My Village Chief is HOH, Part I of III

My Village Chief is HOH, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I: My village chief sprinted into a parent’s hospital room wearing shorts, sandals (no socks), and a NCAA basketball T-shirt, Saturday morning.

He was all business, dressed casually. When he spoke his first two sentences, I knew. I listened and focused on the voice I know well.

When he turned his head, I saw the aid. Then, I saw the second hearing aid.

He scheduled surgery, shook our hands, left to return to (his words), “What else? NCAA playoffs. You can phone my home; here’s my number. Nothing by mouth after midnight, okay?”

My parent said, “I like him.”

The nurses, “The doctor can’t hear very well. Everyone knows he has problems on the phone.”

I had been quiet. “He has high coping skills. His hearing aids greatly assist him.”

A nurse with IVs and a bleeding cath line, “If you want to speak to him you have to speak loud.”

I said softly, “He is highly trained. Wearing two hearing aids, I have great faith in this man.”

Another nurse, “People have trouble understanding him.”

I did not roll my eyes. My parent asked (knowing I have worked with hard of hearing, HOH, and Deaf since 1993), “Do you think he can hear me, others, and operate with hearing aids?”

I smiled, “Very much so. He will do an excellent job.” The nurses remained silent.

The next morning at 7 a.m. we rolled into pre-op.

I said I would wait in the room for updates.

O.R. staff insisted that I wait in the designated surgical area.

I looked to the surgeon, “No. I’ll wait in the room for your updates.” He nodded; off they went.

Post-op the doctor sprinted into the room, “It’s much quieter in here. Thank you. Now let me tell you what happened.”

I asked if I could write medical terms he was sharing – technical terms – including “this is very bad – could kill … We have a cacophony of bad events …”

He nodded, “I know you’re a court reporter. Sure.”

I wrote new medical words. He gently corrected my spelling. I felt guided.

Then I said, “I need a village chief right now. It’s been so many months with two very ill parents. There’s so many doctors I can’t count. Many do not speak to each other as they ‘round’ giving different orders and meds. If you guide me, I’ll follow. Would you be my village chief?”

He beamed, nodded, and touched my left elbow.

Then he lowered his voice, “May I ask ‘you’ something?”

I nodded.

My village chief pointed to the TV (I had turned captions on), “I know you’re a court reporter, teacher and author; you do that.” (I had not spoken about my work.)

He paused, “Can any court reporter do that?” pointing to flawless live captions.

I ducked my head, thinking … thinking.

He leaned in to hear my answer.

“May I ask you something first?” I asked softly.

Part I of III is posted September 2, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part II of III is posted September 12, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part III of III is posted September 23, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at and

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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.

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