Friday, April 15, 2016

A NORML Mom Goes to the Hospital

Healing's needed. How normal is that?
The accident happened the evening before Easter. It had been the kind of day when there is a lot of pent up energy bursting to be free. NORML Dad had just returned from West Virginia. Tons of guest musicians had come over for a cook-out. Some were having creative breakdowns and others creative breakthroughs. By the time dusk had almost settled, my kids had already required rescue several times as they darted perilously close to the road in front of the house.

When they finally migrated to the back yard, I felt enough relief to go inside the kitchen while NORML Dad finished up hot dogs and corn on the cob on the back deck. He was calling the kids over to eat when the screaming started. My children's rough housing ended up with the youngest falling face first on a small picket fence around his swing set and impacting his left eye.

Everyone mobilized as I dialed 911, headed to the local hospital and later was transferred to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston. The initial diagnosis was an orbital fracture needing follow up care and maybe surgery but likely healing on its own. Then a routine visit to the pediatric ophthalmologist suggested there may be additional complications, some very serious. We were admitted to the children's hospital again for an MRI. As anesthesia rapidly hit, I felt my son go completely limp in my arms. I silently allowed myself to mourn what felt like his death. Later I accepted his generally good prognosis with gratitude humbled by uncertainty.

I had originally planned to spend this weekend in New York City. At UNGASS 2016, I would stand with Peachtree NORML and Moms United to End the Drug War. I was going to make history and connections. I was also going to receive a needed reprieve from the chaos of my life.

Now, there is nowhere I'd rather be than at my son's side. I'm also feeling more motivated than ever to inspire change in the area of marijuana legalization. I have directly felt the intensity of fearing for my child's life when the relative risk is low and treatment possible. I cannot imagine the pain which must exist when the risk is high and the best treatment's illegal to obtain. Something has to change. Better yet, something has to heal.

Marijuana legalization, in my opinion, represents a form of social healing. Like my son's physical recovery, this is a process which requires persistence and time.

One simple starting point is signing the Moms United Bill of Rights.

Another is joining local activist groups, including your NORML chapter.

Another is actively sharing your own voice and others which help lessen the stigma against marijuana and its supporters.

If you've liked what you've read here, please spread the word and help it grow.

1 comment:

  1. I am with you on this. I am also glad dear Val will be alright. Nothing as precious as eye sight, especially a child's should be lost. I hope all is well in his eye so his beautiful eyes will shine again! Love that little guy as I love all of your family. Peace & love to all of you <3