This week our family was hit by some type of stomach virus. While Liz & I only got a touch of it, our kids each got hit. It started with a “not very much night of sleep” with Méabh on Sunday. Then went to Erin, Hannah, and eventually made its way to Brenna.
That doesn’t make us that much different from how stuff like that works in most families.
Here’s what does.
While all it took was rest for 3 of the kids to get back to health…for one of our kids it took a day and night in the hospital. When you are an insulin dependant diabetic, and cannot keep food (or even sugar water) down, a minor bug becomes a life-threatening incident.
Thankfully, the medical care here has been great…and unlike past hospital trips for similar issues, this one has been much less eventful.
Of course when the kid goes to the hospital…one of the parents goes as well. Normal day-to-day life is on hold. It just can’t be helped.
We are a family with 2 special needs kids. One comes with much more stuff than the other, but the other caused years of struggles and trips to doctors who told us “she’s faking,” or “it’s just in your heads” before it was diagnosed. At times, dealing with them becomes the main focus of our family.
And as those of you who live in homes with a person with special needs know, there are times when issues that seem unrelated to the main problem arise and quickly move to the number one priority in your family.
On top of that having people around you…friends, family, church leaders judge you, your family, your parenting skills based on the seeming chaos your family is in the midst of, brings an additional level of pain, stress and guilt.
This is something I normally wouldn’t blog about. However, over the past couple of weeks, I read an ebook by Hugh Halter entitled Righteous Brood. (get it for free here).
Halter writes about his son’s medical issues and the impact it has on his family. It was encouraging to me (I sent it right to Liz and told her she needs to read it), and I think it would be to other families with people who have special needs.
Even more, though, I guess I’m hoping people who don’t deal with this would download a copy and give it a read. Perhaps it will give you a new perspective on the day to day life a person close to you has, that has always just seemed “weird and different” to you.
Often, you only hear about what’s going on when there is an obvious crisis, and have no idea what day to day life is like…or why it looks so much different from what you consider “normal.”
I hope you’ll download the book…give it a read…and then think of a way to bless someone around you.