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Happy Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there. I hope you’re having an awesome day celebrating how important you are! Without women willing to take the risks and put in the time and energy to raise children, we wouldn’t have the friends and family with us we enjoy each and every day.

There are two categories of Mom that deserve a special mention. To Moms who aren’t off today because they have to work, their child has medical needs that never take a day off, or they’re just plain overwhelmed, I see you. I’m thankful for the work you put in each and every day. Your kids may not be old enough to thank you yet. They’ll get there. I hope your spouse, significant other, or another family member has a chance to give you the love and attention you deserve today. Even if they don’t, you’re still amazing and wonderful.

To the Moms with a child that’s earned their wings, they’re looking down on you today wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day from above. Grief is a perplexing thing. You may feel a hundred different ways today, more if the loss is recent. I’m wishing you a special Happy Mother’s Day. You’ve been through something no one can possibly understand without experiencing it themselves.

Enjoy yourselves! Eat all the food, get lots of presents, and don’t do an ounce of work more than absolutely necessary. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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Depression, Grief’s Last Stand

The grief stage, depression, is always the most difficult for me. It already saps a ton of energy going through all of the other stages. It’s cruel, in a way, the last stage is the one which completely demotivates you. I should mention, not all types of grief are exactly the same. When dealing with a chronic condition, any bad news starts a new grief cycle. It’s frequent enough, there’s a part of you which feels like an outsider watching a train wreck. It’s obvious what’s coming, you don’t want to watch, but you can’t prevent it or look away.

All the things you normally do to relax and unwind are no longer interesting. If you’re prone to an addiction (food, smoking, alcohol) then the need for a fix is overwhelming. The fatigue is overwhelming, and most things just don’t seem important anymore. To anyone else it looks like something is terribly wrong, but it’s completely normal to feel like this for a little while; if the depression in this type of grief goes on for more than a week or two it may be time to become concerned. There are other types where stages may take months or years depending on the loss.

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Cycles of Grief, Caregiving for Chronic Conditions

It’s been apparent for a while our son had medical problems. Until the diagnosis this month, we were in the dark about a lot of things. However, we still had enough information to know this would probably go on for a while and things would come up we didn’t expect. It took me by surprise this week when I was hit with grief not just once, but twice. I accepted our son had a chronic medical condition a long time ago. Why would I be so distressed at hearing bad news from his doctors?

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The Hour that Changed Everything

The Hour that Changed Everything

We found a doctor researching our son’s gene mutation and were able to get in and see her. It took the whole day between preparing to travel, traveling, and the appointment itself and was well worth the effort. We needed to talk to someone with a good understanding of our son’s genetic condition in order to move forward with the best treatment possible.

It turns out we’ve been taking excellent care of our son. Even without knowing his underlying disorder, we’ve still effectively treated all of its symptoms which can be treated. I’m sure this sounds underwhelming considering the title. Our son’s treatment plan was an important reason, but not the only reason to have this appointment. It was also important to help my husband and other family members progress through their grief and understand our son’s needs.

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Acceptance and Your Child’s Illness

There are five stages of grief in the Kübler-Ross model. I’ve sourced the stages from Wikipedia.org and shortened them where appropriate.

  1. Denial — The first reactions is denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.
  2. Anger — When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, it becomes frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.
  3. Bargaining — The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Other times, they will use anything valuable against another human agency to extend or prolong the life. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise.
  4. Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” […] During the fourth stage, the individual becomes saddened by the mathematical probability of death. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.
  5. Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”; “Nothing is impossible.” In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future […] this state […] typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions.

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