I Want Off!

I Want Off!

I Want Off!

Evidently, I’ve been put on a ride that I never wanted to get on in the first place.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me start from the beginning…

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about parents who have chronically ill or disabled children and how all-encompassing their child’s care can be.  I’ve been considering how much time they spend thinking about their child’s illness, making doctor’s appointments, going to doctor appointments, and, of course, therapy appointments (physical, occupational, speech, psychological, you name it.)   I’ve thought about the frustration they experience communicating with doctors, waiting for test results, and trying to figure out how to help their child.  And don’t forget the financial stress they most likely go through.   In other words, I’ve been contemplating the ride they ride on a daily basis.

It’s been on my mind because we’ve recently been riding a little of that ride.  We’ve been living a small slice of those parents’ worlds.  One of our children has been chronically injured off and on for the past four years.  Since he’s only fourteen, that’s quite a percentage of his life.  For the past year, he’s been having debilitating heel pain, foot pain, bone breaks, bursitis, and back pain.  Not all at the same time, mind you, but several of these ailments have overlapped.  Since the end of August, he’s had approximately 3 days at school without pain, crutches, a cast, a boot, or a knee roller.

I seem to spend all my time either making or going to appointments with him.  When I’m not going to appointments, I’m communicating with the school to try and keep him caught up with his school work. And, of course, there’s the time spent caring for him and trying to ease his pain (both physical and emotional.)  So, if this is even a little bit of the ride that those parents take each and every day, I want off and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So, you see why parents of ill children have been on my mind.  In a small way, I’ve been one of them.  Now, I don’t mean to imply that our suffering and challenges can compare to the suffering of the parents of terminally ill children or parents of disabled children.  Our situation is so very mild compared to them and I realize that.

I guess that’s why they’ve been on my mind so much.  As hard as things are right now for our son, we know he will get better someday (hopefully soon.)  We are blessed to be able to afford the treatments he needs.  But, for those parents whose children won’t get well no matter how hard they work to help them, or those parents who can’t afford to get the help their child needs, my heart breaks.

If I’ve learned one thing from all of our struggles, it’s how very blessed we are, even in our suffering.  So, if this is the chronic illness ride, I want off!  But I’m not the only one.

Copyright 2013 Laura Nelson


About Author

Laura B. Nelson is a Catholic wife and mother of three children. She is also a Catholic blogger, author, speaker, teacher and life-long student of the Catholic faith. Laura likes to be busy but she most enjoys spending time with her husband and three children at their home in Grapevine, TX. Visit her blogs at Green for God and Suburban Sainthood.


  1. Robin Woodfin on

    Laura, I’m sorry to learn that he’s having so much trouble, and how much it undoubtedly affects your entire family. I’ll be praying for complete healing and for wisdom as you seek answers. We’ve been dealing with a sensitivity disorder and learning how to adjust to a gluten-free diet. Even though they are small in comparison, those issues can be all-consuming and change the family dynamics substantially. Getting off the ride sounds very appealing…..

    • Thanks for your prayers Robin. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been facing health challenges with your children. Changing your diet so drastically can really be trying. Plus, it’s worse when it’s your child that’s affected. Now I understand why my Mom would always say that she wished it was her instead! I’m sending my prayers to you to help you through this transition. I know God is with you and will help you through this.

  2. Your comments about the plight of parents of parents of permanently impaired children are very much appreciated by me. November 13 will be the 20th anniversary of our son’s death at age 24. He was born handicapped, never walked and had an IQ of about 45. Still we loved him and we attended to his needs as best we knew how. We chose to have another child and she has given us three much cherished granddaughters who are now 16,14 and 10. We were not a normal family. Our son’s severe handicaps have forever affected both of us and certainly to a great extent our daughter. I hope and believe that the Lord understands everything about our short comings and forgives us for some of the choices we made. Hearing you express your sympathetic feelings about parents and families like us helps me realize that the Lord understands too.

  3. Rick, I’m so glad that my post brought you some comfort. I’m truly in awe of you and your wife. You both sound very courageous and faith-filled. Both your son and your daughter are lucky to have you both for parents.

    As for your shortcomings, I wouldn’t worry too much. We’re all human. In fact, God created us human and knows our frailties. But, He loves us anyway. Isn’t that the greatest? To be loved entirely and completely by the One who loves better than any human. Sign me up!

  4. My daughter Cate has profound disabilities. She turned 29 years old yesterday. Cate is a blessing who has taught me immeasurably about life and the Lord. That said, many days I’m beyond weary of caregiving, appointments, doctors, therapists, ‘special’ education and anything and everything else that is ‘special’. Thank you for this validation of an oftentimes trying and exhausting ‘ride’. Many people don’t seem to notice. I appreciate your seeing heart. May I share the poem I wrote for Cate’s 29th birthday? Blessings, Pat

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my post Pat. Be assured that there are many people who notice all that you do and are inspired by it everyday.

      And, I would love it if you shared your poem with us.

      Blessings to you

  5. Pingback: Moms Just Want to Have Fun | CatholicMom.com

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