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DchadMisc DC Family DC Writings
- Daya Goldschlag [cuke
interview] sent a story she'd not had time to tell at the
Alumni Reunion final get-together at Greens on January 26th. It's about
how our son Kelly, now 34, almost died not long after he was born and how he
lived because we lived at Green Gulch. I answered her with what I remembered
and she answered back.
From: Daya Goldschlag
Dear David: Happy next day after birthday! Hope your feeling better. Here's the story:
Kelly was born at Green Gulch Farm Oct. 4, 1973. Everything went well. A week later I slipped him into his baby pack on my chest and went off to Sunday morning lecture-which was also the start of a week long sesshin which his dad, David Chadwick, was planning on attending. Inside the zendo I noticed that the doctor who had attended his birth was present. He'd motorcycled down from Pt. Reyes to listen to a Zen lecture. After the talk I went up to him to say hello and explain that Kelly hadn't nursed since yesterday and had slept thru the night (unusual for a infant) and probably I was just being a nervous first time mom but I wondered if I should be concerned. The doctor examined him and said "Don't panic but we need to get him to the hospital immediately. Something is very wrong!" Pretty soon David and I, with Kelly in my arms, were in our car down by the office. Everyone had heard and was gathered there. The doctor said "Drive safely but as fast as you can. A team will be waiting for you at the emergency parking area." Kelly was beginning to turn blue. As you all know, Kelly made it. He survived because we lived in a Zen community and because of the existence of that community his doctor happened to be there for a lecture. Thank you community. And for all your prayers at that time. Daya Goldschlag
On 2/11/08 David Chadwick responded:
Beautiful. Here's how I remember it – mostly the same with a little elaboration. Fill in any blanks, comment on anything you wish.
[Daya's filling in of the blanks included]
DC: DR. Kozinski had been the doctor who was on call when Kelly was born at Green Gulch Farm on October 4, 1973 (around noon?).
Daya: I'd forgotten Kozinski's name. He was born at about l2:30p.m. 9 1/2 hours labor
DC: He was one of three doctors including Whit (the head of the clinic) and Sokolosky who specialized in family medicine and home birth out of their clinic in Point Reyes. They relied heavily on the midwives who did most of the delivering and insisted that no drugs be used during delivery unless they were absolutely necessary. A woman also had to physically qualify for a home birth and take classes with her partner.
I remember Kozinski had arrived right after Kelly's birth (or was it just before). I remember eating a sandwich with bloody hands while Kelly nursed from you – or tried. It was brought from the kitchen downstairs. When Kozinski and the midwives had left I got out the guitar. Someone said something about don't do that you'll wake the baby and I said this baby is going to learn to sleep with lots of sound around.
Daya: They did talk to us in depth about what could happen at a home birth that could cause me or baby to die. I was adamant about a home birth. There were 3 midwives and 3 doctors. Everyone was at other home births when I went into labor. Kozinski arrived as Kelly's head was crowning. The water bag had not broken (a baby born in the water bag is considered a good omen n Hopi culture) Kozinski offered to break it, yes, I said, anything. He did and Kelly popped out in 3 pushes tearing me. (No midwife there. Our Bradley childbirth teacher came part way thru labor cause no one else available-we did it a lot by ourselves)
DC: Comment during transcription: I remember Daya's labor came on like bam! At about three in the morning. All of a sudden she yelled. She started off having strong contractions a few minutes apart. I had to be right there with her. She'd tell what to do like tell me to press on her back just so and then something else. I remember it was hard for me to get time between contractions to get to the phone across the hall to call the doctors and to get to the bathroom to pee. We talked about this on the phone. She said something like that someone knocked on the door and said they were going to have a silent breakfast for servers in the library right next to us like there was something we could do to be a little quieter. She said I suggested to them that they eat elsewhere. Of course it was extremely intense for her - I'd never seen anyone have to make such an incredible concentrated effort for such a long period of time - nine and a half hours as I remember. But also, even though to a greatly lesser degree, I don't know when I've had to make such a concentrated effort for that length of time either.
