I shared this on a support group/forum the other day with a mom who recently found out her son has mito... I've had a few folks suggest I post it on my blog - so here it is.

(Mom and Auntie Patti I suggest you guys skip this one - or grab your kleenex now...)

It is a strange thing to feel relief when your child is diagnosed with a terrible disease. But relief is indeed the emotion we had. We've seen both sides of the coin - the awful world of 'undiagnosed' - knowing something awful is wrong, and not having a clue what it was... and the awful world of 'mito'... still awful, but slightly less in my opinion.

Having a name for the monster does indeed help.

You're in for a roller coaster - as much as this ends one chapter of the journey, it also marks the beginning of a whole new one... not more or less terrible/scary... but different. You will now spend the coming months learning how to 'be ok' with the fact that things will get worse, and you will not know exactly 'what' is going to get worse until it does... the uncertainty does not get better, but it does get bearable.

You'll learn how to 'be ok' with discussing this horrible disease... you will reach a place where you can quite plainly explain that your child has this condition, and it will get worse, and there is really nothing that can be done (yet!) to stop it... people will be horrified that you can talk about it without being a total mess... (and I promise - with time, you will be able to talk about it without being a total mess!! it takes time, but you will get there).

you'll learn how to 'be ok' with the fact that your child's life (and yours!) is now going to be vastly different than most... and it's just that - not better, not worse, just very very different... you will find joy in things most people dont notice... you will lose sleep over things most people dont even think about... you will cry (both happy and sad tears) over things most people would never comprehend...

You don't know it yet, but your entire world, and everything you thought was important 'before' has been fundamentally changed. Nothing will ever be the same...

But I promise, with time, patience, and support - you and your family will get to a place where its 'ok'... you may not 'beat' mito, but you absolutely will grow from it, in ways you cant even imagine...

Big hugs...

Be kind to yourself... be patient with your spouse - he will likely process all this in a completely different, incompatable way than you, and it will upset you when he muddles through it differently - but its just that - different - no more or less right... allow him to get through it how he needs to, and ask him to allow you to get through it your way... The same goes for all your family...

Be prepared to lose friends. And be prepared to find amazing friends in old 'aquaintences' you never expected. Be prepared to be let down by people you believed would be there no matter what, and be ready to be surprised by the ones you didnt.

Learn how to ask for help - and do it specifically. Come up with a list of things that are difficult when things get bad (laundry, cooking, etc) and ask friends and family to help out in those areas when things are rough... People WANT to help, but they will always come to you and say 'what can i do' and at a crisis point you will not be able to tell them. So tell them ahead of time. Tell them when things are bad you really need someone to come clean the kitchen and throw some laundry in, or deliver a meal or two... help them help you.

These are all the things I wish someone had shared with me when we started this journey - we have had to learn them on the fly instead... we're getting there - but every year brings new challenges, new bombshells, and new lessons... and new joys, and achievements.

It will be 'ok'.

It will never be the same, but it will be 'ok'.

It has to be 'ok'.

As of tonight, we're 'ok'. Brandon had a fantastic day at school, Tyler is doing great, we had a wonderful evening full of loud thunderstorms and good food (waffle sandwitches for the boys - their favorite!)... life is good.



Post a Comment