“Some days I don’t know how you do it”

“Some days I don’t know how you do it”

My friend sent me a message last week with the words “Some days I don’t know how you do it”.  She often see’s us going through our own ups and downs with the mental and physical health of my son’s.  She saw on Monday that after my son’s 3 week hospital admission, there was little improvement to his health status. My friend, however, is going through an incredibly tough and confronting time herself. The whole family is and has been for many years with her having to face her own serious health battles too. Right now they are facing serious health issues for one of their children and are having to make decisions that will potentially affect the rest of their child’s quality of life. The fact of the matter is, that she is trying to be strong for everyone but is on the verge of cracking herself. Not only is she trying to hold her family together during their own difficult times, she is dealing with grief and uncertainty around the health of one of her friends, who is terminally ill. How do I respond?  We all have our different stuff don’t we?  Differing levels of resilience from person to person and environmental factors can change our ability to cope at any given time.  So my response: “Well I guess I figure all the worry and stress really doesn’t help me or anyone else. In fact, for me it makes it worse. I can’t think clearly, can’t function properly and I sure as hell can’t make decisions effectively. I guess I have practiced it (coping) over a long, long time. Monday, I...
The Diagnosis

The Diagnosis

Last year I was asked to participate in a Cystic Fibrosis South Australia (CFSA) fundraising project for the 65 Roses Ball.  I was asked to be interviewed on camera – no problem.  As it turned out, after all of the planning, the interview happened to fall on the 2nd day of what turned out to be a 3-week frustrating admission.  Perfect, because it would be real, I thought. The first question was up and I was asked “What is CF?”, a seemingly simple question for a normally well-spoken “have it all together most of the time” kind of mum.  Five words in and I was a blubbering mess!  I was mortified.  I thought, “what is wrong with me?”  I was really taken back at my uncontrolled emotion.  I have been asked this so many times that my responses are well practised and somewhat detached.  I normally provide factual and in-depth information, explain the emotional stressors but rarely connect with them.  Sometimes when I talk about CF it is almost in a clinical sense.  So now it seems that I am human! It took me back to Matthew’s diagnosis. Rarely do I allow myself to cast back and feel that emotion. It is simply to raw. My heart aches for that young 24-year-old first-time mother.  No one deserves that heartache, the shock, the immense grief and despair that any parent feels when told there is something wrong with their child and worse still when doctors state in a matter of fact manner that there is a life expectancy, a cap on your child’s life. I decided to show Matthew off for the first time...