Sunday, April 1, 2012
The Never Ending Scab
When Liam was diagnosed I had such raw emotions I was an the roller coaster of emotions constantly up and down, up and down, it was making me SICK!! It was like someone stopped the film right at the happy ever after ending and added another chapter called the never ending nightmare! I’d like to say that eventually the constant appointments and questions, therapies and research finally found a happy middle ground but it didn’t. Each week we have more appointments than the last, more therapies than the last, more incoming information and more things we are told to “try”. It’s absolutely exhausting!
But I have come to be able to deal with the constant questions much better than I did at first. The first time someone said “why are his eyes shaking is he excited to see you?” I wanted to say “do your eyes shake when you get excited??” Comment after comment I became so frustrated with people and their questions on why Liam’s eyes moved the way they do or why he had glasses at such a young age. I remember my mother-in-law telling me “it will get better, little by little, your skin will get thicker and thicker question after question and eventually it won’t be as raw and painful as it is right now. You‘ll find yourself crying less and less, a little tougher all the time.” She was right. Eventually we got used to the questions and stares, we always noticed them mind you, but we just ignored them and I told myself they were just staring because his glasses were so darn cute.
But every once in awhile, that pain creeps its way back in, pushing at my protective mama bear nerve scratching at this recently healed scab making this old wound fresh again. Tonight it was an older gentleman in the grocery store when I must have let my guard down temporarily. From behind us we hear “ are those real glasses or fake?” I catch myself as I want to spin around and reply with a “no I just bought them because I thought they were cute like the shoes he has on,” but I don’t, I simply reply with a “yes” and try to walk away. “How did you figure out he needed them?” he continued. I’m psychic I fight back and explain that he has an eye movement called nystagmus that we noticed and the ophthalmologist did the rest. He informed us about his similar situation with his grandchild in the first grade not being able to keep up and I smiled as we said goodbye and walked away. Somehow people always like to reply with their similar situation that are never truly similar to ours but they think it will help put us on a level ground (but it doesn’t). (News Flash: Your cousin, your boyfriend, your grandmothers boyfriend and your best friends dog are not similarities to my son, people! Thanks!)
As we walked away I found myself holding onto Liam a little tighter just as I always tend to do when we are in public places and tons of people start swarming or pointing or commenting on the cute little baby with glasses. I remind myself as I look at Liam, he doesn’t see the pointing or the staring...he only sees me, his daddie, the lights and the toy shelf with all the things he wants to grab on it. He couldn’t be more oblivious to the rest of the world. And that is a huge blessing. I pray he never sees the pointing, the staring, the constant commenting or whispering and that he forever stays focused on the things that matter in his own little world. That, for me, is the constant Band-Aid on my scab. My little protector protecting his mommy's fragile heart.
PS. (In case you're unaware, Liam’s name means "The Protector")