Friday, February 10, 2012

Wow, I Have No Problems

I have to admit to feeling a little like being under a dark cloud the past couple weeks. A slew of work-related stuff coupled with a lack of time and a frustration of not being able to get to matters that need attention. Needless to say, my little (okay, not so little) collection of Bach has had quite the workout the past week in particular. It wasn't until I happened across an on-line posting today from one of my ex's former daycare clients that I began to think how silly some of my worries are.

Now Kevin (not his real name) was a pretty cute little kid with red hair, big cheeks, big laugh and a smile so big you'd think his face would split in two. It certainly doesn't take long to get attached to the little guy. Today I think he's about 3 but back when I met him he had barely started walking. In many ways he looked just like any other kid his age. It wasn't until you noticed the large surgical scar running the length of his sternum that you would suspect his journey in life had been a little different than most others. Kevin was born with a heart defect. Okay, not just one heart defect, FIVE heart defects....dextrocardia (meaning his heart is on the opposite side of his body), double outlet right ventricle (both of his major heart vessels exit through his right ventricle), pulmonary stenosis (meaning an abnormally narrow pulmonary artery valve), unbalanced atrioventricular septic defect (a large whole between the two heart chambers) and finally, total anomalous pulmonary venous return (meaning the pulmonary veins were not properly connected to his heart and he had an abnormal vein). This last one was repaired leading to the big scar I mentioned earlier. Now if this wasn't serious enough, the kid was also born with no spleen and oxygen levels in his body are only about 85% of what they should be.

When he was here he had to follow a pretty strict regimen of medications to help his heart. His mom always referred to him (and rightly so) as her miracle baby. I don't know the odds but the chances of a newborn surviving all these physical ailments and seeing their first birthday must indeed be phenomenal.

Now in the future when I think about all the trivial matters I complain about in the course of a day (the grout in kitchen floor, the bathroom sink, waiting in the cold for a bus, paying bills blah blah blah) I'll try to recall how fortunate I really am. Because really, after reading about this young guys issues, I have to look myself in the mirror and be honest. My life truly doesn't have any problems.


Morena said...

Perspective is a good thing. Thanks for this post. I think I need a little perspective on my own life right now.

Unkle B said...

So true, no matter how bad that we may think that we have it, someone always has it worse.

opit said...

``someone always has it worse``
I had my nose rubbed in that. My wife was on the edge of death with our second child - toxemia, an allergic reaction to pregnancy - and the period after delivery seriously qualified as hairy. He was zipped into an incubator within a quarter hour after birth with multiple problems requiring multiple interventions. Hydrocephalis I only knew about from visiting a ward in St Boniface or St Vital years before. He was one of a pioneer group using brain surgery to interfere with the brain being squeezed into vegetative state by shunting off excess cerebrospinal fluid.
The doctor at Intensive Care advised two couples who did not know each other to go to the Chapel - as the indications were that our children would not last the night.
My son is over 30 now, father of 4, and has his High School Equivalency. But back then when that night was over there was nothing to do but hug, ignore the tears and sobs, and go our separate ways.

Way Way Up said...

Opit - Thank you for sharing.