If You Have a Metatarsal Stress Fracture… WATCH THIS

If You Have a Metatarsal Stress Fracture… WATCH THIS


In this video, I’m going to show you some
great exercises to get your body ready to run again after a Metatarsal stress fracture. So you’ve been told that the foot pain you’re
suffering with is a metatarsal stress fracture. This is one of those injuries that I can unfortunately
speak about from personal experience. I can definitely confirm that this isn’t an injury
you can run through! As you’ve no-doubt been told, resting the
foot is hugely important to allow the the bone tissue to heal properly. However it’s important to remember that
while you’re resting the foot, there’s still loads you can do in terms of exercise. With the right rehab plan we can make sure
that when the time comes, you’re ready to get back to running stronger than ever. After all… it’s the foot we’re trying
to rest. As long as we’re careful to protect the foot there’s still the other 95% of
the body that we can work on! I’ve actually created a free downloadable
Metatarsal Stress Fracture rehab guide to go alongside this video with a series of bonus
exercises and rehab progressions. I’ll leave the link in the description of this video
– be sure to check it out Now, let’s take a look at the various different
phases of metatarsal stress fracture rehab and check-out a few of the key exercises you
can be working on at each stage… Ok so during this early stage of your injury,
we of course have to protect the foot from undue loading and stress while the bone begins
to heal. Whether you’re in a protective boot or not,
the this period of time where you’re not using the foot normally can have consequences for
areas higher up the body, such as the hips and the low back. While you can’t load the foot too much at
this point, you can still promote good movement throughout the rest of your body. Here are a couple of hip and back mobility
exercises you can work on without damaging your foot. Start on all fours. From there, take one knee
and bring it forwards towards your elbow. From there bring the knee out to the side
and straighten the leg backward from the hip. Repeat this circular movement ten times, then
reverse the movement. Aim for three sets of ten on each side. Laying on your front, reach your left foot
and leg back and across your body to touch the ground on the right of your body. You’ll feel your glutes and low back working
as you extend the hip through movement. You’ll also be getting a great stretch through the
front of the hip. Repeat this on your right and left alternately,
and aim for three sets of 10. In the same way, while you’re not using the
foot normally, sometimes the ankle and foot it self can get a little stiff. This simple a-to-z exercise where you ‘write’
the letters of the alphabet with your toes gives your foot and ankle a thorough workout
in all planes of motion. When your Physio gives you the go ahead to
begin gradually loading the foot again, any exercise where we work on balance and stability
is a great option… just as long as nothing you do causes your foot pain. This single leg toe touch exercise is one
of my favourite balance and single leg stability exercises for runners! It’s so simple yet
so effective… Standing on one leg, maintain your balance
as you keep your back straight and pivot forwards from the hips. Reach down to touch your big
toe with your opposite hand, then stand up straight again. Of course it’s not just about the foot…
As I mentioned regarding mobility, we also need to address the hips when it comes to
keeping important muscles such as the glute complex in good functional condition. I really like this variation on a step-up
exercise where we add a resistance band just below the knee to force you to work harder
through those all-important abductor and external rotator muscles of the hip, such as glute
med and upper glute max. Keep the movement slow and deliberate while
stepping back and forth over a step for three sets of 1 minute When it comes to gradually returning to running,
there are also a number of exercises you can work on to build strength around the foot,
ankle and lower legs. When the time comes to resume running gradually,
your Physio should give you an appropriate return to running programme so that you can
gradually increase the cumulative stress on the injured metatarsal. Alongside the running programme you should
also ask your Physio about exercises you can use to compliment running in gradually reintroducing
the loading. Exercises such as heel and toe walking are
great for building strength and endurance in the muscles around the ankles. Jumping rope and jumping on its on are both
great low level ploy strict drills which will help you condition the low legs, feet and
ankles for running. As with the obvious progression – hopping – care should be taken in performing
these post metatarsal stress fracture. Little and often is the way forwards with these exercises,
so as to not overload the bone tissue as it remodels. I usually find that 5 X 20sec bouts of an
exercise like jumping rope is an adequate training load to begin with. Not too much,
but enough to have an effect. If you’re unsure, please always check with
your Physio. Best of luck with your rehab, and don’t
forget to check the link in the description to pick-up your free metatarsal stress fracture
rehab guide.

