Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chapter 1 of "My Blood Doesn't Have Muscles: Diseases of the Child"

Hello, my name is Laureen A. Kelley.  My blood doesn’t have muscles and a heart attack is from the sun.  I am the mother of Tommy, a five year old with semi-moderate semi-incestuous hemophilia.  My previous books include “Raising a Child With Hemophilia:  A Practical Pop-Up Book for Absent Parents,” an introductory gynecological textbook entitled “Fruiting Bodies and other Extraterrestrial Fungi,”  and two illustrated children’s storybooks:  “Must You Always Be a Boy?” and “Dear Lonely Hemophiliac Bachelor:  We Know Your Pet is Your Family.”  Excuse me, I just queafed venison while buttdialing.  Fuck you.  Fuck you and your happiness.  What is a heart attack?

You might not can tell from my accent, but I was born blue-faced and dead on arrival in Springfield, Massachussetts.  But the doctor spanked me back to life and ever since then on cold nights I die in my sleep and my husband, kind man that he is, spanks me back to life.  Often, on the nights I’m revived by my husband’s hand, I stare at our microwave into the wee-wee of dawning hours and cry not for the childhood sexual abuse my father’s mother inflicted upon me, but for the fact that my microwave, like my uterus, shoots rays that overcook all flesh but my own.  My husband, Kevin, is a clean-shaven process scientist for a biotechnology company.  He hates the smell of Funyuns and I suspect that last Christmas morning he beat off the pony we bought Tommy for Christmas.  My blood doesn’t have muscles.  When I buy lightbulbs, I buy General Electric Extra Soft White 60, in the 8 bulb value pack.  At our house, we go through lots of lightbulbs.  I am afraid that in the dark Tommy will bleed out and I will not see it happening and he will not notice it is happening because ever since Tommy saw American Idol on TV he has wet the bed.

Raising a child with hemophilia is hard on the stuff that non-doctors like to call “the nerves.”  As an expert in developmental psychology, international business, and the micro-economic systems of anthills and benign tumors, I am here to tell you that “the nerves” can be calmed by using a variety of methods.  1:  Pharmaceuticals.  2.  Masturbation.  3.  Alcohol.  4.  Pilates.  5.  Hugging a silent domestic animal that will not run away from you like your offspring, your parents, or your husband who has threatened, on occasion, to never spank you back into life again.  6.  Writing books for your grotesque child with a genetic disease you feel guilty about giving him. 

Like most recessive sex-linked, X chromosome disorders, haemophilia is more likely to occur in males than females. This is because females have two X chromosomes while males have only one, so the defective gene is guaranteed to manifest in any male who carries it. Because females have two X chromosomes and haemophilia is rare, the chance of a female having two defective copies of the gene is very low, so females are almost exclusively asymptomatic carriers of the disorder. Female carriers can inherit the defective gene from either their mother or father, or it may be a new mutation. Only under rare circumstances do females actually have haemophilia.  The room is dark, for a change.  I am trying to get over my fear.  Tommy’s face looks like Popeye’s fried chicken.  I am wearing my fuck mask.  Last night I dreamed I was a sea anemone stuck in the kudzu of Tommy’s face.  I want to die, with a clitoris like a belly swollen with 10,000 Arabian measled snakes.  It snowed a lot this winter, and I really enjoyed that.

Once I achieved my first menstruation I began achieving the manipulation of abstract thought in my head.  I began asking myself,  How does listening to loud noises make your head hurt?  Do germs listen to a lot of loud noises and then begin to hurt and make your organs hurt with them?  I achieved my highest levels of understanding in this stage.

