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Thoughts on My Own Mortality

[crossposted to my Twilight Universe blog]

Recently, as part of my work, I've been getting to know the ins and outs of a local special school.

This is a school that works with children that have extreme learning difficulties. When I say extreme this means the children may go from moderate autistic, to being only able to communicate with a finger and eye moment, barely able to move, and certainly unable to walk.

The specialist equipment they have really boggles the mind, and its the subtleties that really stick -- like having two sets of door handles - one at child height, one at the top - so children can't slip out of class when the teachers attention is distracted.

One girl I saw on my tour around the facility was extremely clever, and good at IT, but was completely unable to communicate in conventional terms. She couldn't walk, was permantly in a strange bed/wheelchair combination, and had some servere physical deformaties and disabilites to boot. "It's very sad sometimes," the teacher said, "she was born over two months premature you see..."

Oh. Thought I, because you see -- I was born nearly three months premature.

So premature that the doctors actually thought my mother was hysterical when she was convinced she was having me. So premature that I weighed approximately 3 pounds, not much more than a bag of sugar.

Kind of puts things in perspective doesn't it? Here I am at 25 years old, 6'3" of looming englishness, pottering around on the net... and there's that girl, making every second count. The people who work there are saints, and are changing the world for every child there.

But, and I feel so glad I can say this but guilty at the same time, they are not doing it for me: At least not in the same way. For this I am thankful, scared, and awestruck all at the same time.

Sometimes its amazing what you find in this world without even looking for it.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
27th Apr, 2005 11:46 (UTC)
I really like how you've put this into words.
27th Apr, 2005 17:34 (UTC)
whereas, i was born two and a hald weeks overdue and weighed almost ten pounds, and i grew to be a mighty 5'3" ;)
27th Apr, 2005 21:27 (UTC)
I never knew that about you. That's amazing and I'm glad you were so fortunate. I am older than you then, if you get very technical, lol. Anyway, I was born cesarean because my head was looking upward instead of curled against me. My mum was in labour with me all night until they decided to cut her open. Back in those days, they just did repeat cesareans, so my sister was a repeat cesarean. These days they encourage you to have your child naturally even if you've had to have a cesarean in the past. So, I am rambling and maybe boring you...but my point is that my sister had her umbilical cord around her neck and they did not know. Because they did a cesarean, she was fine. Had my mum tried to have her naturally, she probably would have been strangled during childbirth. So my sister was very fortunate as well.
28th Apr, 2005 03:28 (UTC)
Wow, I bet that does mess with your head a bit. So similar and yet so amazingly different...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )