Dear Doctor

Dear Medical Professional,

You will ask about his medical history,
And I will repeat the story I have told 100 times or more,
The details fine tuned to the essentials I know you need:
He was born full term,
He has a 7 year old brother who is fit and well,
He is allergic to penicillin. 

You will ask me what happened,
And I will answer:
He is 6 years old.
He wasn't breathing for 7 minutes.
I gave him mouth to mouth.

I will hand over a careful typed piece of A4 paper.
It will tell you his hospital number,
The things he is allergic to,
A list of medications and doses.
You will take it and smile.
You'll tell me I make your job easier.

I will stand calm,
And in control.  You see my demeanour,
my hospital bags packed and ready,
And you say,
You've done this before.
I'll nod and say many times.

But remember this; That 6 year old is my baby.

That boy with the oxygen,
And the wires,
And the tubes,
Is my son.

I watched him turn blue. The first time,
The fifth time,
The hundred and fifty fifth time...
It was still …

Loving Equally Does Not Meaning Loving The Same


I love both my sons dearly and equally. 

As I tuck in little H I look at his beautiful face and am filled with such overwhelming love. I caress his cheek and run my hand over his face-the on body sign for good night. I do a mental run though of the appointments and therapies the next day will bring. I check he is positioned correctly, lying symmetrically in the bed. I attach the sats probe to his toes, switch on the monitor and check his oxygen levels and heart rate. I check the angle he is sleeping at is sufficient, adjusting the gradient if his reflux is particularly bad or he is having problems breathing. And I kiss him goodnight. 

Then I go to Cheeky's room. He sleeps soundly, curled up in a ball, often the wrong way round in the bed. I lie my head next to his and listen to him breathe. Calm. Peaceful. He is nearly 4. He loves Ben 10, Disney Cars and Spiderman. He is looking forward to going to school in September. Life is straightforward. Simple. 

I lie with my head next to his, listening to the calming rhythm of his breathing. In and out. In and out. I take in the smell of his freshly washed hair and feel my heart settle, my mind still. Some nights I don't want to leave. This haven. This safe space. This simplicity. I long for the simplicity. 

I kiss him goodnight and return to my room. H's sats monitor flashes in the dim light. I check the figures again before getting into bed. 

I love both my sons wholeheartedly. 

And equally. 

And differently.

Comments

  1. The different feelings we have for our disabled & non-disabled children are complicated aren't they? - but, as you say, we love them equally. Thanks for highlighting such a valid issue. They sound like very lucky boys to have a mum like you.

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