Friday, April 22, 2011


My sister Marilyn wrote this email to me:

Just read your blog... You are tough.  Maybe because you have to be, but that is the same as Mom and Dad.  Dad had to grow up in the [Great] Depression.  Mom had to hide under tables during world war II [while being bombed by the Allied forces].  You have to give your son shots.  And if tequilla helps numb things for a moment, then so be it.

She reminded me from whom I come.

I got this.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Tonight I couldn't do another shot. Not of liquor, but of Lovenox, to Liam.

I made the mistake of looking at him when he's screaming when I give him the shot. Usually I just watch his legs, and make sure the medicine is going in. Yesterday I looked at him.

He was looking right at me. Staring at me. Do babies have thoughts complex enough to register what he saw?

He recognizes the shot itself, the needle.  If he sees it, he gets agitated and scared and kicks his legs even harder and starts to cry. Now I prime the needle with my back to him. And tonight, after a rough shot this morning, I couldn't do another shot.

You know what's worse than giving your 4 month old a shot into his thigh? Hearing him scream from the other room while someone else does it. That sound is louder than if I was holding him. Why is that do you suppose?

So now I've decided I have to do it. I have to be the one to give him the shots, even if he stares at me and knows it's me.

I remind myself that there is a cure, there is a fix. I remind myself that it's not as bad as having cancer, which two people close to me - very close in relationship and within 3 years of my age - currently have. I remind myself that we have support and love and my SF girls and my friends who walked in instead of walking out and my sister Marilyn is trying to get us free medication through an organization. I remind myself that he's 4 months old and I don't remember when I was 4 months old or even 12 months old so he won't remember looking at me.

But I'll remember. I'll remember him looking at me and I'll remember him screaming and I'll remember the times I fucked the shot up and he kicked it out and I had to re-shoot him while he was screaming and kicking. And I'll remember how once, one time I did a 90 degree angle instead of 45 degrees and I put that bloody needle through his skin twice at the same time, like a sewing needle, and the medicine shot out onto my arm while he was screaming screaming screaming. I'll remember each and every sob and scream and how his tears taste and how when I hold him after the shot, he still shakes and cries as loud as he can because me holding him isn't enough to make the pain and anger go away even just a little bit.

And that is why I have instituted a new policy at Casa Liam. For every shot he gets, I get one too - except mine is tequila. It's not healthy, it's not a good coping mechanism, but it tastes good and numbs it for a second or two.