My son had been crying almost inconsolably for the past two days. A cracked tooth had become infected. The infection required antibiotics. The antibiotics caused a rash. And the rash itched, despite steroids and home remedies, which led us to our walk. The cool weather seemed to help him some and it did clear my head.
In the last two days we had been back and forth to the doctor’s office and then the Emergency Room. I was initially ungrateful with this process. My son, clearly uncomfortable, walked alongside my husband, clearly sleep deprived. Why did it seem that we were always going through some medical drama? My mind drifted back to when he was a baby and we were told that he had Adrenal Insufficiency, an inability of the body to mount an appropriate response to stress. We were told he would have to be on steroids at least three times a day for the rest of his life.
But a specialist on the cutting edge of research was willing to consider the possibility that this body would begin to heal itself, with time. He was allowed to wean off of the life sustaining medicine, slowly. This is not the case for every child, but it was another small miracle for my son.
That memory kind of stopped me in my tracks of ungratefulness. You see, I had wandered, kind of like the children of Israel, into the camp of complaining and griping and had forgotten how far we had come. From steroids three times a day to no steroids at all. That’s kind of a big deal. No more waking him up in the middle of the night to give him a medicine. No more getting doses prepared at specialty pharmacies. No more need to plan things out in such detail that we could never take a spontaneous trip because we were bound to the schedule of the medicine.
My son was having a rough time, but it was temporary. I knew the rash would subside and the itching would go away. Now if he needed steroids it was just before a surgery, not every single day for the rest of his life. My son no longer needed these medicines to survive; today he only needed them to relieve the discomfort of itching. When I put it in perspective, the ungratefulness gave way to gratitude. Perspective makes all the difference.
- When things get difficult for you or your child, have you been tempted to only see where you are or are you able to see how far you have come?
- What do you do when you find yourself in a spiral of ungratefulness? What helps you get perspective about things?
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