God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All A Matter of Prespective....

Today was one of those days that ends with one tired momma. I woke up at 5 am to get ready for Brenden's appointment at Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia, which is 3.5 hours away. We also had to make it back before 6pm because tonight was Brenden's first horseback riding session for the season. The appointment was at 11, so my dad picked Brenden and I up at 6 to allow ourselves enough time in case we hit traffic.


Now let me give you the back story....we went to Shriner's for the first time in January. At that appointment, we met with a spine specialist to discuss Brenden's slight curvature in his spine. He said he would see us back in 6 months but in the mean time he would arrange an appointment with a Physiatrist. We ended up being scheduled to see both doctors today, which didn't seem right to me, so I called three different times to verify what doctors we were seeing. Three times.


Back to today....after sitting in the waiting room for almost 3 hours with a very tired, hungry, impatient 3 year old, we went back to the exam room. A nurse came in to question if we had x-rays done yet so I proceeded to explain to her that we were just there 3 months ago and had x-rays and that I wasn't sure why we were seeing the spine specialist again. And then told her we were supposed to see the Physiatrist as well. That's about the time smoke started pouring out of my ears.


Long story short we weren't supposed to see the spine specialist...he wasn't sure why we were scheduled with him and they couldn't get ahold of the other doctor because she doesn't usually see patients on Tuesday. They told us to go get lunch and see if she would make it down. Now I had just driven 3.5 hours, sat for 3 hours in the waiting room, not to mention that I noticed some "stuff" draining out of Brenden's ear while in the waiting room, and you are going to tell me we don't get to see the doctor?!?!? Um, no. Needless to say, she came down.


One nightmare over, I'm utterly disappointed with Shriner's, and then I had to worry about how I was going to make it home for horseback riding and get Brenden to the pediatrician to get some medicine for his obviously infected ear. The entire drive home I worried myself sick trying to figure out how it would work, and then realized it wouldn't. Straight from Philly we went to horseback riding, went to Urgent Care for the first time ever, dropped off an RX for a ruptured eardrum/ear infection, stopped at McDonald's to get dinner for the kids, came home, an hour past bedtime.


After the kids were in bed I headed back out to go pick up Brenden's medicine. I was in a bad mood. I had been in the car for over 8 hours and was irritated that I had to go back out at 9pm to get medicine, only to get there and the pharmacy screwed things up with the insurance, so I had to wait. Then I had to stop at Walmart and when I went to pay, realized I had left my wallet in the car so had to run back out to get it.


As I was driving home I had to take a minute to breathe. And I was reminded of something from earlier today. As we were sitting in the waiting room for too many hours, there were several kids with Cerebral Palsy. Most had trachs, G-tubes, some had several casts for broken bones, a few had foam padding on certain body parts to prevent broken bones, several had nursing assistants accompany the parents, most were non-verbal and the list could go on. As my mind drifted back to that place today, I realized that if spina bifida, ear infections, and going to the pharmacy at 9pm are the only things I have to worry about, then I'm a blessed mom. I was reminded today that there are kids and parents out there that deal with so much more than I ever will. And I thanked God for what he has blessed me with. This journey is far from easy, but it could be so much more complex.


So many times I find myself worrying about Brenden walking. And while in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter if he needs a wheechair now or in the future, I still have the desire for him to walk. But I realized to be thankful for what he can do. He can talk to tell me what he needs. He can crawl on his hands and knees, he can get around pretty well with his walker. He can pull to stand at the couch or any other furniture. He can sit at the table and eat dinner with his family. He is able to breathe without the assistance of a machine. And while these things may seem so insignificant, let me tell you, they aren't....they are huge. I am so thankful he has these abilities because many of the kids we saw today, did not. But their caretakers loved them just the same as I love Brenden.


I've said it before and I'll say it again...God has given me a very amazing little boy. He may have talked for the entire 7 hours we were driving today, but this time last year, he didn't have but a handful of words, so how can I not be thankful? (Though my dad may never volunteer to accompany me to another appointment :) I was able to watch my son ride a horse this evening, when this time last year his first riding session was um, disastrous. Last year, he cried the whole time, and by crying I mean screaming, he didn't last the entire 30 minutes, and he could hardly hold himself up. Today, was a different story. God has entrusted me with this amazing gift and although there are a few extra hurdles we have to overcome, I am so thankful because I realize there could be so much more for us to handle. The kids I saw today, put things in perspective for me. So when you think your life just couldn't get any worse, remember that there are so many people out there who are dealing with so much more. Be thankful for what you do have.


Colleen said...

Oh man, I would have been livid about the doctor appointment too! And I hate that kind of day when there's too much to do and everything goes wrong. But you are right, there is nothing like a trip to a children's hospital to put life into perspective for you. I hope you guys get to rest up today!

Mark said...

Wow, that was quite a day, but God's grace and the love He placed in your heart gave you the opportunity to see the world the way God sees the world. You and Jon have walked through many situations together and for a lot of people those situations would have been life crushing, but it is clear that God's love and strength is in your hearts and he has given you a great family for support too. Thanks for sharing your heart... Psalm 32 is very appropriate for the times in your life you share...

"The Popham's" said...

Michelle, I just want you to know that you inspire me!!! You are such an amazing mother and person. Thank you for sharing your feelings...I wish so many more could read your blog you have such a gift for blogging!! love you