarav is fine. This is just to rule out any issue."
Kaustubh - "Hmm."
Jui - "Stop it. He's fine. ok?"


January 2012.

This topic hung around like a huge inkblot on the biggest wall in the house. No matter how we tried to escape it, it was too obvious.
It stayed and resurfaced every single time. No amount of covering it up, no hanging old coats on it or rearranging the furniture around it worked. It stayed.


February 2012 -

Jui - "I will take Aarav to get his hearing tested. Will you stop giving me those looks then?"
Kaustubh - "I won't be coming in."
Jui - "Fine! "



A complete year has passed us by today.
Today, one year back. On 15th Feb 2012, we had Aarav's hearing tested for the first time.
I remember the day in picture perfect detail. It is etched in my memory.
I remember standing in front of the glass door of the sound clinic with Aarav in my arms. I remember my brother pushing the door open for me.
I remember the hearing test in the soundproof room.
I remember the look of puzzlement on the face of the technician when he finally saw no response to the BERA.
I remember he came in twice to check if the machine was on and working right.
I remember standing next to Aarav listening to the increasing volume of the clicks from 2 feet away whereas Aarav slept right through the annoying noise.

I remember waiting till the doctor composed his words. I remember hanging on to every word, aching to hear the results.. waiting for a 'But...' which never came.
I remember seeing outside the glass windows at my brother and husband, who said he wont be coming, but still stood outside, worrying.
This memory is still as strong and as painful as the first time.

I remember everything.
I wish I dint.

Because I know that a few years from today, Aarav will ask me this.
And I don't want these memories to fade over time or come back with a vengeance for ignoring them.

I wont be forgetting anything...

I wrote the above blog. But I could not go ahead.
The memory will come back to me. Maybe as retribution for ignoring it too long. But for sure, it will be back. I wont be forgetting it any time soon.
It is now etched in my memory. It still contributes to my nightmares till today..
It is so crystal clear that it is hard to believe that it has been an year already...

I will write about it. Soon.
I will have to rip this bandage one day or another but maybe not today.
For today I'll let the bandages be.

Soon. When I am truly ready.
Or at least ready enough.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, I still remember the moment when the doc told you to make Aarav that it becomes way easy for getting the tests done....

    In the absense of the doc(it was me who thought that the doc would show up for the test, but the technician was qualified enough), the technician did the first test... when the test didn't show the ideal result on his device, he made a weird face and clapped loudly, right behind Aaravs ears....

    My eyes went red... who the hell was he to wake up this angel, from his peaceful sleep...Aarav has just slept... You either do it digitally and let him sleep, or call the doc.... Don't you dare play some pranks around's evening and Aaravs tired of the days play...

    The clap was a crude method to check his hearing, which I realised later....

    Aarav still asleep.... the technician looked at us..... completely mute....
    Jui and I, now had some gut feelings poping up.... we didn't speak either..... both could read the situation.... just no one had the nerves to speak before the tests were out....

    The entire situation still brings goosebumps!!!!


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