Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm a Survivor

What She Wore: Black tee with a satin-trimmed keyhole neckline and three-quarter length sleeves; blue jean capris in a dark wash; some gaudy gold shoes that I am just loving these days.

Well, I knew it would happen one day, and it did. Today, while waiting in line at a children's clothing store, a woman asked me if Charlie had just had surgery. I was holding him in my arms, scars and shunt valve clearly visible. I have just recently been comfortable enough to let myself do that in public places. She was interested because a child she knows is going to be having a cochlear implant put in--I think she thought that's what Charlie had. It's pretty amazing the hardware we're sticking into people's heads these days.

I calmly explained that he had a life-threatening condition known as hydrocephalus. I explained that his spinal fluid didn't drain properly, and the only option was surgery. She asked me how they found out that he had it, and I told her a combination of head circumferences and CT scans. She wowed for a minute about how great he looked, and I babbled probably a bit too much about how lucky we are that these types of technologies exist. I paid for my goodies and left.

So there it is. I explained Charlie's issues, and the woman didn't run screaming from the building or anything. I even saw another woman nodding in understanding as I explained. I'm not going to lie and say that I always wanted my baby to be the poster child for shunt surgery, but here we are, making it work, and getting some damn cute baby clothes at the same time. Things could definitely be worse.