Comparing Risks: Hip Fracture vs. Total Hip Replacement


Like all surgery, hip surgery has risks. But
there may be some important differences between the risks for hip fracture surgery versus
total hip replacement. I’m Rachelle Grossman with your latest health news. A new study
compared patients and found that those with hip fractures tended to be older, have other
medical conditions, and were at a higher risk of death. When a patient breaks a hip, surgery
is usually needed to help the fracture heal. In a total hip replacement, the damaged bone
is removed and the hip joint is replaced by a prosthesis. Previous research found that
patients undergoing a total hip replacement are generally younger and healthier. Their
risk of death was only point-3 percent, while the risk of death for people undergoing hip
fracture surgery was 1-point-8 percent. In addition, patients having hip fracture surgery
were also much more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit. Experts say that
because a hip fracture may cause pain, bleeding and immobility, they may also face an increased
likelihood of complications like heart attack, pneumonia and stroke.

Acid Reflux & Back Pain Treatment – Instant Relief

Acid Reflux & Back Pain Treatment – Instant Relief


hi I’m Dr. Ekberg and I’m sitting here
with Scott Henderson we just like to chat for a few minutes and share some
things that you might find some benefit in So Scott you want to tell us why you
came in in the first place sure about nine months ago I had some severe pain
in the middle of my back on the left side and probably lasting a couple weeks
and just wasn’t getting any relief from it and so I actually found you on the
Internet mmm but really was really impressed with what I saw so I decided
to give you a try in then I came in and things have gone really well as a result
of that my back pain isn’t there at all anymore I’m able to do the things that I
feel like I I want to do work in the yard lift heavy things in the yard all
sorts of things that I have always done and I’m back, back to being able to do
that wonderful so did you did you try anything else oh yeah well you know I
tried putting ice on my back I tried just taking it easy and I was getting
concerned because it didn’t seem like it was getting any better no matter what I
tried ok so all right all right well I’m glad that we could be of help with that
and i wanted to mention something else also that we worked with a little bit
later because then that you you said that you also had heartburn or reflux
yes and so we we got you some supplements and how has that been
working out really well better than I imagined it would
that was one of the things i mentioned to you just sort of off the cuff when i
was in here and unexpectantly have had good deal of favorable results from the
course that you recommended both the dealing with it from an adjustment point
of view as well as the recommendation you made of particular supplements I
struggle with this for 15 years and had been taking numerous types of the
prescription and I start off with prescription medications you know the
proton pump inhibitors and I decided I thought I was getting better and so I
decided them to lay off of that and it would come back and so I took the over
the counter stuff like Zantac and Pepsid and those sorts of things I was
having to take those every day and I thought this can’t be good you know so
when I mentioned that to you you ran through a number of tests know the
strength tests that you do and yeah so on and you recommended particular course
you know the supplements I’ll tell you what was surprising to me was how
quickly those supplements worked with the very day I started taking them
that night I went to bed wondering what was going to happen because I if I
didn’t take the zantac before I go to bed I wake up the next day and it felt
like someone ran a wire brush up and down my esophagus some not all the time
but sometimes that’s how it would be and so the next day I got him I couldn’t
believe how good I felt and so I’ve been taking them ever since and been
extremely pleased with that wonderful a little side note for those who aren’t
familiar with the mechanisms here that most people and most of the traditional
belief in our health care system is that heartburn and reflux comes from too much
stomach acid when in fact it comes it develops because of not enough stomach
acid and first we have to understand that the body doesn’t do anything by
mistake that if the body makes hydrochloricAcid there’s a reason for
it so your body makes hydrochloricAcid in the stomach to digest proteins and if
you don’t digest proteins properly you missed one of the most important steps
of digestion and now first of all the food sits around too long and it starts
wreaking havoc and secondary stomachAcids are forming which actually creates the
reflux but furthermore undigested materials go down through your digestive
system and now you get inflammation and irritation further down and the
traditional way then with proton inhibitors and tums and all those things
they’re trying to neutralize the StomachAcid that the body is making on purpose so
now you’re digesting food even to an even lesser degree and now you have
malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies because the food you’re
eating is getting digested so what’s exciting about this
is that not only are the symptoms going away but you’re actually getting more
nutrition out of your food yes and that’s just just a bonus and I feel
better overall this isn’t TMI I have more regular bowel movements and I I
know exactly when they’re going to happen every day yeah so good and that’s
important stuff yeah we don’t talk about it but that’s some of the most important
