Giving ‘Till It Hurts!: Parenting a Child with Special Health Needs
Let's start with Janice, a typical mom with special concerns:
Janice sat on the front stoop with her head in hands. The rays of the setting sun were streaming in through the rose trellis but on this evening she didn't even notice the fragrant shadows dancing in the golden light. She just needed to get out of the house, away from him and away from the fighting.
"I dearly love my kids but sometimes I hate being a mom," she had confided to her best friend, Kelly, over coffee just that morning. "I feel like I am constantly fighting them over something. If it's not the TV or video games then it's homework or money or chores. That's bad enough with the older two but when Tyler refuses to do his medical treatments it just sends me over the top. He knows that if he doesn't take care of his lungs, he'll die but I don't think he cares." Tears welling up in her eyes, Janice continued, "He's sixteen and will soon be on his own. When he turns eighteen, the doctors can't even give me any information about how he is doing. Without me there to nag him into compliance, I know that he is going to take years off his life. He just doesn't get it. I don't know what to do. I'm worn out and I feel like a complete failure as a mom." Kelly had nodded and gently patted Janice's hand. "It sounds like you are having a hard time. Hang in there; you're a great mom. It will get better..."
Janice sat on the stoop recalling Kelly's encouraging words but she was having a hard time believing things would really get better. She'd been here before. Sure, things improved for a little while but then Tyler would do something to trigger another crisis. She recalled the last one: when she had discovered that he was throwing his meds into the garbage can at school. One of the students discovered the pills and reported it to the school officer. There were plenty of rumors flying around about the discovery of the drugs until one of Tyler 's buddies recognized the pills as pancreatic enzymes. Even up to the end, Tyler refused to 'fess up. And then there was that time when the school bully made fun of him because of his cough. Tyler decked him and was suspended for three days. Tyler was clearly having a hard time coping with having cystic fibrosis.
Reprinted with the permission of Parenting Children with Health Issues.
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