I am one of those people blessed with a supportive family. That is not to say that we don’t have our own conflicts, lord knows we do, but at the end of the day we support each other. For me, yesterday was one of those days that I needed a little extra support. Most days I deal just fine with Lyra’s diagnosis. I put my head down, take care of what she needs me to take care of, and I try to keep a sense of humor about things. Other days I find the uncertainty overwhelming and sad.
All parents have dreams for our children. We look forward to taking that picture on their very first day of school. You know, the one where the backpack is so big compared to their little bodies that we are worried our little one is going to tip over. We look forward to their first words, tottering steps, and their first birthday cake all over their cute face. I looked forward to her first swim meet and sharing a sport that I love so much with her.
Then I am reminded that she may never do any of those things.
She may go to “school” at some point, but it will be nothing like what the average child experiences. While she will likely speak (she is very vocal right now), she will likely struggle to make herself understood. Forming words and/or sentences is listed as a challenge with both of her genetic conditions. She will likely struggle to walk, let alone run. And birthday cake….. yesterday we met with the surgeon to talk about putting in a G-tube (information below). Unless sometime really changes with her eating, that cake will not be on her face. Everyone around her will eat it, but she probably will show little, to no, interest. Lastly, while she already shares my love of the water, swim meets and a swim team may not be in her future.
So, some days I get really sad. And this is where my family steps in. I can always talk to my husband and my family was always available over the phone, but there is something about being able to sit with my mom on the back patio while she plays with Lyra. There is something about sharing a drink a with my brother-in-law. And it is so different to be able to sit on the couch with my sister with Lyra sleeping on my shoulder. The physical presence of family makes all the difference for myself, my husband, and most importantly, Lyra.
Some time in the next two weeks Lyra will be having surgery to have the G-tube placed (we do not know the date yet), and this will be a very different hospital experience than the last three. This time there will be no emergency room, no ambulance ride, and no frantic phone calls to get our lives reorganized. This time it will be planned, and she likely will not be in the hospital for more than a day. This time we won’t have to worry about who is going take the dog. This time I will actually have a bag packed for myself. And this time we will all be surrounded by family.
We are truly blessed to be here.
G-Tube information: http://www.chop.edu/treatments/gastrostomy-tubes#.VeePadNViko