basic functions of the law yes yeah well wonderful thank you so much for for
sharing my pleasure and to help continued success Thanks thank you

On Frustration & Feeling Like a Failure With Chronic Illness #DisabledYouTuber


Are you chronically ill and self-hate is getting you down? I got you covered [chipmunk voice], because that’s what’s coming next! [cute xylophone theme plays] I know I look fancy, but I don’t feel fancy. [sings Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65] I’m blue – da ba dee da ba dye – da ba Hi there! I’m Victoria and welcome to Chronicles, a place where we, Kate and Victoria, are just trying to make invisible illness visible. If you’ve stumbled onto this corner of the web, for the first time, I’d love for you to be a part of our family! As we chronicle ha ha ha? our sick-as adventures. We post weekly, when we have the spoons… Which is almost never, but anyway! Onto the video! If you’ve been following Chronicles, you would have noticed that I haven’t been around… Aside from some really personal stuff, which I can’t talk about – and general horrible health which there’s no point talking about right now – I’ve been dealing with the very debilitating feeling of feeling like a complete failure of a person. So today, I wanted to talk about feeling like a failure and frustration with chronic illness. [breathy laugh/heavy breathing/turns to cry] I don’t want this video to be depressing – like I had other videos planned, but I just wanted to be real – I mean, honesty and authenticity is the point of this whole channel. I know that this isn’t something that is just, me, so I thought it’s important to explore it today. Disclaimer: I do want to point out that I totally know all of these feelings that I have come from a completely
internalised ableist view, and this unrealistic strive for perfection that can’t exist in my body, because I’m sick and you know, it’s not my fault, bla bla bla, don’t be so hard on yourself, but you know easier said than done. I am a type A perfectionist, and my ultimate flaw is being the absolute worst to myself [scoffs at self]. I’m really hard on myself, and ableism is like, insidiously present in this world… So existing as me is like, just not acceptable, to society and cultural standards. [SIGH] It’s impossible not to internalise all of that and get confused, and not feel worthless in the process. Feeling like a failure is a feeling, it doesn’t mean that I am a failure, I get that. [inhales] But, it’s not a feeling I can control. I somehow always come back to this same place. My best just isn’t good enough… Or at least it’s not good enough to me, or Society. I’m trying to exist in this body that really doesn’t want to do much. It’s like a huge tug of war. The Spirit is willing but the flesh, the
flesh, it’s weak. Right now, I feel like, so crap and it’s raining, but I knew that I had to make this video, because I haven’t been able to make any videos like literally haven’t had the capacity. …Mentally, physically, emotionally, a lot of
stuff. It’s really hard not to see that as a failure. And I know that like, all of you guys are so supportive, and so like just cool about us like leaving and taking care of our bodies – but like, when I don’t follow through with my own promises that I’ve made to myself… it makes me feel like I’ve just completely failed my whole life. It’s part of how my brain works and it’s like no matter how much therapy I get, these feelings never leave… Because of this constant total war within myself between: ‘yes I want to do this! and ‘I (physically) can’t do this.’ I despise having to cancel the things that I want to do. I want to do everything, but here I am, I drop after a shower so… How do I? How? HOW? Like, I’m doing graded exercise, because I have chronic fatigue syndrome (or CFS/ME). In my graded exercise, the most I can walk comfortably, without making myself feel any worse, is three minutes and 45 seconds. It’s frustrating, and this video is basically gonna be a rant of frustration, because my body can’t keep up with what my mind wishes it could do. As a disabled spoonie, there are true words that are the bane of my existence: ‘I can’t.’ It just kills me not to have… the choice to make memories and take opportunities on a whim. The amount of things that I’ve had to give up because of my health… My body will just let me down. I despise missing out. My soul aches for exploration and adventure. Like, the other day, I was going to go to see one of my favourite artists, Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote. And I had the ticket and I was like planning to go. And then, the night came, it took me so long to decide whether it was worth going, because I knew that afterwards there would be consequences for me going out. OR I could stay home and probably cry my eyes out, because this was like the millionth thing that I have had to cancel. UGH. so I took the plunge and I actually just went, because I couldn’t handle having to say ‘I can’t go’ one more time. It’s like I want to [stumbles on words] I want to be nice to myself and say, ‘okay you know we had a shower, we ate, we
exercised, we like did one thing that we wanted to do, we made progress… But then there’s this other side of me that’s like ‘that’s not good enough.’ I guess, also the main problem is that like [tuts] I set really high unrealistic expectations for myself, and… I always have to remind myself that
I’m not able-bodied. ‘No Victoria, you can’t… make a video edit it and post it in a day.’ I know that I can do the things and be the person that I want to be, but
my body is just like in the way all the time. And so… I don’t know if I can do those things and be who I want to be, because, I only have so much control over
