Hard Decisions as a Parent

22 02 2010

Three days last week, I went with Zack and Rainbow and their dad to the children’s hospital.

They, unsurprisingly, didn’t want to go.

There was screaming.

There were tears.

There was begging and pleading. “Please, please, PLEASE, Mom! It’s my body! Why can’t you let me decide? I don’t want to do this!”

I tried to answer back calmly.

I arranged for them to be given a priesthood blessing, if they wanted.

I gave lots of hugs.

I cried with them.

But I still took them.

I have recently discovered the burden of parenthood increases exponentially when one is required to make medical decisions–possibly life-altering medical decisions–for one’s children. One of the things that makes it so hard is that once their feet are set on this path, there is no knowing “What it could have been like.” That reality is lost forever, superseded by this new reality that, let’s face it, was forced upon them by their parents.

[Deep sigh.]

I wish I could tell the future.

Was it the right decision?

If the kids were choosing, the sacrifice of their personal comfort right now is too great. Hospitals? Needles? I.V. poles? Side effects? Definitely not worth this nebulous you-won’t-break-as-many-bones future we’re holding up for them as a prize. Since breaking bones isn’t a given, it’s hard to weight the benefit of infusions against it. However, because in their cases broken bones aren’t simply possible–they’re probable–as a parent it becomes necessary to weigh those odds.

Dear Zack, I don’t want you becoming hunched over before you’re even a teenager because your spine is weak.

Sweet Rainbow, I don’t want you to have constant back pain at the tender age of six.

The medicine they were given in infusion form is supposed to help their bones become stronger by slowing the process of resorption. I really hope it works. I prayed a lot.

And I believe getting the infusions was a good choice.

The greatest difficulty lay in causing them pain–two of my sweet children–when that’s the last thing I ever want to do, when I would take that pain upon myself in a second if it were possible.

Stick me with a hundred needles, and please make their bones stronger.

It doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.

They cried and screamed at the hospital. (I cried, too.)

But they were brave.

They got it done.

I am so proud of them.

See you in three months, Hospital. We won’t miss you, but we’re glad you’re there to help us out.

Here’s hoping for a strong-boned future!


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12 responses

22 02 2010
HBA

As a parent, unexpected pain in your children is bad enough. Pain you know is coming is like torture. You are brave. Hopefully next time will be easier, and the infusions will make a big difference. Love you all!

22 02 2010
Dina

We’ve faced these same life altering decisions and boy, it doesn’t get any easier. There are times that I’ve questioned the medication decision we made for our oldest when she was 8 because we saw the side effects. But then I always go back to the fact that we were making the best decision at the time with the information that we had. That’s the best we can do as parents. Our hearts are good. We are trying to help, not hurt.

But somehow that doesn’t make it any easier.

22 02 2010
moniquel319

At least they don’t have fear of the unknown going into the next one. I can’t imagine having to deal with sick kids. It just breaks my heart. I’m sending you hugs. Your in my prayers still.

22 02 2010
Tami

4 words: you are my hero!

22 02 2010
Christina

You are an awesome Mom! You did such a good thing for them, I know it must have been so hard. They’ll thank you some day in the future 🙂

22 02 2010
Kathleen

you are such a good mom.

23 02 2010
Lori

Wendy,

I can relate that as a parent I would love to take away the pain from children. Aiden has been an example to me and has inspired me to be a stronger person for it. You will get through this and your children will thank you later.

23 02 2010
Jacki

Oh, so hard! I wish we could have a crystal ball as a parent! I hope the treatments go well and do all you’re hoping for!

23 02 2010
mandy

You are amazing. I will be hoping and praying for good things for you and your cute kids.

23 02 2010
Camber

We love you! We are so sorry! Please let us know if we can help in any way! We think you are an amazing mother.

24 02 2010
Mrs. Olsen

Lil Wendy, I’m sorry! It sounds like you are preparing well for the future. Your thank you may come in a decade or two, but it will come I am sure.

26 01 2011
Pamidronate Update « The Ear Wax Tastes Like Crayons Blog

[…] wrote a post last February about hard decisions that a parent sometimes has to make. I didn’t want to bore you with details, but since going […]

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