Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dear Ashley X...

Dear Ashley X,

This is not a personal note for you...but for all the Ashley X's being created out there.

I have found out that since the crass and self-serving advertisement of the "treatment" by a certain little girl's parents, and in spite of the fact that the hysterectomy performed on that little girl was deemed illegal (too little, too late), many doctors are now "quietly" performing this "treatment" at the request of parents. Many of these treatments are also being performed illegally, many of these are being performed on boys now too.

The tiny upside is that the mastectomy performed on the first little girl is not being performed on other little girls....the horrifying fact being that it is not medically necessary to attenuate growth and that the original parents live in depraved ignorance about the nature of sexual assault...Their daughter paid for that with her breasts.

Dear Ashley X, I am so sorry that my tiny little blog and the tiny little voices of others who understand severe disability have not been heard and that we cannot save you from your fate. We cannot save you from a world that doesn't value your personhood, a world that believes that the body parts on your severely disabled body and your chance to grow-up are not as important as it is to make it easy and cheaper to care for you. I am sorry for the belief that your type of cognizance does not match that of the majority, so, then it is perceived to be okay to irreversibly alter your body. After all, it has been deemed by others that you won't know the difference, and so, you won't care. The doctors and your parents have become mind readers.

And, dear Ashley X, I am sorry for your parents. I am sorry that they were "counselled" by the medicos that this is a viable "treatment option" for your disability. I am sorry that, only three or so years into their lives with you, that they have not had time to come to grips with what it means to have a child with severe disability beyond the work it entails. I am sorry that they will not be able to see you grow up and take pride in that, but that they were instilled with fear that your ultimate size would make you "unmanageable" and their lives more difficult.

I am sorry that your parents were likely lead to believe in utter falsehoods...that growth attenuation will ease or stop scoliosis, that it will make you less likely to have bed sores or contractures or pain. I am sorry that they were fed false hopes, that the doctors will make it seem that you will be much smaller than you will actually be in the end, because they are just guessing with statistics.

Dear little Ashley X, I am sorry that you live in a world that, no matter what size you are, will not provide adequate assistance for your parents to care for you. I am sorry that they will still have to do all the work required to care for another human being and that, no matter what your size, they may become tired and lonely and financially strapped. I am sorry that you may end up institutionalized and possibly given only minimal care. I am sorry that you live in a world that thinks you are a burden and that, really, you shouldn't be allowed to live in the first place. I am sorry that the genuine lessons you have to teach and love that you have to bring to this world are not recognized or valued. I am sorry that, the very fact that you were born and are living should be enough to make people care, but that it doesn't.

I'm sorry, Ashley X...I am so sorry.