this [points to self]. So please [exhale] Never tell a sick person that they are in any way lucky, and dismiss their feelings if they open up to you about these things – because – imagine you’ve contracted the worst flu you could ever imagine, but it just never got better, but you’re also expected to just get on with life. And that’s just like, a very one-dimensional view of the picture. So, cut your fellow chronically ill loved ones some slack. If you’re trying to help someone else in your life, with talking about their spiralling thoughts, The best and only tip I can think of, for helping someone else who’s going through this situation, is just to listen. Don’t try to talk them out of the feelings that they have: listen, don’t interrupt and be present with them. Trust me, there’s like no way you can take this pain away, but having you there for them – whether even through like a message, a
call, or hanging out with them in person – That support means everything. And that is all I want from the people in my life. And I [stumbles on words] yeah. I just needed to share that today. Uh, if you’ve made it to the end of this video, thank you for sticking around and for listening to me talk about really heavy stuff . What are your experiences with these feelings? Tell me in the comments below. If you liked this video, um I’d love to talk (more) about ways to combat these feelings. Sharing this caring and subscribing means that you become part of the family! So do those things, yay! You can find me or Kate on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter. Till next time, I’m Victoria, [ol’ timey american accent] you’re watching Chronicles and I’d like to invite you to join me in the fight for making invisible illness visible!

How does an illness become an identity?


“Even in purely nonreligious terms, homosexuality represents a misuse of the sexual faculty. It is a pathetic little secondary substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life. As such, it deserves no compassion, it deserves no treatment, as minority martyrdom, and it deserves not to be deemed anything
but a pernicious sickness.” That’s from Time Magazine in 1966,
when I was three years old. And last year, the President of the United States came out in favor of gay marriage. (Applause) And my question is,
How did we get from there to here? How did an illness become an identity? When I was perhaps six years old, I went to a shoe store with my mother and my brother, and at the end of buying our shoes, the salesman said to us
that we could each have a balloon to take home. My brother wanted a red balloon, and I wanted a pink balloon. My mother said that she thought
I’d really rather have a blue balloon, but I said that I definitely wanted the pink one. And she reminded me that my favorite color was blue. The fact that my favorite color now is blue, but I’m still gay, (Laughter) is evidence of both my mother’s influence and its limits. (Laughter/Applause) When I was little, my mother used to say, “The love you have for your children
is like no other feeling in the world, and until you have children,
you don’t know what it’s like.” And when I was little,
I took it as the greatest compliment in the world that she would say that about parenting my brother and me. And when I was an adolescent, I thought, “But I’m gay, and so I probably can’t have a family,” and when she said it, it made me anxious. And after I came out of the closet,
when she continued to say it, it made me furious. I said, “I’m gay. That’s not the direction that I’m headed in, and I want you to stop saying that.” About twenty years ago, I was asked by my editors
at The New York Times Magazine to write a piece about Deaf culture. And I was rather taken aback. I had thought of deafness entirely as an illness. “Those poor people, they couldn’t hear, they lacked hearing, and what can we do for them?” And then I went out into the Deaf world. I went to Deaf clubs, I saw performances of Deaf theater, and of Deaf poetry. I even went to the Miss Deaf America Contest
in Nashville, Tennessee, where people complained about that slurry Southern signing. (Laughter) And as I plunged deeper and deeper into the Deaf world, I became convinced that deafness was a culture, and that the people in the deaf world who said, “We don’t lack hearing; we have membership in a culture,” were saying something that was viable. It wasn’t my culture,
and I didn’t particularly want to rush off and join it, but I appreciated that it was a culture, and that for the people who were members of it, it felt as valuable as Latino culture
or gay culture or Jewish culture. It felt as valid, perhaps, even as American culture. Then a friend of a friend of mine
had a daughter who was a dwarf. And when her daughter was born,
she suddenly found herself confronting questions that now began to seem quite resonant to me. She was facing the question of what to do with this child. Should she say,
“You’re just like everyone else, but a little bit shorter?” Or should she try to construct some kind of dwarf identity? Get involved in the Little People of America? Become aware of what was happening for dwarfs? And I suddenly thought,
most Deaf children are born to hearing parents. Those hearing parents tend to try to cure them. Those Deaf people discover community
somehow in adolescence. Most gay people are born to straight parents. Those straight parents often want them to function in what they think of as the mainstream world, and those gay people have to discover identity later on. And here was this friend of mine looking at these
questions of identity with her dwarf daughter. And I thought, there it is again — a family that perceives itself to be normal, with a child who seems to be extraordinary. And I hatched the idea that there are really two kinds of identity. There are vertical identities which are passed down
