End-of-year reflection

This post was born between Christmas and a new year, surely a time of celebration, thanksgiving and reflection for all our readers, and amplified for many people like me by our Christian faith and values.

Being an infant pyloric stenosis (“PS”) survivor also adds to this time of the year: life-saving surgery leaves people like me with much more than the typical parent tales of the cute things we did when we were very young.  PS survivors of anywhere like my vintage (1945) usually have an ugly scar and were perhaps psychologically affected.  However, our scar also reminds many of us at least daily that our life was saved and greatly extended thanks to the admittedly crude surgery and long before we were conscious of it!

For me that happened more than 69 years ago, and the passing years make me increasingly grateful for a rich and happy life.

Song writer Robert Thompson supports Sheffield Children's Hospital.

Song writer Robert Thompson supports Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Early this month I came across a weblink to a British newspaper article that reminded me that being a PS survivor affects many people this way.  A local songwriter penned a Christmas song (Would you believe Father Christmas has a twin?) and created a CD around it to raise funds for kidney research at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Reading this also reminded me how many PS people who mention their survival story online also express their gratitude for being a survivor, despite their often strong feelings about a disfiguring and embarrassing scar and ongoing trouble with what are suspected as being long-term effects of the condition or the operation.

We all agree that our world is far from perfect, and that the same is true of our bodies and emotions, even without having had infant surgery.  But life can be pretty good despite this!

Thank you also to my readers for your interest, encouragement and responses.  Best wishes for 2015!

2 thoughts on “End-of-year reflection

  1. Wendy

    Wonderful article! Doubtless, Thompson’s parents went through some of the same roadblocks our parents encountered: delayed diagnosis, terror over the condition of their babies. And for the baby, delayed treatment meant further acute suffering physically and mentally. What a thoughtful and generous gesture – a fund-raising song to give back to the hospital that saved his life. Thanks, Fred, for this upbeat story and the New Year’s wishes. That you acknowledge the plusses and minuses of pyloric stenosis surgery in the ’40s and ’50s means a lot. Tell it like it is and be grateful despite! A toast to you, Thompson, and all PS survivors, their parents, and medical care-givers!

    1. Fred Vanderbom Post author

      Thanks for this accolade! It seemed like a good piece to pass on and reflect on at this turn of another good year of blogging. Thanks to the web, the world-wide community of PSers is no longer living in the lonely and silent isolation which dogged us for much of our lives. There is clearly a great variety of experiences and current needs and questions, but you are I can look forward to another year of adding truth, understanding, and boldness where these are sorely needed.


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