Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Little T's hand apt and choices

I cried on the way home from Little T's hand apt, because the hand surgeon told me that Little T's left arm probably wouldn't improve much. I wasn't going to cry. I was going to just tough it out. Then I thought to myself "If I were my friend, would I think it was okay to cry?" So I cried. Not as much as I thought I would. I didn't have any particular dreams for his arm as such.

It did really hurt to hear that part of the cause might be brachioplexus. I'm still letting go the small voice that blames me for not making the horrible OB do an ultrasound on Little T's entire body and not just his head. When I was admitted, the nurse examined me and probably felt his arm and asked for an u/s to see where his head was. The OB on duty very snidely agreed and just waved the wand briefly over his head. I had a fleeting desire to ask to see the entire body, but it seemed silly at the time, so I didn't ask. If she had, she would have seen his huge left arm, and we'd have both been spared an incredibly traumatic birth. Even if she had no, I'd have felt less regret, because I'd have done every possible thing I could. I so rarely regret speaking up and asking for what I want, but there it is.

And that reminds me of my uncle's question "How do you cope with all this?". He asked me as we were sitting at the reception of my brother's wedding, which no doubt influenced my answer: We have some choices in life, but a lot of our choices come as part of a package deal. I didn't grow up in the richest country in the world, but I choose to stay here. I chose C to be my husband. I'm happy with those decisions. Even knowing what I know now, I wouldn't want to choose someone else. I choose the entire package.

And I didn't choose that horrible OB and probably she'd have just made fun of me for asking to see the entire body and refused. I went to the hospital in labour, but not active labour, and my water had been broken for just two hours. It was also my second birth and with my first, my sack had not broken until almost when Special K was born. Even so, the OB insisted that she give me pitocin. I equally insistently refused. I said I'd go into active labour on my own. I was right. And pitocin might well have killed Little T. So I got the big thing right. She got angry with me and that clouded her judgement. I think she labelled me as a "difficult patient" and ignored her nurse who noticed something was wrong.

For some reason, the hand surgeon asked if I wanted to have another. We have thought about it. He said "It's not hereditary." I know that. And unlike perhaps many able-bodied parents, I never had the dream of the perfect child. And I still wonder if Little T might not also have my movement disorder as well. Special K doesn't appear to. I just don't know if we can handle Little T and Special K and a third child. We were thinking two kids before Little T was born anyway. But never say never.

And I realised it's so much his arm that bothers me. It's other people treating him badly. I mostly want to spare Little T a painful childhood. Because I know what it's like to be teased mercilessly because you have a disability. But at least I can provide him a soft place to land. I already know he's a very strong person and there's just something about him that attracts people, charisma if you will. I think if we can get him through all these hospitalizations in one whole piece and that's still an if in my mind, he'll be okay.

5 comments:

R said...

I miss you, and wish I could be there to help you through this. Little T gets stronger every day. I think that beacuse of this, you do as well.

Plantgirl said...

I'm sorry they think it won't get much better. I'm glad you let yourself cry. I think you're in a great position to help little T keep a decent perspective on his abilities as he gets older, and to cope with other children. And you know what? Kids tease kids even without disabilites. I was made fun of for being too skinny. I helped a group pick on another girl just because it meant they weren't picking on me. Etc. Yeah, he might get teased for having a disability, but he might get teased anyway without one.

Perversely, Chris, the boy in my grade school class with the most severe disabilites, was one of the best liked students as far as I could tell. He was born without hands, but it didn't keep him from doing anything the rest of us did. Admittedly, I was a little oblivious back then, but I never witnessed him being teased. I remember being at a soccer tournament and having a student from the other school ask me who the kid was who had no hands. It took me several minutes to figure out who he was talking about, because I didn't think of Chris that way. He was just Chris, you know? I think with his charisma that little T will be able to just be little T to his classmates when that time comes.

Thida said...

Thanks so much for your kind words. They help.

Yes, Little T gets stronger every day. It's amazing to see.

I hope that Little T is a Chris. I do think there's something special and charismatic about him, but I am his mother, so rather biased. I'm glad you can see it too.

johnx said...

You folks give me hope for family itself.

Thida said...

Aww, thanks, John! :)