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