Daya: It was Kozinski who ate his sandwich with bloody hands maybe you did too as you cut the umbilical cord.
DC: No, it was him. I just had the memory of the sandwich and bloody hands but had forgotten who it was.
Daya: You said "oh, it has balls!" We were expecting a daughter.
DC: In transcribing our emails on this I called Daya in Spokane to ask why we thought it was going to be a girl. She was just saying goodbye to some people who’d come for morning zazen. There’s zazen at her house on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. I asked if there was there a sonar reading that was wrong, that indicated she was going to have a girl? She said no, it was just that everyone said it was going to be a boy except for – and I remember this too – Ulysses. He not only said it was going to be a boy but, as I remember it, he said he was always right. Daya had to go because a client arrived – she’s a masseuse – but I was going to say I have some memory of an original sonar reading suggesting it was a boy and then later there being a mistaken reading that it was a girl. Oh well – no matter – it was a boy.
Daya: Kozinski also was wearing red suspenders with skulls on them. Ken and Elizabeth brought a chocolate tort in and, I think, champagne. I didn't have any of it-shaking too hard. Ken helped me put on a sanitary napkin-I was in too altered a state of mind to be embarrassed.
DC: After a week or so we moved to our new home in the remodeled bull pens next to the Sawyers. Micah had been born there eight days before Kelly.
Daya: Yup I think we moved up to bullpens in that 1st week or so. I can't remember if Kelly was a week or two old when it happened.
DC: Kelly was sixteen days old [Just checked with ancestor.com's day of week calculator. Kelly was born on a Friday and this happened on a Sunday which is Green Gulch lecture day - so sixteen works out].
Kozinski motorcycled into Green Gulch with a woman friend to attend the lecture. I said hello to him and asked him if he might be so kind as to look at Kelly as, "he's been turning a little blue." Maybe it was both of us but I remember saying that to him. I think you may have been with Kelly at the time. I think that that was after the lecture. I may have said something before the lecture to him or may have said that before the lecture but he saw Kelly at the bullpens in the bedroom. I think he didn't go up until after the lecture. I remember we let him go in without taking his shoes off as he was concerned – more than us. We thought it was sort of neat that Kelly hadn't been crying for a day or two. I think Kozinski said what you said he said but also "this baby is dying" or something like that.
Daya: I don't remember if you went up to Kozinski or not. I know I did after the lecture.
DC: Maybe we were talking to him together. Yes - I think that was it.
Daya: I thought I was probably being unnecessarily concerned but he knew those were serious signs (not eating and sleeping thru the night). I don't remember him saying this baby is dying. What I remember him saying was "don't panic but something is seriously wrong. Get enough clothes for overnight and meet me down by the office with your car. There's no time to call for a ambulance." I remember him very clearly saying, when we were in the car by the office, "Drive safely but drive as fast as you can".
DC: On our way out I ran into the zendo I think to tell Baker Roshi who's attendant I was that we were going to the hospital, a stupid, unnecessary thing to do. He just motioned or said for me to get going.
We got stuck behind a slow moving RV on the way out which wouldn't move over for us and we decided it was better to remain calm than to keep honking.
Daya: I don't remember that.
DC: You were holding Kelly and were of course quite distraught and cried that you just didn't know what you'd do if he died. We agreed that it would be important when we got to the hospital to be calm so that they'd let us stay with Kelly. We did get to the hospital pretty quickly – Marin general. And we were calm and they let us stay with Kelly.
They put him in a plastic box as I remember and hooked various wires up to him and took his temperature and were looking in his eyes. They couldn't measure how fast Kelly's heart was beating and didn't know what was wrong with him. A doctor said that Kelly would probably be dead within thirty minutes. We weren’t freaking out. We were more stunned.
Daya: I do remember that they were waiting for us in the emergency parking area and as soon as we pulled up they opened the car door and grabbed Kelly from me and put him in an incubator that they had outside. They had to give him oxygen thru a vein in his head cause he was too small for anywhere else.
