Back in 2007, it was a lot easier to get your hands on Baltimore Ravens tickets when you live out of state like I do. I had a good line on a late season match-up between the Pats and the Ravens for Monday Night Football on December 3rd. The only problem? Bennett was going to be induced on December 11, and there was always a possibility than my wife would go into labor before that.
Being 7 hours away by car in Baltimore were that to happen would have put me further into the doghouse than I usually found myself.
Turned out, never had to make that choice. After experiencing some labor pains in the middle of the night on November 9, we went up to the hospital and on November 10, early in the morning I can't recall the time, Bennett was born around 5 1/2 weeks premature.
Not sure if I ever wrote about this, probably did, but his problems really began there. He was deprived of oxygen, the thing is I don't know for how long, and the staff there obviously played full CYA. The sheet only read "he had a dusky color" and that he was given "some oxygen" but it never said for how long and none of us could get any answers.
Hindsight is the only thing that tells me that it was a lot longer than anyone there ever wanted us to know. But waddya gonna do? If his encounter with the DTaP Vaccination, the onset of his Infantile Spasms, the missed diagnosis of his brain tumor and the aftermath of all that was any indicator to me, the medical community is very self-protective when it comes to the pursuit of litigation.
Most of the time, families are going to need to figure out how to navigate most shattered messes like that on their own somehow. They need to figure out where the help is and get it if they can.
I'm super bummed out today. The blog I wrote yesterday was not some old thing I put up to fill space. That actually happened on Wednesday...yesterday. My mind has been all over the place because of how...feral...Bennett can get lately. To say I'm deeply affected by it is, well, they are words that just cannot adequately express my feelings.
Later in the evening, I was standing in the kitchen and staring at the floor. I didn't even know I was doing it. I was just...I'm not sure, maybe trying to still cope with my anxiety from what happened at the restaurant parking lot. Jen had arrived back from work around 8:45, this was maybe 9:05, Bennett was almost ready to go to bed, he had been great the rest of the night, and that is not unusual, which makes it that much harder to navigate. He will Hulk out like that, and then become the most amazing, loving boy to be around.
I had been, around 2-3 weeks ago, telling Bennett about his upcoming Birthday. Getting him stoked about it. He has some understanding of it. I'm not sure exactly how much. But I always try to talk to him as if he is able to understand me.
But when Jen said to me, in the kitchen, "Bennett's birthday is tomorrow.", I began to feel tears in my eyes again. It was that kind of night, was going to be for the rest of it. But somewhere along the way, along these last couple of weeks of ups and downs, I had totally put his birthday out of my mind and forgotten it.
The tragedy is that this was not what caused me to feel like crying. It was the thought that followed. The thought that, at the very least, I was somewhat grateful that because he has such a profound disability he wouldn't have any idea what a shitty thing it is for me to have done.