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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brain Damage

I needed to wash the dishes. Needed to.
Because I was so worried.
There was no place I'd rather be than in his kitchen scrubbing the shit out of a pan.
Because the thought at the back of my mind was ready to come forth.
Hitting me like a bullet through the back of the brain.
Shit, John Kennedy. Tsk! Tsk! Brains all over the seat of the car.

It was a long labor.
She'd been stuck for quite a while.
I only consented to the c-section because of my fear of having a brain damaged child.
If it weren't for that, I would have refused, even if it killed us.
It's been almost ten years. It's been a difficult ten years.
She's been difficult.

She's still stubborn.
She's seeing to a shrink tomorrow.
To be screened for ADHD.
Amongst other things.
What if it's not just a behavioral anomaly.

What if we waited too long with her stuck in me, head bent back, her chin forced against my cervix.
It wasn't the cord. She wasn't oxygen deprived. But there were signs of infection.
Maybe something went wrong with her basal ganglia.
The thought hadn't occurred to me until today that maybe she's brain damaged.
No one will have seriously evaluated this until tomorrow.

They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle.
But this was medical intervention.
Crude science.
Not God.

That would be something.
If we'd gone ten long years without confirming it.
That she was brain damaged.
Thinking all this time that she was just careless and annoying.
Whatever it is, I'm her mom.
So it's all my fault.

I cooked something else so there would be more dishes to do.
So I could keep my hands busy in the warm soapy water.
Crying to myself. Staying on task.
Taking out my frustrations on that pan.
Being meticulous.
Trying not to fuck things up.
I needed to have control over something.
Since I'd already botched everything else.
Since there are some things I know I can't handle.


  1. I remember seeing a video once, never did find out what the song was, where everyone had this NYC-stock-like number above their head... digital, counting down their time by seconds. It has stuck with me ever since, seeing that .... people walking about on busy New York City streets with timers above their heads. I don’t know what I believe in, fate is it? Things happening for a reason? People having a set time? Seems a bit Calvinistic, of which I am not. But I do believe things happen for a reason sometimes. Like being on a bridge when it collapses, or getting hit with falling structures. Could have tied a shoe first, could have stopped to potty, could have waited to cross at the light instead of running through the yellow. Some things happen for a reason, and some things are not in our control. But these things are much easier to talk about when you are not directly involved with them. Like I am doing right now. Woulda, shoulda, couldas. I’d be throwing them out left and right. But a mom trying to prevent brain damage would never fall into this category. A lack of control and wanting control over something that you cannot control however, perhaps. Everything eventually falls into place like a million-piece puzzle. Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes it takes 10 years.
    Keep us (me) posted. I know people with anything she will be diagnosed with and treated for most likely, and especially ADHD. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Sedra.

  2. Thank you for the encouragement.For all I know it might be nothing serious, but a mom's mind wanders in that dark direction sometimes, and because I can't put my finger on what's seemingly awry, well, that's why I'm taking her in for the psych evaluation after all. It just didn't occur to me until yesterday that it might stem back to my long labor, and the thought of having a child who's not so strong in intellectual capacity scares me (and admittedly makes me feel like a bad person) since I'm such a brain. I feel like the very best way I can relate to anyone is cerebrally, so the thought that I my own kid might not ever be able to grasp my irony/angst/logic really makes me feel threatened. I've been waiting for her to outgrow the bounciness and mature up for too long that I can't hold my breath any longer, it's getting uncomfortable for everyone involved. And I see her endangering herself in other ways that worry me, that I won't get into now, but that in itself is also reason enough to seek help, so I gotta do what I gotta do. It's time to throw my sheets in the dryer, slap on some lipstick and hitch us a ride to CHW so I better get going. Thanks again for wishing us well.