Listening – An Art Form I Have Not Perfected

Listening

  1. make conscious effort to hear: to concentrate on hearing somebody or something
  2. pay attention: to pay attention to something and take it into account
  3. act of hearing: an act of making an effort to hear something

I tend to be a person that listens with my own thoughts.  I think I often hear what I want to hear or search and search until I find the person that will say what I want them to say.  How many times have I been told something but was not actively listening?

When Mel was an infant, I made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor.  Probably because I was searching for a better answer.  It is not a bad idea to ask for a second opinion.   I have found that many people, including physicians and therapist make decisions based on their field of study.  If that person has little experience with what is actually going on, they have fewer options to talk with you about.  Or if that person has extensive training in a technique; they sometimes seem to apply a cookbook approach to the plan.

Anyway back to Dr A, as I do not really remember his name.  At the end of the visit, the recommendations were for me to start standing Mel in an A-frame stander as her hip was not in its socket.   I remember leaving satisfied with the visit.  However; I never got an A-Frame stander.  I don’t remember why.  She had several standers but never an A-Frame.  It might have been that I liked the mobile stander better and I was obsessed with her moving in an upright position.  I later learn that the hip has to take weight into the joint the correct way for the socket to form.  If the socket does not form, the hip will not stay in place.  I either was not listening or Dr A . did not mention this piece of the puzzle

Probably a year later, I got her birth records.  It clearly stated one hip was not in socket.  I do not recall anyone telling me this at the hospital.  Dr A was correct; her hip was not in socket.  Her birth records state that fact.

Around 4 or 5years, I noticed that when I took off her RGOs, one leg appeared to be shorter than the other.  Again, I was puzzled. Why was this occurring?  Well no duh.    Her hip had been out since birth, I did not use an A-frame stander.  I had not used the correct stander to help get the hip in the correct position for weight bearing.  And now, 5 years later when she walked, her hip poped in and out.

I was sitting in church a few Sundays ago and the pastor made a statement that made me stop and think. He was talking about pride.  He stated that some people are too proud to listen.  When someone starts talking they do not give that person their full attention. The listening person tends to drift in and out of the conversation. To absorbed in his or her own thoughts to really open the mind and processes all that is being said.  The listening person, nods, agrees and pretends to be open about the conversation but is really too proud to forget their own bias and give the speaker credit for having knowledge.

Did you know that “silent” and “listen” are spelled with the same letters?  When people speak to me, I have to say, my mind is often not silent and thus I am probably not really giving them credit for what they do know.

Now that is not to say that if I had stood Mel in an A-Frame, she would be walking today. She is a L1, L2 injury with a T12, L1 functioning level.  She can move one leg inward.  I have now accepted that walking is and never was going to be functional for Mel.  That’s ok.  She is happy, has friends and is planning on going to college.

My thoughts during this post are that I may have sometimes had too much pride to listen; I’ll post later about medical difficulties I might have prevented, if I had listened better.  Gathered information with an open mind and then calmly made the plans.

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