Tuesday, November 08, 2005Sharing Experience?
About a couple of weeks ago, I heard from my mother that Little Skywalker's girlfriend's mother gave birth to another baby girl. J and I were quite thrilled for the couple, who's also a family friend living behind my parents' place. I know the guy personally since I was at my teens (he was a few years older though) and later got to know the girl when she taught at the same school where I went for my STPM studies for 4 weeks. Little Skywalker plays with their daughter (Joana) on a daily basis as my parents and Joana's grandparents are good friends.
About a week later, my mum told me that the newborn baby girl is suffering from kidney failure and is still under observation in UMMC. Since my mother is a retired-nurse who is well-trained in the field of Nephrology, she knows quite a number of doctors at UMMC. From what she heard from the doctor, it seems that the baby is possibly suffering from Potter syndrome. She also asked me to look up articles from the Internet and print it out for the parents, so that they could have a better understanding of their child's condition.
The baby is due to referred to Kuala Lumpur Hospital to be treated by one of the most renown nephrologist in the country. However, the nephrologist is currently out of the country attending a conference of some sort. Anyway, she was back early from the conference to have a look at the baby. The exact diagnosis was not known to me, but what is obvious is that the child was born with a kidney that is not fully functional (functioning less than 50% at birth). The baby is now discharged from the hospital back to her parents while waiting for the kidney to reach its end-stage, so that she could be put on the transplant list.
My mum has requested me and J to visit the parents of the baby, so that we could share our experience with them. According to her, the parents even brought a priest to UMMC in order to baptize the child in case anything happens.
Now, I am in a dilemma. It's NOT that I am not willing to share my past experience my friends, but I've always thought that it is always better for them to speak to a professional counselor. As you might know, the parents of the baby would be under tremendous stress now. The bad news might be pushing them (especially the mother) further to the edge of depression. A slight slip of the tongue from anyone other than a professional counselor may have irreversible consequences in the parents' emotions.
To be honest, I am not the kind of person who could provide words of comfort as well as giving false hope to people. When I was facing Little Skywalker back in the NICU after he was born, I was already prepared myself for the worst (or am I?). I've never told anyone, but the thought of a small wooden coffin kept flashing in my mind every time I thought of my son lying still in the NICU bed. Tears flow uncontrollably out of my eyes at the first sight of such thoughts. At that moment, I do not think anyone could have provided any words of comfort that will take such fear away from me.
Sentences like "Don't worry, I am sure he/she will be fine" and "He/she will get through this" meant little in situations like this. Heck, I was not so sure about letting the parents read about the articles which I have found on the Internet. What if the baby was misdiagnosed? Would it put unnecessary stress on the parents? Don't believe me? Go read the article for yourself, and tell me it doesn't scare the hell out of you.
Relatives and friends come to me with their problems or seek advice all the time. I always share my own experience with them, lessons I've learned, things that I know for a fact. However, I never give unqualified remarks on any occasion. If they happened to ask me something which I have never encounter before, I would recommend them to someone I know, or maybe I would read more about the topic before sharing with them. I rather help in a practical manner than just providing words of comfort.
What do you think?
You might also want to read about Baby Smooches' friend's SIL experience when her fetus was diagnosed with Potter syndrome. FYI, my friend's baby is yet to confirmed with the said illness as yet. Bottom line, all pregnant ladies should NOT miss any of their routine check-up!!
p/s: I am thinking of visiting my friends (the said parents of the baby) this weekend to share some of our experiences when Little Skywalker was born, and also to learn more about the baby's condition. In the mean time, please include the little baby in your prayer.
Jotted down by Egghead :: at around 11/08/2005 08:19:00 AM :: and invited 18 Blah(s):
18 Blah(s) by: Selba, mom2ashley, Loc Kee, mama2jojo, Zara's Mama, Lazymama, maria, Tracy, Msau, Annie, Baby Smooches, Irene, shiaulin, shiaulin, Sue, Egghead, Loc Kee, Irene, Share