Finally, another pitfall of our adult thinking is our use, and misuse, of listening tools.  I was a victim of shoddy listening tools when my son became a victim of stuttering.  After consulting with a speech therapist, my husband and I applied FOUR simple guidelines at home which provided us with the bountifullest dramatic results.  1.  When our son spoke to us, we made direct eye contact.  2.  We reduced conflicting stimulation like radio, TV, our twice weekly disco-swinger adult parties, and other interruptions in the smooth flow of daily boredom.  3.  We paraphrased, or summarized aloud, what our son said and hired a Japanese grad student to train an old Furby to do the same.  4.  We modeled a slow speech pattern based on John Wayne for our son to imitate.  We made him watch Westerns twice a day.  When he spoke too fast we stuffed dinner rolls in his mouth and yelled at him to “SLOW HIS ROLL!”  There were farts the color of orphaned tabby cats in the fear of his eyes.  Have you ever not wiped enough after a shit and not had a chance to wipe again for hours?  If you are an active person with a considerable ass, like me, it can hurt, the chafing, quite a lot.  I reflected on how often we heard Tommy tell a story or ask us questions while we were distracted by TV, the newspaper, tater chips, or each other’s naked throbbing genitalia.  With genitals, dishes, and work we barely had time to hear what he was asking, much less understand why he was asking or why Tommy had such desirable genitals.  We forget, having genitals that jiggle beyond our will, that adults can juggle like balls many tasks while listening, but children cannot.  Sometimes we dismiss our children’s questions and explanations as simple childish prattle, when their speech could provide us with the answers we need to help them enhance their knowledge and improve their ability to think, speak, and touch their genitals simultaneously like a real grown-up.  Sometimes we lack ideas on how to listen, or how to encourage our children to relay their thoughts.  My husband and I came up with a game we could play with our son to generate more brilliant effective ideas on how to get our son to relay his thoughts.  We call this game “The Slow Roll Relay.”  Every full moon we set up a series of 12 track hurdles in our carefully landscaped backyard, but not in a circle like a traditional track.  Our family doesn’t believe in circles.  Teaching children to arrive back where they’ve started is a wrong-headed approach right from the get-go.  Having a track that goes in a straight line teaches children that progress moves forward and can help children from an early age understand intuitively the real truest nature of the world and how to grow up successfully to be a success.  For Tommy, we construct the hurdles to resemble words that his stutter caused him to stumble over or avoid.  Often there is a whole phrase which we inscribe on a hurdle.  Past hurdles Tommy has now overcome thanks to our game include: “I love you Mommy,”  “I love you Daddy,”  “supercallifragillisticespialligosious,”  “I’m not crying because you touch me Mommy, I’m crying because I love you so much,”  “I will never want you to die again,”  etc.  7 days before the full moon of every month, my husband and I consult a list we have been making over the course of the previous month of the things we want Tommy to say.  We choose the top 12 things we want to hear from his mouth without a stutter the next month and we record our voices onto a CD-R repeating these phrases, slowly, intelligibly.  Five days before that month’s “Slow Roll Relay,”  we burn Tommy the CD of us, his adoring parents, repeating his upcoming speech hurdles and every night while Tommy sleeps we play the CD on repeat.  To ensure that your child listens to the CD carefully, it is best to use a Walkman.  Tie the hands carefully to the bedposts each night so as not to cause discomfort but tight enough to prevent headphone removal and allow unimpeded motherly/fatherly access to the desirable child’s genitals.

As children associate life and death with their blood, we must be careful how we explain infusions and diabetes tests with them.   Some children may think that infusions could harm them fatally, since they see a needle puncturing them, tearing through their skin, and blood—the squeezed-cranberry of their life—entering the tubing of the butterfly needle.  Though each child interviewed knew he was receiving help through infusions, we should realize that some children (the dumber, deafer, diddlier or proto-neurotic NY Jewish ones) might fear an infusion.  Let us not get too caught up at this point either speculating on what sort of children prevent and sabotage their own good through their fear.  Teen suicide, especially among children of the New Age, is a complicated matter.  It is important, sort of nevertheless, to reassure children and to explain what is happening to them during medical procedures.  For example, I have long been convinced that due to heightening levels of gross atmospheric microwave and cellular radiation, Tommy, and soon enough, most children of the ever-expanding First World will develop Morgellons disease. 

