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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Rage and incredulity, The Halappanavar tradgedy.

I have been veering between states or rage and incredulity for the past week or so regarding the death of Savita Halappanavar  in the Galway hospital. The radio and newspaper coverage  gathers a head of steam as the days go on. There is so much to be enraged about;  the refusal to terminate for at least two days as the unfortunate young  woman waited in pain and fear for the baby's heart beat to stop,  the failure  of hospital staff to note her and her husband's repeated requests  for a termination, and the endless reams of fudge  being trotted out by the government as to why there has been no legislation obliging the hospital to do its job and carry out the procedure from the outset.  Including the recommendations of the  working party that an appeal  board  be set up consisting of two doctors, if a woman has been refused a termination!

When exactly should one appeal after finding oneself  in the throes of a miscarriage? A very good time indeed to be dispatched off to jump through a series of legal hoops. We have the Supreme Court decision in the X Case, and the European court issuing warnings to legislate, and still we allow ourselves to be paralysed by a minority of zealots and dinosaurs. And so we wait and wait, as in this case until its too late. An Irish  answer to an Irish question , no more no less.

"This is a catholic country" Mr Halappanavar   was told,  a remark that was not recorded in the hospital records,  edited out along with the couple's many  requests for a termination. I prefer Mr Halappanavar's    account in this regard. So why not come out and own up to  this kind of thinking? Is it because people are too concerned about negative repercussions for themselves, as opposed to having any view on this? And who or what are they afraid of?  Is there anyone other than a thimbleful of crazies, who would object to a prompt  termination where a woman's life and or  her health is at risk due to a  pregnancy or a miscarriage?  As to enquiries,   it would be  good  to think that a stone would be lifted to expose this kind of dangerous murky thinking at play, but it won't happen unless there is a public enquiry, I think.

And pity poor Mr Halappanavar, who, not given the vital  medical procedure he asked for his wife,  was at last  given tea, biscuits and a blanket, (recorded) to keep vigil as her life slipped away, unstoppable now.  

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Murderous Vissicitudes.

Thursday is black. Murderous vissicitudes with husband and children lead to a sleepless night and today I have a ominous  ache zinging spitefully  up and back from belly to heart.

The day brings the usual round.. The boy tells me passionately that "you expect me to sacrifice my health to your stubbornness ", when I refuse to stock up on some junk cereal he desires ( the semi nutritious one I supply doesn't agree with him. Seemingly). "Yeah and Fruit and Veg!,  thats two entire food groups you have already sacrificed to your HEALTH" his knowing sister sniggers .Energetic insults are traded .Someone asks me for money I don't have on me, for something essential, urgent.  At work a large swathe of the  public  have decided that all the bad stuff in their lives can be traced back to some small inadvertence of mine, some failure of attention on my part.

At lunchtime I decide to go home to my mercifully empty house, take refuge with book, blanket and tea. . And just stop.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Sniggering husbands, Consoling fires, disrespecting Harry Potter.

"Its  only seven weeks till Christmas", the  boy announced on Tuesday.  "Yeah, and  FIRST  there's my birthday"  the boss added,  "and you needn't worry about Christmas"  she continued magnificently, "something small will do cos  like you will be spending  a lot on my birthday  (guitar).....oh and you know  seven weeks,  that's only  actually twenty nine days".     There is a distinct lifting of spirits in the back seats..    Post mid term break,  post autumn,  drop kicked into hard core winter as it were (cold)  we are daunted gloomy and  tired.

Specifically,  on Monday night,  we are tired  on account of Nicky Minaj's concert, after which we were required  to collect the eldest from the bus drop off point,  well after midnight.  The drop off  point could not be clarified, and after at least twenty texts, a kind bus driver dropped her near the house, where I hovered fretfully,  harrowing my husband.   Also,  the boy blues resume, as he rails agains the fact that I have made him  join the school  computer club in return for X Box time.  "I mean I have to get down with  GEEKS"  he cries and I wonder who he sees when he looks in the mirror,  he  being an avid   fan of TV documentaries,  a keen reader of  factual tomes concerning wars, aviation,  true incidents of house hauntings (no, really) extra terestrials and such matters  on a loop (now kindly supplied by his stepfather from his own stash).

By Wednesday  it occurs to all our  young people that the Sky Tv service  is gone, replaced by Free to Air Saorbox.   "Its an economy" I  offer  to a wall of outraged faces.   "But... but I can't be without my programmes,"  utters the eldest tragically.    "What programmes?".  "Well I um ".   "She means  Britains Next Top Model, and  America's Next Top Model too.... Oh and  Sixteen and Pregnant"  carols the boss.  My husband snorts.  "After all, we must prioritise. What if I were to lose my job. Then, the things that actually matter like piano lessons would have to go  ".   "WHAT!. I couldn't  LIVE  without my music" the tragic one  wailed.  "  are you? Loosing your job I mean? Oh My God Are you or are't you?" . I tell her we must hope for the best, in this present climate,.

Later, I tried to explain to my husband  the difficulty of maintaining a sense of stability and predictability  for teenagers who  hack  a path through  a  hormonal snowstorm, whilst insisting they see the real world  that you, and one day they,  must negotiate.   The deprived one bounced into  the middle of this to ask,  with utter  insouciance,  if she might now  have  previously promised  money for clothes shopping on Friday, " while you still have it".  "And what's with the snorting" I asked my unimpressed spouse  (A cavan thing, perhaps?)

Anway, we are cold and tired.  We light  blazing  fires in the evenings to console ourselves and watch  television by the flickering, warming conflagration  of burning wood.  My husband gets a fire snapping and crakling in jig time, which he says is a fine Cavan attribute.  As is eyeballing people, calling a spade a spade  and some other nutty macho stuff.  (But he may be having me on).   He watches Homeland with me and I Breaking Bad with him.  Next door I hear the boy and his sister giggling rauctiously over the computer where they watch a spoof on Harry Potter  (god help us all).  "You really would not want to enquire too closely into that" I tell my Cavan cave man. But, after all,  basically, God's in his heaven, all's right with the world.  More or less. Yes.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Worms turning. Autumn becoming Winter.

Mid term break.  Boss and boy go west to spend the week with their father.   The older one, having declined to be shifted from bed and board, remains with us.   One true thing about Divorce is this;  
the infant parties affected will one day decline to pack up  teddy bear,  clothes and electronica 
and  present themselves to the party of the second part for his or her equal access, (  intensely fought  
for by same.)   The infant will hit puberty,  and,  having a say, will say this  "Hey, I am staying put, I  
am spending my free time with MY FRIENDS and,  if you want me,  you know where I am".   And             
who among us should blame them?   Soon we vote on a constitutional amendment to underpin   
children's rights.   The day indeed may come, my friends when  THE CHILDREN  get the house;  
the equal access,  the  visitation,  the split lives awarded  to the warring parties.

I take a week myself and spend it liberally,  like a  drunken sailor,  on shared  meals, movies,   
random trips across the country with my husband.   We go northwards where I witness the beautiful 
autumn transmogrify to bleak and arctic winter, as we drive.   Beautiful too in its way, if you have                                                                                                                                                                  the stomach for it.  The change is so abrupt that the  cold assaults your very bones, before you can 
adjust to it.  "Too soon" I tell my heart"s companion "its just too soon' and  wrap him round me 
like a blanket as we walk  a blackly winding Cavan road.