Wednesday, February 14, 2007

congenital heart defect day

Sham told me today, that it is congenital heart defect (CHD) day.
A little more than a year ago, this would have meant nothing to me.

400 days ago, i would have told you that CHD happens to other people.

57 weeks ago, we hadn't even thought of a name for inarah yet.

in this past year, i've been through several phases in dealing with inarah's CHD.

at one point, i never spoke about it. i tried to forget it, and pretended she was and is perfectly normal. i could never speak to sham about my own fears for her as well, because i was afraid i would make her cry, and i can't bear it when she cries - it breaks my heart. i guess this is because she has always been the stronger one. i'm the zany nut. she is the stabilising factor. she feeds me when i'm hungry and rescues me when i need rescuing.

i don't ever remember rescuing her - or for that matter of her ever needing rescuing. she is my rock.

i remember once when i was chambering, i had taken a huge bag full of original documents home to work on it overnight. i took a bus home, and happily got off the bus - leaving behind this bag!!!!

i walked halfway home, then realised my hand was quite free. thought about it for a while (show's u that even goddesses can be bimbos), then had a heart attack as i realise i had left this entire bag with all the original documents (the client's only copy of the documents) on some minibus. i dithered on that road - walked a few steps back and a few steps forward, in some kind of bizarre dance while my brain turned to jelly. i had visions of my budding legal career being flushed down the toilet, and further visions in which i was made bankrupt after the client sued me for negligence... i was already crying by the time i called sham. in between my tears, i managed to tell her the story - and she came! she caught a bus and actually came to this bus stop to hold me and wait with me to check every bus that went past. we found that bag eventually, sitting exactly where i had left it - but to this day, the horror of that day is still fresh in my mind, which usually is rather like a sieve...

so. she is my hero. and heroes are not allowed to cry.

but suddenly we have this baby - and she is wonderful. she is gummy and huggy and beautiful. she laughs and smiles. she's just adorable and its true, i do forget that she has CHD.

but then, i now realise that just because i don't think about it and i don't talk about it - it means that one day we will wake up, and take her for a check up, and the doctor will scratch his head, and say "Folks, its a miracle. she's cured. she doesn't need the surgery after all."

i have to confess that i had a sort of fantasy that in fact, this was going to happen, because after all it's us. things like this don't happen to us... but they do. and it has. and it won't happen that way. and that is scary to me for all sorts of reasons, that are scary to even think about...

so anyway, i thought this poem is wonderful, because it's so true.



Somewhere...someplace... today...
A family is waiting to hear...
Is something wrong with their baby?
The answers aren't quite clear...
This family has entered an unwanted world...
And they just don't know what to expect...
Somewhere...someplace... today
They first heard the words: heart defect.
And how they hoped this was not true...
And thought... this cannot be...
I too... know just how this feels...
For one day...this was me.

Somewhere...someplace...today...
And how they hoped this was not true...
And thought... this cannot be...
I too... know just how this feels...
For one day...this was me.
Somewhere...someplace...today...
A man and a woman embrace...
Their baby is in surgery...
They long to see her face...
They haven't got to hold her yet...
Without...a cord or line...
They pace the room awaiting news...
And hope she'll be just fine.
Prayers fill this busy waiting room...
And mom and dad are scared...

Somewhere...someplace..today...
The tiniest hearts are repaired.
Somewhere...someplace...today...
A child's growing fast...
Smiling,laughing,thriving...
His mom thinks...can this last?
It's almost easy...to forget...
That anything is wrong...
Somewhere...someplace..today...
Her child seems so strong.

Somewhere...someplace... today...
A little boy fights...just to live
A father holds his tiny hand...
His love...all he can give...
The doctor's are all baffled...
They fear that he might die...

Somewhere...someplace...today...
A family says goodbye...
Somewhere...someplace...each year..
More than 40,000 families will see...
What it means...when something's wrong...
They'll face a CHD.
Today...for just a moment...
Stop...remember...reflect...
Make time to tell someone you know...
"I've been changed by a heart defect".

Author - Stephanie Husted


I've been that person holding a baby in a waiting room, hoping the doctor will say, it's just a false alarm - she's not a blue baby. And i've been that person who had to listen to the doctor say that she has CHD.

so: i've been changed by a heart defect.

2 comments:

shamira said...

I just cried and cried when I read your post.

I dont even remember that bus incident; but then thats not surprising knowing my memory.

I love you for feeling the way you feel about me, about my life, about Inarah.

Fact is, you are the rock in my life. I cant imagine my life without you. You have given me so much inspiration, faith, love, fun, sound advice and I can truely go on here.

Thanks for being such a wondeful friend.

mjey said...

Hey you both Rock!!!

Sri - this a beautiful post and You and Sham deserve to have a friend like this. Even i cried!

Wish all the good things for Inarah!