Ireland: please say No.

27 04 2012

At the end of May 2012, Ireland is going to vote on a referendum to amend the constitution to include austère economic policy. If I were Irish I would say: NO.

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5 years already

6 07 2011

Our little angel would be 5 today. Unfortunately he wasn’t to live more than 13 1/2 days.
So how are we coping 5 years on?

It’s still sore! Not the sharp pain that it was then but that numb residual pain that you know will be there forever. Have I come to terms with it? Not really. I have accepted the death of my child but I still resent the attitude of the medical corps during and after Pierre’s life.

The nurses that looked after Pierre in intensive care did all they could to make Pierre comfortable and faded into the background when we were around. They really did care.

The same cannot be said for the paediatric doctor that dealt with Pierre and us. as far as I’m concerned an executioner shows more compassion towards the condemned than this man. Somehow he became a doctor. it certainly wasn’t for his human interaction capabilities.

I don’t know how it’s done in other countries but still today I find that being asked as a parent to turn the ventilator that kept Pierre alive off was the worst thing to ask from anyone. How can any parent make such a decision? To this day I still don’t know how we did it.
All I know is that I, the father, took that final decision as I don’t think a mother should ever have to make that one. Mothers give life, they don’t take it. Did I really take the decision or did I trust the doctor’s advice that Pierre’s brain haemorrhages had probably caused irreparable damage and that he would never wake from his coma? It was the latter of course. All I decided was the when. Once all the members of family who had access to Pierre had had the chance to say goodbye to him, and we as parents had done the same, I nodded to the nurse and doctor. I then waited with Pierre in my arms, my right hand’s index and middle finger on his little heart.
I still see the poor little guy, struggling for the last few breaths of air, his heart  slowing down, and then finally stopping. During all that time I tried to comfort him by singing the lullabies I sang to him for the previous two weeks. My wife was knelt in front of me, stroking his head, his little hands, a few kisses now and then but utterly distraught. As was I.
To this day, I still don’t know if giving the doctor the go ahead was the right thing to do. And based on the interactions we had with him after Pierre’s death theses doubts only grew.

I trust in science and the scientific method but when a doctor tell you and your wife that because Pierre’s condition was a genetic disorder and because it is carried on the chromosome inherited from the mother’s side, we would NEVER have healthy boys and daughters would be carriers of the gene. He might as well have cut us open without any anaesthetic, it wouldn’t have caused more pain. He made this statement before having tested my wife’s DNA.
As it turns out he was wrong. He had never considered the possibility that Pierre’s condition was a random genetic mutation. I did and we didn’t wait for the results from the DNA tests to try for another child.

We now have two healthy boys: 3 1/2 years old and 9 1/2 months.

Today, Pierre, you’d be 5 years old. We would have a lovely party for you. A nice cake, lots of presents and laughter. Instead I’ll be standing at your graveside singing those lullabies that I sang for you.

Life goes on but the pain never leaves…