Very rarely do we have any awkward moments with regard to Kendi's HIV. I'm (obviously) open on this blog and we've told most everybody in the family that we care to tell. However, on Saturday we went to a swim party for my kids' second (step) cousin. My children have never even met the girl. At the party were other (step) family members that we really don't spend much time with and would have no reason to know about Kendi's HIV status.
Kendi was in her swimming suit. Swimming suits don't really do much to cover a mickey-button (g-tube) so an aunt asked us what it was. Eric's dad responded that it was a tube that we put medicine down because Kendi vomits when given medications orally. The aunt asked, "What is she taking medicine for?" Eric's dad, myself, and Eric all sort of looked at each other for a second before Eric's dad says, "To keep her healthy!" That wasn't going to fly with this particular aunt so she asked again what the medicine was keeping her healthy from? Another awkward silence. I sort of whispered under my breath that we could say Kendi has an infection in her blood, but Eric was NOT going for that. After a few second Eric's dad said, "Oh, it's just some medicine she has to take." then he very smartly turned the conversation back to the tube saying, "She can't take any medicine without throwing up." The Aunt let it go at that point, obviously not very satisfied with the answers she got, but also knowing she wasn't going to get the info she wanted. If I remember right this Aunt flat out asked us if Kendi had AIDS when she came home (you know...because she's from Africa and African kids have AIDS). Of course we could honestly tell her NO she does not have AIDS, because she doesn't!
The whole thing was just a little blip on the radar screen of life. No big deal. But it was sort of weird to have a question stump us after 10 month of her being home. How would you answer, "What does she take medicine for?" without telling an untruth but also without revealing your child's HIV status?