When the Shock Wears Off

On a bed of nails at a science museum.

It’s been a little over two months since we got the diagnosis that changed our world. It wasn’t unexpected, but hearing someone say it out loud and seeing it written in a report about my daughter still caught me off guard. I’ve talked, prayed, wondered, and questioned since that day in December, and I feel like I’ve gone from swimming in alphabet soup to living again.

Past the extensive medical records, surgery notes, evaluation reports, and diagnosis codes is my daughter. She is a person—a beautiful, smart, funny, talented Princess. Like her sister, I love her more than I can express and feel privileged and blessed to be her mother.

Is it hard? Sometimes it is. Some days I don’t know how I’ll make it to bedtime—or if she’ll go to sleep when that time comes. Other days are great. The quirks are still there, but they don’t seem as glaring or problematic.

When the shock wears off, and the alphabet soup has simmered down, what’s left is my daughter. That’s something I’m thankful for—and what I try to remember.

Do you ever have trouble seeing past a diagnosis or label to the person?

Photo credit: Jennifer A. Janes

This entry was posted in Faith, Family, Growth, Reflections, Special Needs. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When the Shock Wears Off

  1. kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing says:

    Oh girl- I so totally get this. My youngest has been diagnosed with “defiance disorder” – yes, it is exactly what the name reflects. The thing is – so much of it is not of his choosing – his birth mother did drugs that affected brain chemicals – and then he went through abuse and neglect until we finally got our hands on him at 8 months old. Suffice it to say – it’s been a rough road. Some days I’ve thought I couldn’t do it- But at the end of that road, at the end of the day – like you said, is my baby – just my baby (6 yr old) boy who is smart and cute and needs his family. Love to you – thank you for sharing

  2. Wade L. says:

    We have had a hard time watching our son with his difficulties. He had spinal deformities at birth, and at 7 weeks old, spent 2 weeks in the hospital with spinal surgeries. From summer to Thanksgiving of this year, the ordeal continued with 6 more spinal surgeries and months of laying flat. He missed all but the first day of kindergarten until after Thanksgiving.
    After being his Dad through all of this, I have cried occasionally in front of him as the Docs do their thing, but mostly I can hold it together until afterwards. Through it all, months of constant pain and unyielding difficulties, it seems his sweet demeanor and gift of pleasant conversation have survived.
    I am daily in awe of what he has survived, and grateful to God for allowing us to accompany him through these trials.
    In an instant, I would trade with my son so that I had the pain and problems. What I would not do is trade my son for another to avoid the problems. He is ours, and I believe that his health difficulties have been key in forming the gifts and talents he has developed.
    I love my kids. All days in all ways.
    In that way, I both sympathize with you and revel in your love for your child.

    • I can sympathize with and revel with you too, Wade. Like you, I wouldn’t trade the problems if it means I wouldn’t have this child. She is a joy and a delight. God bless you as you walk this path. It’s hard—and wonderful. Only another parent on the journey would understand that.

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