When I was working towards my paramedic stuff, over thirty years ago, I spent some time in a trauma center’s emergency room. It happened to be about three blocks from an area officially called “The Combat Zone.” Some weekend evenings training there and I saw more than one would ever want to (at least if not into such things). One thing that is burned in my mind is the color of arterial blood, it is a red like no other. Very beautiful in a nauseating sort of way. Visceral.
First thing in the morning I put Pearlsky on her changing table, and slide an open diaper under her still night-diapered tush. Today, as usual, I rip the sides off the diaper, clean her, then turn to toss out the diaper with her lying on the clean one. Ever notice how white those diapers are? I turned back this morning to close the new diaper, and there it was. That color. And a lot of it. An immediate flashback to my days in ‘Nam (kidding, too young). An immediate flashback to those days in the E.R., to that night that my arm was covered in arterial blood (not mine). The red that reaches out and grabs you by the throat shouting “You are not supposed to see this color, ever!” It took me a second to regroup and realize this is normal, although it was different than other months. (yes, Ken, I’m talking about her period). For some reason there was a lot, very quickly, and very oxygenated, and did I mention, very red.
Did you know that one of the factors involved in bones becoming strong is the stress put on them by muscles, tendons, weight, etc. This is why “our” kids typically have bones that are more brittle than, well normal typcial normal kids; sitting in a wheelchair does not do much for bones. This is also why getting the kids into a stander, if possible, is so advantageous. Various drugs also can affect bone strength. We have discussed various ways to modify Pearlsky’s period and cycle to make her more comfortable since she does have issues with PMS and mittelschmerz. The problem is that most of the modifications involve hormones that can cause bone weakness, from “the pill” to the new hormone impregnated IUDs. New methodologies of taking the pill generally eliminate the period all together for most of the year, but alas, the risks for Pearlsky’s bones greatly outweigh the benefits she may experience.
To this day, I still find it completely horrendous what that (supposed) Microsoft executive did. No, I’m not talking about Windows ME or Vista, although both were turkeys, I am talking about what he and his wife did to poor Ashley (growth attenuation, aka Ashley Treatment). As shown by the father, the idea of doing a hysterectomy on a six year old was brilliant … “eliminate menstrual pain & cramps, eliminate bleeding, eliminate possibility of pregnancy, eliminate chance of uterine cancer” all at once! (And this was just one minor part of the surgical mutilation inflicted.) (Note that one of the primary doctors involved, the one to perform the hysterectomy on the six year old, committed suicide for unclear reasons. Additionally, the procedure was ruled illegal, the hospital involved has admitted such, and it resulted in violation of Ashley’s constitutional and common law rights.) This would, in fact, eliminate periods and the requisite blood, but at the expense of lowering one’s self to the level of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. No, Pearlsky gets to keep her parts.
Needless to say, I always wanted normal typcial normal kids, it looks like that is not going to happen. It may, one never knows, but probably not. That’s ok, but just as sterility is inherited (go ahead, think about that for a second), I will probably not have normal grandkids. The odds are I won’t have any grandkids, the buck stops here. Bummer. But the potential for grandkids is there, biologically. That fact is out there, written in bright red as a matter of fact. To what end? Pearlsky’s monthly tease, “ha ha, you ain’t getting no grandkids, but if I wasn’t so disabled maybe it would be feasible.” But then you would have normal kids and would not have been changing a diaper on an eighteen year old, your eighteen year old, nor would you have been witness to that fiery bright red, one of the basic humors, that sent you back to thinking of that poor schmuck dying on that gurney thirty years ago, and thinking of the end of your lineage on this circular journey, all while getting her ready for school.