Another blow to the gut


Last Friday was tough.  Plain and simple.  Not only did we have an afternoon packed with back to back appointments, but we got news we didn’t want to hear, and my little angel spent 30 minutes terrified by her thyroid ultrasound.

Addie has had several tests performed in the last couple of years, and the one thing that scares her the most right now are hospital beds.  It does not matter what test is being performed, if she needs to lay on a hospital bed, forget it.  Friday was no different.  She was nervous, but I talked her through the ultrasound while we waited to be called back.  Our tech called us back and Addie was nothing but smiles.  Then we went into the room…

Instantly, Addie started protesting, then crying, then deliberately moved her chin down to block her neck as much as possible.  These moments are some of the hardest when it comes to parenting.  This is when all she wanted was to be comforted and rescued, and I couldn’t do that.  Instead, I sat next to her and gave her a hug to keep her arms down, kissed her forehead, told her it would be okay.  It only helped for 30 seconds.  Then she went back to screaming, crying, and trying to free her hand to push the tech away.  Thirty minutes felt like 3 hours, and when she was done, I thanked the tech for her patience, scooped my baby girl up in my arms, and hugged her all the way to the car.  It was a rough afternoon, and although it would get better after picking up daddy, there was still a conversation with daddy I did not want to have.

Before the ultrasound, we followed-up with the ENT.  The appointment was incredibly frustrating, but mostly heartbreaking, and that news I had to share with Ben.  With the diagnosis of Pendred Syndrome, our little girl cannot play contact sports.  We were aware of that and even though it panged me every time I passed a park with swarms of kids playing soccer, I had accepted the fact that she was never going to have the soccer experiences I had.  I was accepting, because baseball was her favorite sport.  She loves playing it AND she is incredibly talented at it.  That was all taken away on Friday.  I was informed that any sport with a ball flying in her proximity would be a huge risk.  Baseball was out.  That was incredibly hard to hear, especially since the doctor thought it appropriate to suggest Cross Country for a 4 year old.  I wanted to slap him. 

Sharing that information with my husband that night was hard.  Even though he is a musician, his childhood was filled with recreational sports, all sports which would be classified as “contact sports.”  With that on our minds, there was a certain sadness that loomed over us as we walked down the beach. 


What was she going to do? While watching Addie run through the sand and collect rocks and shells, we realized she was happy.  She was oblivious to what the doctor had told us, and at the end of the day, we could still play soccer and baseball at the park, and in our backyard.  That was good enough for her.  From there we could explore her passions.  Oddly enough, the next day she expressed a desire to take a “ballerina class.”  So that is where we are at.  No soccer, no baseball, but she wants to try dancing.  That is a start, and if she decides she wants to be a ballerina, we will support her every step of the way.

Now if the ENT suggests that dancing is not a good idea, somebody might need to post my bail. :-)




It is finally starting to cool down, leaves are changing, and in the late afternoon parks flood with children in shin guards, running, and kicking soccer balls through endless arrangements of cones.  There is something about this time of year I absolutely love; it gets darker earlier, sweatshirts are need for evening events, and there is a smell in the air that feels like home.  I am instantly transported to my childhood soccer practices, the years I coached my siblings’ soccer teams, and weekend tournaments with some amazing girls. 

This year is different.  I still love this time of year, the weather, the overall feeling, but seeing the kids play soccer breaks my heart.  Addie will not be able to play organized soccer.  With Addie’s diagnosis of Pendred Syndrome, she cannot play contact sports.  Her hearing loss is progressive and hard impact, especially any to the head, can cause her hearing to go faster and more severe.  In our opinion, the risks outweigh the gains, so soccer is out.

A year ago I wasn’t sure if I wanted Addie to play soccer.  I was afraid of being overbearing and letting my previous experiences get the best of me.  Now, soccer is not an option, and all I see when I pass the fields are experiences that Addie will not get to partake in.  The practices, scrimmages, games, and out of town tournaments will never be an option.  There are other sports, her favorite sport, baseball, is still an option, but this year I am still dealing with the reality that my little mini-me, will not have the chance at playing the sport that occupied most of free time during my childhood. 

For now, I will embrace backyard soccer sessions, just the two of us, and as she gets older and tries different activities, I will encourage and learn about what ever path she takes.  Why wouldn’t I?  My parents didn’t know a thing about soccer when I started playing, but by the time my sister started playing, they were season veterans.  I may be a little sad that she will never play soccer like I did, but I look forward to learning something new and watching her in “her” element.