Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Derek Lee

For the first few days after Ellie was born and we were handling the enourmous shit sandwich of having a baby that wasn't perfect we asked 'why us?' a lot and also 'why not them?' from time to time as well, thinking about all of the less than good people who have healthy babies that go home with them after a few days in the hospital.

We rationalized it by saying that it is shit luck. Some people get eaten by sharks, some win the lottery and some get a baby that needs some extra time with the doctors.

Another thing we asked is why don't you ever hear of celebrities having babies that are sick? Not a one. You would think that with the thousands of celebrities out there, the odds that they all have healthy babies is astronomical.

Sure you hear about really brave folks like Doug Flutie and Jim Kelly who have autistic kids or Down syndrome kids, but you never hear about sick babies.

My theory is that it is because of the reaction that we get when we tell people about Ellie and that we live in the hospital, like the guy who installed the floor in our house or the lady who cut my hair yesterday: sheer terror and a sense that they want to run home and check on their kids. Babies that are sick don't make good news stories.

Now this week I read that the best hitter in the National League last year, Derek Lee, who plays for the Chicago Cubs, is taking a leave of absence because his daughter has lost vision in one of her eyes. (The story: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2591486). He is going to stop playing baseball and attend to his daughter.

Duh, like there is any other choice.

All I could think of was how tough it must be for this guy to be a public figure and have to immediately start living this strange hospital life instead of the superstar athlete life. Pull out beds instead of five star beds and dry burgers instead of real food. I want to let him know what we have experienced and that there are lots of folks who have dealt with this.

I also want to tell him to get his daughter to Children's. I don't know what kind of opthamologists and neurologists are working here, but my guess is that they are as good at their trade as Derek Lee is.

Besides, he is a free agent after this year and Fenway is only five blocks away. We sure could use him in the neighborhood.

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