Posts Tagged ‘Henry V’

Weighed and Measured

July 18, 2010


A Heart Mom is threatening to go ballistic on someone:

I told my husband what had happened and of course his solution to the problem involved me waving around my giant stick and teaching them a valuable lesson about staring at our small child.  While that approach may have gotten some results, not to mention cause a pretty big scene, it wasn’t one that I felt was appropriate for our children to be witness to.

Good thing she kept her wits about her. Local law enforcement authorities usually don’t take kindly to people waving large sticks in public, no matter what the reason. The point of conflict here – as you may guess – was a group of people who seemed to have nothing better to do than to stare at her Cardiac Kid’s scars. It turned into a real whisper-fest, and even though the child was a bit young to recognize what was happening, Mom saw it. And the steam was coming out of her ears.

“You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting. In what world could you possibly beat me?” – A Knight’s Tale, 2001

The basis for this line is from the scriptures, specifically Daniel 5:27 – Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. The King wasn’t good enough, so God slammed the door on his kingdom, and that very night the King perished. And that is exactly what was happening here: the local wags had seen the scar on her son’s chest; they had decided that he was…. different, somehow, and that wasn’t a good thing; and they had instantly judged that neither he nor his mom were part of the Cool Crew. Too bad, so sad. And as much as I hate to say it, that’s a fairly common reaction.

The hardest battle a Cardiac Kid has to fight will not happen in an operating room, but rather in their schoolyard playground. Kids aren’t necessarily mean, but they are brutally honest. You don’t ask “What happened to your chest?” or “Why you got to get tired all the time?” and they will stare – they’re children, after all. You sort of understand that this is the way children usually act. And Cardiac Kids have to fight these battles all own their on, just like everyone else. It’s how children learn to interact with other people, and hopefully grow past that stage.

But adults judging little kids? NOW we’ve got a problem.

Bring that behavior here, and I’m just crazy enough to start quoting Shakespeare: “Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, and say `These wounds I had on Crispian’s day’…We few, we happy few, we band of brothers (and sisters!), for he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”

You see, no matter what snap judgement you may make of that kid with the scar, we see ourselves as survivors. And no matter what you may think, we weigh out correctly and we measure up.

And this is the story that a good man will teach his son.

We Missed It!

November 10, 2009

Golly darn gee whiz! We missed it!

The Funky Heart missed out on all the festivities associated with World Heart Day, which was September 27, 2009! What was I doing on September 27th? Ha’ mercy, I can’t remember… were we supposed to exchange gifts?

What’s that? Sorry folks, I hate to get you all excited, but CHDers aren’t really invited to World Heart Day. It’s for those other guys – Acquired Heart Disease and Stroke. Bummer!

But that’s OK. You can have World Heart Day. We’ll stake a claim to November 29th, the anniversary of the first Blalock-Taussig shunt (which predated your bypass operations, by the way) and we’ll celebrate then.

So when you talk about rebuilding your life after heart surgery, we’ll show you child after child who have been fighting Heart Defects from the moment they were born. We’ll introduce you to their parents, who are willing to ask one more question, go one more mile, and explore one more option in an effort to give  their child the best chance to live.

We shall “strip our sleeve and show our scars” – a lot of us have more than one. And we’ll see to it that you meet some of our adults, people who may have fragile bodies but also have an iron will, who never give up and never give in.

We’re only a few, a band of brothers and sisters who fight a common enemy. And we count anyone who fights Heart Defects – Patient, Parent, Doctor, Nurse, Surgeon, Friend – as one of us.

We remember, with advantages, the battles that we  have fought and the warriors who have fallen. Because our story is a story of perseverance, of hope, of determination, and courage.

And that is a story that a good man will teach his son.


October 24, 2009

October 25, 2009: Saint Crispin’s Day

“Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,

And say`These wounds I had on Crispin’s Day.’ “

Henry V, William Shakespeare