generationally from parent to child. Those are things like ethnicity, frequently nationality,
language, often religion. Those are things you have in common with your parents,
and with your children, and while some of them can be difficult,
there’s no attempt to cure them. You could argue that it’s harder in the United States — our current presidency notwithstanding —
to be a person of color. And yet, we have nobody who is trying to ensure that the next generation of children
born to African-Americans and Asians come out with creamy skin and yellow hair. There are these other identities
which you have to learn from a peer group, and I called them “horizontal identities” because the peer group is the horizontal experience. These are identities that are alien to your parents, and that you have to discover when you get to see them in peers. And those identities, those horizontal identities, people have almost always tried to cure. And I wanted to look at what the process is through which people who have those identities
come to a good relationship with them. And it seemed to me that there were three
levels of acceptance that needed to take place. There’s self-acceptance, there’s family acceptance,
and there’s social acceptance, and they don’t always coincide. And a lot of the time, people who have these conditions are very angry because they feel
as though their parents don’t love them, when what actually has happened
is that their parents don’t accept them. Love is something that ideally is there unconditionally throughout the relationship between a parent and a child, but acceptance is something that takes time. It always takes time. One of the dwarfs I got to know
was a guy named Clinton Brown. When he was born, he was diagnosed with
diastrophic dwarfism, a very disabling condition. And his parents were told that
he would never walk, he would never talk, he would have no intellectual capacity, and he would probably not even recognize them. And it was suggested to them that they leave him at the hospital so that he could die there quietly. And his mother said she wasn’t going to do it, and she took her son home. And even though she didn’t have
a lot of educational or financial advantages, she found the best doctor in the country
for dealing with diastrophic dwarfism, and she got Clinton enrolled with him. And in the course of his childhood,
he had thirty major surgical procedures. And he spent all this time stuck in the hospital
while he was having those procedures, as a result of which he now can walk. And while he was there, they sent tutors around
to help him with his schoolwork, and he worked very hard because there was nothing else to do. And he ended up achieving at a level that had never before been contemplated
by any member of his family. He was the first one in his family, in fact, to go to college, where he lived on campus and drove a specially fitted car that accommodated his unusual body. And his mother told me the story of coming home one day, and he went to college nearby. And she said, “And I saw that car — which you can always recognize —
in the parking lot of a bar,” she said. (Laughter) “And I thought to myself,
they’re six feet tall, he’s three feet tall, two beers for them is four beers for him!” She said, “I knew I couldn’t go in there and interrupt him, but I went home and I left him eight messages on his cell phone.” She said, “And then I thought
if someone had said to me when he was born that my future worry would be that he’d go
drinking and driving with his college buddies…” (Laughter/Applause) And I said to her,
“What do you think he did that helped him to emerge as this charming, accomplished, wonderful person?” And she said, “What did I do? I loved him, that’s all. Clinton just always had that light in him, and his father and I were lucky enough
to be the first to see it there.” I’m going to quote from another magazine of the Sixties. This one is from 1968, the Atlantic Monthly,
voice of liberal America, written by an important bioethicist. He said, “There is no reason to feel guilty
about putting a Down’s syndrome child away, whether it is put away in the sense of hidden in a sanitarium, or in a more responsible, lethal sense. It is sad, yes. Dreadful. But it carries no guilt. True guilt arises only from an offense against a person. And a Down’s is not a person.” There’s been a lot of ink given to the enormous progress that we’ve made in the treatment of gay people. The fact that our attitude has changed
is in the headlines every day. But we forget how we used to see people
who had other differences, how we used to see people who were disabled, how inhuman we held people to be. And the change that’s been accomplished there,
which is almost equally radical, is one that we pay not very much attention to. One of the families I interviewed,
Tom and Karen Robards, were taken aback when, as young and successful New Yorkers, their first child was diagnosed with Down syndrome. They thought the educational opportunities
for him were not what they should be, and so they decided they would build a little center, two classrooms that they started with a few other parents, to educate kids with DS. And over the years, that center grew
into something called the Cooke Center, where there are now thousands upon thousands of children
with intellectual disabilities who are being taught. In the time since that Atlantic Monthly story ran, the life expectancy for people
with Down syndrome has tripled. The experience of Down syndrome people includes
those who are actors, those who are writers, some who are able to live fully independently in adulthood. The Robards had a lot to do with that. And I said, “Do you regret it?
