It’s one thing when the big people in the family are battling an unpredictable or chronic illness, but when a little person (or people) in the family have health issues, a new set of problems arise.
For me, I think it is easier to personally have an unpredictable illness than to have a child with an illness. To some degree, it is more manageable. For the most part I know what triggers a flare up for me and I know how to start getting it under control. Yes there are times when I’m hit “out of nowhere” with a debilitating symptom, but those are few and far between. However, when Little 1 started having chronic and unpredictable health problems, it sent my life into a tail spin.
Hindsight is, as they say, 20-20 and I suppose that Big 1 and I blatantly missed the signs that Little 1 had underlying issues. From failure to thrive, colic & GERD as an infant to chronic eczema and gastrointestinal issues, Little 1 always seemed to be just slightly, yet chronically, sick. So in the fall of 2016, when she suddenly started having random bouts of life-threatening anaphylaxis, we probably shouldn’t have been so blind-sided. Still, we were. It took over a year of managing symptoms, seeing specialists and racing Little 1 to the hospital before finally discovering that a combination of Leaky Gut and Celiac Disease were to blame for it all.
In addition to Little 1 having health issues, Little 2 nearly died shortly after birth. Because of that, we are constantly attempting to prevent or treat Asthma attacks and pneumonia. And, more recently, Little 2 has had wild blood sugar swings and a host of unpleasant issues that have doctors scratching their heads. So we’re back on the specialist circuit as we navigate our newest hit to our family health.
Having sick Littles is, by far, worse than having sick Bigs. Bigs can communicate what is going on and it’s far easier to determine if a particular episode is immediately life-threatening. On the same token, having sick Bigs makes it more difficult to care for sick Littles. When you’re uncertain if today is a “good day” or a “bad day”, it can be challenging.
Regardless of this challenge, it is a reality. It is our new standard even if we don’t like it. But through chronicling this journey, I hope to look back and see the progress that we’ve made and the summits that we’ve topped. I hope to inspire and give hope to others who are on a similar journey. But mostly, I hope to grow and find joy despite all the challenges.