DC: I remember watching the nurses measuring the medicine as quickly and carefully as they could and having their medicine and dose checked by two others. I reflected on the carpentry job I had been involved with for months with Ken Sawyer and all the endless errors Ken and I had to go back over and fix getting those bull pens fixed up for us to live in and realized that these medical people didn't have the luxury we had and marveled that they didn't make more mistakes than they do. And I remember they didn’t know what was wrong with him.
Daya: I think they thought he might have a hole in his heart and I thought they said they didn't think he would live for more than an hour. I remember thinking "This is his life and death, not about me. I must remain calm so I can stay with him"
DC: The doctor who was there pretty much didn't do anything but approve of what was happening and say Kelly should be sent to UC Med Center in SF.
A children's or infant's ambulance drove Kelly to SF Can this really be? That's how I remember it. We followed. We had no money for the toll booth but the man just waived us on.
Daya: Yes. An ambulance came from UC Med Center. We followed behind. We jumped in the car and headed to UC Med Center (on doctors orders) and that was when we had no money for toll and I pointed to Kelly and said "his heart" and the toll guy waved us on.
DC: At the UC Med center they didn't want us to come in where they were working with Kelly. They kept in touch though and said his heart was beating so fast it wasn't doing its job, wasn't pumping blood very well. They tried various things to bring his heart rate down – drugs, ice in his stomach, ice up his rectum, and finally they came out and said that they wanted to inject him with a drug that would collapse his circulatory system which means it would stop his heart. The hope was that his heart would start again and that the drugs (maybe the same ones he took later – digitalis and Propranolol, a beta blocker), which weren't strong enough to bring his heart rate down, would be strong enough to stop it from getting going so fast again. We had to sign something that gave them permission to do this. It worked. We were able to see Kelly but no one really said anything much at that point. I guess they were observing him. He was in intensive care which meant that there was someone there with him all the time. He was in another plastic box. There were a few other babies there. I remember one of them was a teeny tiny preemie.
Daya: I think your right about all that though I don't think I was aware of the drug having to collapse his circulatory system - I just knew it was a powerful and possibly dangerous drug. I remember that that as you walked by some of the tiny, tiny preemies you gasshoed and said "please die".
DC: Hmm. I take it back.
We spent the next day or so hanging around. Dr. Kozinski came and took us to a room and gave us a lecture about it all using a blackboard. Yvonne called and offered to come help but we said we were okay. We got a parking ticket in the emergency parking lot.
Daya: I don't remember any of that.
DC: I think we spent most of our time figuring out how to get breast milk to Kelly, something that the hospital cooperated with but they had no breast pump but we found one at the French Hospital. It was tedious. But it worked. Right? Did we get anyone else's breast milk? Like did they have some ready or was it all yours? Yes, I think they had a mother's milk bank.
Daya: My breasts were very swollen and painful with milk and they gave us a pump to extract the milk which we did. I think it was my breast milk but not sure. I think that because I was nursing him I was able to stay with him in intensive care (rather than see him just l5 minutes of every two hours) so I could feed him. I think we did pump my milk for him for at night when I wouldn't be there.
DC: We had called our families and told them that Kelly might die.
Daya: My mom was in Oregon visiting her brother and on her way to us. Their phone wasn't working and we had to call the police up there to go to my uncle's home and tell her to call us. She was very upset (sort of selfishly-like, "I came all this way and now he may die").
DC: We just kept waiting and were sort of numb. How long were we there? A day or two I think.
Daya: He was there for 21/2 days.
DC: Then a doctor and a nurse came walking out of intensive care with Kelly, handed him to us and said we could take him and he was fine. He'd need to see a heart doctor but we shouldn't think of him as sick. He had tachycardia, rapid heart beat – Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome of PAT, Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia.
Daya: Yes, PAT, WPW Syndrome was what he had. Nobody had seen it in someone so young and they were not sure of doses etc.
DC: It was no longer life-threatening. All of a sudden we had him back again. We walked out stunned again. Amazed. Happy endings didn't only happen in the movies.