Do you wish your child didn’t have Down syndrome? Do you wish you’d never heard of it?” And interestingly, his father said, “Well, for David, our son, I regret it, because for David it’s a difficult way to be in the world, and I’d like to give David an easier life. But I think if we lost everyone with Down syndrome, it would be a catastrophic loss.” And Karen Robards said to me, “I’m with Tom. For David, I would cure it in an instant,
to give him an easier life, but speaking for myself, while I would never have believed
twenty-three years ago, when he was born, that I could come to such a point, speaking for myself, it’s made me so much better and so much kinder, and so much more purposeful in my whole life, that speaking for myself,
I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.” We live at a point when social acceptance for these and many other conditions is on the up and up. And yet we also live at the moment when
our ability to eliminate those conditions has reached a height we never imagined before. Most deaf infants born in the United States now
will receive cochlear implants, which are put into the brain and connected to a receiver, and which allow them to acquire a facsimile of hearing, and to use oral speech. A compound that has been tested in mice, BMN-111, is useful in preventing the action of the achondroplasia gene. Achondroplasia is the most common form of dwarfism, and mice who have been given that substance
and who have the achondroplasia gene, grow to full size. Testing in humans is around the corner. There are blood tests which are making progress that would pick up Down syndrome more clearly
and earlier in pregnancies than ever before, making it easier and easier for people
to eliminate those pregnancies, or to terminate them. And so we have both social progress and medical progress, and I believe in both of them. I believe that social progress is fantastic,
and meaningful and wonderful, and I think the same thing about the medical progress. But I think it’s a tragedy when one of them doesn’t see the others. And when I see the way they’re intersecting
in conditions like the three I’ve just described, I sometimes think it’s like those moments in grand opera when the hero realizes he loves the heroine at the exact moment that she lies expiring on the divan. (Laughter) We have to think about how we feel about cures altogether, and a lot of the time the question of parenthood is, “What do we validate in our children,
and what do we cure in them?” Jim Sinclair, a prominent autism activist, said, “When parents say I wish my child did not have autism, what they’re really saying is I wish the child I have did not exist, and I had a different, non-autistic child instead. Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. That your fondest wish for us is that someday we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.” It’s a very extreme point of view, but it points to the reality
that people engage with the life they have, and they don’t want to be cured, or changed, or eliminated. They want to be whoever it is that they’ve come to be. One of the families I interviewed for this project was the family of Dylan Klebold, who was one of the perpetrators of the Columbine massacre. It took a long time to persuade them to talk to me, and once they agreed, they were so full of their story that they couldn’t stop telling it. And the first weekend I spent with them, the first of many, I recorded more than twenty hours of conversation. And on Sunday night, we were all exhausted. We were sitting in the kitchen.
Sue Klebold was fixing dinner. And I said, “If Dylan were here now,
do you have a sense of what you’d want to ask him?” And his father said, “I sure do.
