The first documented days of my birth will not be published in Time magazine or Scientific Journal.
It happened on an average day in spring in the month of May. I was born the middle child of four children. Although these days I stay separated from my family for personal reasons there is a recurring topic that will come up often within the pages of this book my brother, and twin Angelo. The reason behind this is because unlike my other brother and sister, Angelo was the closest person to me because he arrived on the scene born just 3 ½ minutes after I was. To this day I poke fun of the time difference and being older, but it doesn’t seem to bother him because he’s taller. The date was May 26, 1985 it seems so long ago now, that it almost feels like ancient history and although I declare my birth was nothing special, the hospital realized that after a health scare I did require immediate medical attention.
I required a defibrillator to stay alive. That’s right the first moments of my birth actually were breathtaking, because it actually took my breath away and that’s fact. The reasons behind losing oxygen well-placed in incubator are still bewilderment to medical experts studying the condition of cerebral palsy. After it was discovered that I had the condition now known as CP, my parents were in a state of shock.
I’m sure they wanted to express a different kind of emotion other than anger. For all intents and purposes, they should have been happy not only did that they give birth to a child but they gave birth to twins. After it was reported that I had CP, my mother and father were confused as to what best course of action they should take in order to give me a satisfied life.
It should be duly noted that I do not have discouragement or show any place of anger towards my parents regarding what they believe was a necessity in order for me to have a normal life. To do that they would have to sacrifice their livelihood and very jobs to support my physical condition and to watch it step by step. It was never easy, the distresses they experienced all while raising me a small child as well as three others. I will never come to know nor do I want to share those same sleepless nights. A parent tries to do everything they can for their children, because the end of the day it is their responsibility to nurture them and take care of them.
My parents did the best they could with what they had to work with, which wasn’t much according to medical experts. I was very blessed from one aspect of my physical condition, because it could have been a lot worse. I could have been required to be in a wheelchair or bedridden for the remainder of my natural life. However circumstances that were beyond my control my maker made sure that I wouldn’t have a difficult life such as the one described in books and movies…
Fortunately at the time, my father already knew what cerebral palsy was long before I came into contact with it. My cousin from Italy, Emilio contracted cerebral palsy. It would give my dad a glimpse of the condition that affected a person’s leg from a simple brain injury at birth . However just because he had some exposure to it and understood what happened it did not in any way deter his anger. He was furious when he was the first to witness my face turning blue due to lack of oxygen. It was one of the more dramatic experiences. He had ever seen. I believe even to this day he is haunted by those images. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
By medical standards doctors can have 30 different medical diplomas but when you give parents devastating news regarding the health of their child they will not begin to understand what is being said. At the time of the announcement of my health issues my parents were experiencing bouts of frustration, anger and overall wonder about whether or not they had the strength to raise a child up with his physical condition that requires so much attention. I spent a majority of my early years outside of school.
How I passed elementary school considering the amount of days I missed is beyond my comprehension. A lot of people would consider my road trips to hospitals fun because it got me out of school, let me ask my readers a question. What makes traveling to hospital seeing doctors and nurses would be fun for a patient that has CP? Sitting in the waiting room, what is so awesome or fun about sitting and waiting for the nurse to call you only to wait again. Waiting on doctors is a lot like dial up internet. When you are finished waiting medical experts are anticipating poking and prodding you with medical instruments. Although the while talking about what they should or shouldn’t do to you in terms of operating on you.
Remember as a child, you don’t have a say in a matter such as this. Your parents make the decisions for you. All the while you as the patient are being treated like a medical lab rat being examined from every angle or to whatever view the doctors looked at your body from. While in the little rooms, orthopedic doctors are stretching my body like a piece of elastic testing my threshold of pain. Most time these doctors examined my motion, the doctors would often have me x-rayed and asked me a bunch of questions to which I knew no answer to.
That being said I often did enjoy being able to eat pizza while on the road, when something like that occurred I felt spoilt. What a simple life I lead as a child that the little things like eating a pizza talking to my dad or mother was a simple and small joy in my life. I’m blessed in one respect that my parents did all they could and they gave all they had to see me well. Sometimes there were trials other times there were triumphs but I’m very fortunate to have had parents that always went the extra mile to spend that extra dollar on their son that needed medical assistance and overall understanding of how to live a life with CP and how to live normally.
What my parents truly sacrificed I will never know nor do I wish to know the trials they went through I don’t wish to share tears with them, My father did the only physical thing he could think of to get me well; When that didn’t work he would stretch me out like a rubber band when helping me with my physiotherapy.
I often believed that my father had two personalities and the most common two personalities I can think of is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex.
Make no mistake about it; I love my family for what they have done for me. My mother is a lady that cooked so much food it became her way of showing a sense of appreciation to people. On the other hand, my father was very strict he was the disciplinarian in the family. I wouldn’t admit it than, but I will openly admitted in this book here to everyone, nine times out of 10 I deserved the discipline that I got. As a child I was very rebellious and at times I needed discipline more often than not to correct my way of thinking.
I respect my father and parents for the way they raised me, sure we didn’t always get along but at the end of the day they provided me with three simple things that a lot of Canadians take for granted. There was always food on the table, clothes on my back in a moral compass that even when I tried to get away from it always found its way back to me. Good or bad I can be happy in the fact that God gave me a set of parents that didn’t give up the fight and went the distance for me and my three other siblings. I didn’t always have a good relationship with my parents but I can respect the choices they made to raise us four kids up to the best of their ability. They must’ve done a good job because after 29 years I’m still living, and I got a smile on my face.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9.
Often times my parents and I were constantly going here and going there to try to find a solution to what some would consider a terrible circumstance. I am fairly certain though that sometimes if my father would STOP and be Still and turn his attention to God for answers regarding how best to handle the situations, he would have been able to use more wisdom that goes beyond human comprehension.
By doing that he could have a more confidence in what he was doing and I know for sure that if my parents clutched the Bible to their chest and read it like most should, I’m under the assumption that they could have saved themselves a l opt of heartaches, headaches and heart attacks. I love my parents tremendously but like anybody, sometimes us as human beings rely on what are eyes see as simple truth. However I know that from experience that you should never look at a glass being half empty. In our human experiences as people we can sometimes fail to see that God is in control.
Isaiah 26:3King James Version (KJV)
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee. I have no doubt in my mind that as parents some of the decisions they had to make were tough but if they wanted peace, comfort, love and understanding they could have found that solace in the scriptures.