The very first days of my life in this world, the world itself was not what you’d call “welcoming”.
Still a baby, with eyes closed and sleeping away for the most part of the day, I was embraced by the cold claws of the lord Hades.
Before I had the chance to witness the world with my own eyes, I suffered a severe case of psoriasis that, unaffected by treatments and medication, fast progressed to necrobiosis.
For those unfamiliar with the terms, psoriasis refers to the hardening and flaking of the skin. Necrobiosis is the gradual degeneration and death of cells in the body tissue.
I was dying alive. Just, rotting away. A flake at a time.
Obviously, my parents were not just shocked; they were marginally losing faith. Both of them with demanding careers asking for their concentration and an older child that craved for attention, they were put in a tight spot.
They visited all the paediatricians they could get hold of. They tried all the proposed treatments and medications. The fact remains that, I was living inside a dying body. A corpse with a beating heart. With my closed baby eyes, I bet I did look exactly like that: dead.
Then, one day, a doctor proposed something radical. I can’t be entirely certain if my mother called and asked for his help or, if he called back after my mother had told him about my condition. That does nothing to change the importance of that man’s effect on my life. In all honesty, I guess I owe him the fact that I am here now so that I can put these words down.
No matter who called whom, I know what that doctor said. He was not a paediatrician. He was a pathologist. Probably, after that day, my mother’s favourite person in the whole wide world.
“You’re losing the baby. He’s not gonna make it. Pray all you want, it’s all you can do. But, if you really want to be sure that, if he goes, you will have tried EVERYTHING you could have tried, I’ll tell you what to do. But mark my words. I’ll say it once, and I will never admit I ever said it. I will not know you from now on. No matter if it works or if it does not, I will not want to know.”
I can’t even begin to imagine how a mother can feel at those words. First off, being told that your baby will die. Not probably. Certainly. To be told that all you can do is pray. And to be offered an option that even the person who proposes it, does not want anything to do with it.
In the end, after what I bet was a weep ridden phone call, my mother was left with the name of a pill on a piece of paper. My father raced to the local pharmacy and got it. Not easily. It was one of those hard medications they usually prescribe for severe cases in full grown adults. But he did get a box.
Then, he had to chop that tiny little pill into such small pieces like they were particles of dust. A baby that has not even opened his eyes -mothers know- can do little to chew or swallow. So he did. He cut that little pill into marginally visible specks and…
Well, up to here was the easy part. Cause now, he had to press his finger against the tiny specks of the pill in order to make them stick at its tip and then bring his finger to my lips so I, as a baby, I would suck it and, eventually, swallow the tiny particles of the medicine.
As you can tell, the trick worked. What was a definite no-no for a baby of my age, kept me going. 32 years old, I only once had a similar case in my life. Back then, I had no clue that it had happened to me again, when I was a baby. Many years passed before I was told of the story…
The world has been trying to get rid of me since before I could fight back. But hey…
I’m still here. Still breathing. Still kicking.