I’d want to ask him what the hell he thought he was doing.” And Sue looked at the floor and she thought for a minute, and then she looked back up and said, “I would ask him to forgive me for being his mother and never knowing what was going on inside his head.” When I had dinner with her a couple of years later, one of many dinners that we had together, she said, “You know, when it first happened, I used to wish that I had never married, that I had never had children. If I hadn’t gone to Ohio State and crossed paths with Tom, this child wouldn’t have existed
and this terrible thing wouldn’t have happened. But I’ve come to feel that I loved the children I had so much that I don’t want to imagine a life without them. I recognize the pain they caused to others, for which there can be no forgiveness. But the pain they caused to me, there is,” she said. “So while I recognize that it would have been better for the world if Dylan had never been born, I’ve decided that it would not have been better for me.” I thought it was surprising, how all of these families had all of these children
with all of these problems, problems that they mostly would have done anything to avoid, and that they’d all found so much meaning
in that experience of parenting. And then I thought all of us who have children love the children we have with their flaws. If some glorious angel suddenly descended
through my living room ceiling and offered to take away the children I have
and give me other, better children — more polite, funnier, nicer, smarter — (Laughter) I would cling to the children I have
and pray away that atrocious spectacle. And ultimately I feel that in the same way that we test flame-retardant pajamas in an inferno to ensure they won’t catch fire
when our child reaches across the stove, so these stories of families negotiating these extreme differences reflect on the universal experience of parenting, which is always that sometimes,
you look at your child and you think, “Where did you come from?” (Laughter) It turns out that while each of these
individual differences is siloed — there are only so many families dealing with schizophrenia, there are only so many families of children who are transgender, there are only so many families of prodigies,
who also face similar challenges in many ways, there are only so many families in each of those categories — but if you start to think that the experience
of negotiating difference within your family is what people are addressing, then you discover that it’s a nearly universal phenomenon. Ironically, it turns out that it’s our differences, and our negotiation of difference, that unite us. I decided to have children while I was working on this project, and many people were astonished and said, “But how could you decide to have children in the midst of studying everything that can go wrong?” And I said, “I’m not studying everything that can go wrong. What I’m studying is how much love there can be even when everything appears to be going wrong.” I thought a lot about the mother of one disabled child I had seen, severely disabled child who died through caregiver neglect. And when his ashes were interred, his mother said, “I pray here for forgiveness for having been twice robbed. Once of the child I wanted, and once of the son I loved.” And I figured it was possible then for anyone to love any child, if they had the affective will to do so. So my husband is the biological father of two children with some lesbian friends in Minneapolis. I had a close friend from college who’d gone through
a divorce and wanted to have children, and so she and I have a daughter,
and mother and daughter live in Texas. And my husband and I have a son who lives with us all the time, of whom I am the biological father and our surrogate for the pregnancy was Laura, the lesbian mother of Oliver and Lucy in Minneapolis. So… (Laughter/Applause) …the shorthand is five parents of four children in three states. And there are people who think that the existence of my family somehow undermines or weakens or damages their family. And there are people who think that families like mine shouldn’t be allowed to exist. And I don’t accept subtractive models of love, only additive ones. And I believe that in the same way that we need species diversity to ensure that the planet can go on, so we need this diversity of affection and diversity of family in order to strengthen the ecosphere of kindness. The day after our son was born,
the pediatrician came into the hospital room and said she was concerned. He wasn’t extending his legs appropriately. She said that might mean that he had brain damage. Insofar as he was extending them,
he was doing so asymmetrically, which she thought could mean that
there was a tumor of some kind in action. And he had a very large head,
which she thought might indicate hydrocephalus. And as she told me all of these things, I felt the very center of my being pouring out onto the floor. And I thought, here I had been working for years on a book about how much meaning people had found in the experience of parenting children who are disabled, and I didn’t want to join their number. Because what I was encountering was an idea of illness, and like all parents since the dawn of time, I wanted to protect my child from illness, and I wanted also to protect myself from illness. And yet I knew from the work I had done that if he had any of the things we were about to start testing for, that those would ultimately be his identity, and if they were his identity, they would become my identity. That that illness was going to take
a very different shape as it unfolded. We took him to the MRI machine,
we took him to the CAT scanner, we took this day-old child and gave him over
for an arterial blood draw. We felt helpless. And at the end of five hours,
they said that his brain was completely clear and that he was by then extending his legs correctly. And when I asked the pediatrician what had been going on, she said she thought in the morning he had probably had a cramp. (Laughter) But I thought…
(Laughter) …I thought how my mother was right. I thought, “The love you have for your children is unlike any other feeling in the world, and until you have children, you don’t know what it feels like.” I think children had ensnared me
the moment I connected fatherhood with loss, but I’m not sure I would have noticed that
if I hadn’t been so in the thick of this research project of mine. I had encountered so much strange love and I fell very naturally into its bewitching patterns, and I saw how splendor can illuminate
even the most abject vulnerabilities. During these ten years, I had witnessed and learned the terrifying joy of unbearable responsibility, and I had come to see how it conquers everything else. And while I had sometimes thought
the parents I was interviewing were fools, enslaving themselves to a lifetime’s journey
with their thankless children, and trying to breed identity out of misery, I realized that day that my research had built me a plank and that I was ready to join them on their ship. Thank you. (Applause)