“Disease” is a vocabulary word too abstract for comprehension.  For most preschoolers, hemophilia is when you get hurt and need a needle or have to go to the hospital.  The children mention perceptual things—the bracelet, an injury, needles, bruises and bumps—to help them explain hemophilia.  Robbie replied that hemophilia was when, “You have to wear a bracelet and take factor when you get hurt.”  In this way, we can see that like “disease,” “children” is a vocabulary word too abstract for comprehension, for indeed, most “adults” and even “scientists”, when asked about HIV, Morgellons, cancer, or paranoid schizophrenia mention only perceptual things—blood cell counts, baldness, alien dermopathy, brain chemistry, serotonin uptake inhibitors—to help them explain a particular “disease.”  After introducing the heart, never believe it’s not possible you never had one, i.e. questions may focus on veins, but all but two of the children could point to his veins and could name them.

“What’s a bruise?” is a question I hear a lot.  Michael, a child (age 6) my husband found wearing bronze shoes in mysterious Baltimore, explains the bruise thus, “It’s a disease I have.  I get a bad bruise and a needle helps it.  What’s a bruise?  When somebody hurts you and punches you, you can get hurt real easily and have blood everywhere.  When you put a flashlight on your hand and you see lots of red stuff—that’s blood.  It looks like skin!  What does it look like without the flashlight? Red. It’s gushy, like rain.”
All sixteen children interviewed knew that everyone has blood, like bad breath, deep down inside and all described blood as red.  Except for two children, who were a snotty four years old each, they all correctly identified a vein on each hand and a bubble of snot popping “like popcorn” in each right nostril.  But not all children could describe blood in terms other than its color, or explain its function.  Many stammered.  Two touched their anuses inappropriately and smelt their own hand, and three children seized, foamed, and defecated an as yet unidentified teal-colored liquid of medium viscosity and high-fructose content which smelled not unlike but not like berry-flavored Slushie syrup.  Some said blood is “something,” or “stuff”, and one child, raised a Mormon in Arizona, said blood was “erotically diffuse, as if it were the flow of procreative hope, knowing no earthly bounds or moral canals of desire,” but most compared blood to another liquid, like Kool-Aid, juice, sex-thoughts, or water.

But what is a bruise but a fame upon the body, an infamously famous fame, shallow, only yet still the visible iceberg, the surface contusion of the superficial heart’s profoundly eventual fatality?  Ah, fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise to scorn delights and live laborious days.  Ah!!! Fame, fame with her sultry, goaty horn, battening our flocks of media-obsessed children with the ivory head-phallus of pop-star desires!  Is this then not a bruise upon our body politic?  This desire to be adored, worshipped, famous?  May a clear spirit exist amidst the influenza of the present day?  May the spirit be clear while all’s noses are yet clogged green with youth and snot?  For Tommy, I fear for the knife that will split his heart.

Serology is the scientific study of blood serum and other bodily fluids. In practice, the term usually refers to the diagnostic identification of antibodies in the serum. Such antibodies are typically formed in response to an infection (against a given microorganism), against other foreign proteins (in response, for example, to a mismatched blood transfusion), or to one's own proteins (in instance autoimmune disease).
Serological tests may be performed for diagnostic purposes when an infection is suspected, in rheumatic illnesses, and in many other situations, such as checking an individual's blood type. Serology blood tests help to diagnose patients with certain immune deficiencies associated with the lack of antibodies, such as X-linked agammaglobulinea. In such cases, tests for antibodies will be consistently negative.
There are several serology techniques that can be used depending on the antibodies being studied. These include: ELISA,agglutinationprecipitationcomplement-fixation, and fluorescent antibodies.
Some serological tests are not limited to blood serum, but can also be performed on other bodily fluids such as semen and saliva, which have (roughly) similar properties to serum.
Serological tests may also be used forensically, generally to link a perpetrator to a piece of evidence (e.g., linking a rapist to a semen sample).

Some people ask me “What made you such an expert?”  To that I say, I was born an expert.

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