Sunday, September 13, 2009

The NICU Reunion

Georgetown's NICU held a reunion on Saturday, inviting all of their former patients to spend an afternoon on one of the hospital's terraces. I had a strong impulse to attend, one that I don't quite understand. I think it came from equal parts desire to show off Max to the NICU staff, who knew him earliest, and during some of his darkest moments and a desire to stand up for all the NICU patients who aren't indistinguishable from other children. Indeed, among the hundreds of children I saw running around the reunion, I only saw two others with obvious disabilities.

The noise, crowds and confusion of the event clearly confused and disturbed Max. His therapists have noted his tendency to disorganization; indeed, Max is prohibited from watching television or being around electronic toys for precisely this reason. The reunion clearly overstimulated him. He cried more or less constantly except when I was holding him and he was agitated for the rest fo the day and night. Max, it seems, does best in his own house, with his few, but devoted, friends at hand.

Nonetheless, we got to see many of Max's old friends again. Although, as Carolyn said, it did feel like tempting fate, and although we did pay for it later, I am glad we went.

Here is Max with Nurse B. back in early November 2008:


Nurse B. and Max met up again yesterday:

NICU Reunion
And now.

Dr. R. was the first to supervise Max on a trip to the out-of-doors in the very late winter:

Out for a stroll with Dr. R.
Feb. 27, 2009

And Max met up with her again yesterday:

NICU Reunion