I remember Kelly having one other rapid heart beat episode at Green Gulch but it went away. Don't remember what we did about it. I think no one was terribly concerned. It even might have been a misdiagnosis on our part. Can't remember well enough.
Daya: A week later after we returned to GGF he had another attack. I put ice on the big vein (can't remember its name just now) of his neck and that started him crying and broke the electrical speed up. That's when we didn't have the toll money.
DC: The state or feds had a program that covered babies so we didn't have much if anything to pay the hospitals but we got what we considered big bills from Kozinski for his visit to the hospital. We hadn't invited him. We didn't need him to come. He just came over and talked. We paid it. Probably didn't feel like complaining too much because he'd save Kelly's life.
I know I went to the doctor who'd seen Kelly at Marin General. His bill was $400. I went and talked to him and said he'd done nothing and what he'd done was useless except for sending Kelly on. We came to an agreement. Can't remember what.
Daya: I remember your mom tried to pay his hospital bill but it was covered by this special program for babies with heart disease. I don’t remember the other bills.
DC: Yeah – I tried to pay and they wouldn’t let me.
We took Kelly to a children's heart specialist who said Kelly could go to Tassajara and live in the woods but that he should take those two drugs – I remember he said Kelly should take them his whole childhood, at least till he was twelve. I think so. We went back once a month to see him. At some point at Tassajara you stopped giving him the medicine without telling anyone. There was no problem. We told the doctor and he was a little upset by that. I pointed out that he'd said that Kelly was big enough to where another attack wouldn't kill him – it would just be an episode of rapid heartbeat - so what did it matter. He said that you'd done the right thing but for the wrong reason. We didn't go back to him. We forgot about it.
Daya: We went to the doctor at Children's Hospital where they took x-rays. He cried so much during that cause they had to sort of stretch his little body and strap him in. And he started him on drugs. I think at first it was digitalis but then when he had that 2nd attack they gave him something else also. It was in a sugar solution and I hated giving it to him especially since I had to do it 4 times a day which meant waking him out of sleep. I was hesitant to go to Tassajara but Dick Baker promised they'd send in a helicopter if it was needed. I think we didn't go back to the doctor for close to a year since we were at Tassajara. I slowly started to reduce the amount and times of medication, listening closely to his heart. He seemed fine. The doctor was very angry at me when he told us he thought we could reduce medication and I told him what I'd done. But it was all an experiment. No one had seen it in an infant and he was just trying this out.
DC: I was sad when I heard a few years later that Kozinski had committed suicide.
Daya: Me too. It might have only been a year later. I was also upset that they had to close down doing home births cause of insurance going so high.
DC: Sokolosky who'd been an engineer before being a doctor became a lawyer. Whit took on another partner and their clinic was called Whit and Whitte. Whit became embittered about lawyers and lawsuits and all the obstacles to practicing home delivery. He retired. Michael J. Whitte still is there practicing family medicine. I'm not sure what the state of home delivery is these days but my former mate Liz Tuomi has for years worked with the Coastal Health Alliance which has three clinics serving all of West Marin: Bolinas Family Practice, Point Reyes Medical Clinic, and Stinson Beach Medical Center.
In the spring of 1985 when Kelly was 11 years old, I moved into the room at Green Gulch where he had been born. You and I had lived there for nine months. I would stay for two years. Kelly and I visited that empty room upstairs from the student dining area and next to the library. He went in and started to walk in a circle and spiraled in till he came to resting in a fetal position on the floor at the spot where he was born and lay there for a moment. Later when I mentioned that to him he didn't remember having done it.
Daya: That’s interesting. Didn't know about that.
I wrote you such a short piece cause I didn't think people would want to read a long thing. But when I read what you'd written it seemed a more interesting story to be told. Thanks for adding all that. It's also real interesting to me to know what you remembered. And ,yes, happy endings happen in real life too. I am so grateful. love, daya
Kelly Chadwick with his partner of fifteen years or so - Rene Roehl
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