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 …

What do you see when you look at me?

When I look at my son
I see perfection.

The smile that lights up his face,
The twinkle in his eyes,
The little gap between his teeth,
And the way he sucks his fingers.

I see his long eyelashes,
And the mop of unruly dark hair
That sticks up in all directions,
No matter how I try to tame it.

I see the blush of his cheeks
Against his pale white skin.
I see his little button nose
And the tiny barely-there freckles.

I am filled with love and joy and pride for this beautiful child that I created.

What do you see though? 
What do you see when you look at my boy?

Do you see the way his eyes never meet mine
And his vacant stares?

Do you see the weakness in his body,
The supports and restraints in his chair
To hold him up right, to make him sit, to keep him safe?

Do you see the feeding tube? 

Do you see the oxygen?

Do you see disability?


Open your eyes and see.
See my boy.

See my son.





I am linking this post into the Mumsnet 'This is my Child' campaign which aims to support the parents of children with additional needs by busting a few unhelpful myths  - and to open up a conversation about how we can all act together to make day-to-day life a bit easier for these families.



Comments

  1. Crying watching this - it's just like seeing my special girl when she was small, all over again xx

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  2. Oh, how lovely! You must be so proud of the boys. I love the way Little H's face lights up, especially when he's following his older brother on the bike. :) xx

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  3. Thanks Michelle & Blue Sky. Yes, I am so so proud of both of them. xxx

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  4. ooooh that smile is infectious, you have two lovely boys xx #thisismychild

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