This is the real life story of Steve and Carol and how they handled the news no parent wants to hear;
It was February 23, 1997. It was the happiest day of both of our lives. My beautiful wife had just given birth to our first child, a boy. His name is Eric and he was an 8lb 6oz bundle of joy. I was euphoric. When I first held him at the hospital, I was envisioning the times we would spend together, playing sports, the trips and vacations we would take together, and how much fun he was going to have on our first day at Disney World. We arrived at the hospital a family of 2 and headed home the next day a family of 3.
But after the first 6 weeks at home, my wife noticed that Eric’s ability to suck milk was weak. I told her that he was just a baby and that once he started drinking my “protein shakes” along with me, he’d be able to bench press both of her engorged breasts. LOL! I didn’t know what was to come, but within months of my making this statement to my wife, we were dealt the devastating news that our son Eric had been diagnosed with “Familia Dysautonomia”. Simply put, Eric’s disease produced for him the following; no muscle tone, no sucking capability, no fight or flight reflex, no ability to feel hot or cold, no capability of feeling pain, no tear capability in his eyes, blood pressure issues, and the prognosis of a very early death. Half my heart just died at that moment.
What next? The diagnoses hit me so hard that I could barely stand the emotional pain which I physically felt throughout my body. Not knowing it at the time, I did a couple things right. I expressed my feelings of grief and pain openly with my wife, family, and close friends. I cried for days and allowed them to see my emotional vulnerability. Being able to release and express these feelings and emotions was very important. It allowed my wife and I to work together to make Eric’s life here on earth the best it could be.
We both decided that we would accept what God had given us and agreed there was a wonderful purpose behind the gift of Eric. This attitude and view point allowed us to build a happy productive lifestyle and outcome for all 3 of us.
Although I went to work every day as the bread winner in the family, we agreed to share the responsibilities of Eric equally. That meant that there were many nights when it was my turn to stay up with Eric. You see, he could not be left alone for a single minute or he could have died from any number of reasons.
My wife and I also agreed that we needed to maintain and grow our relationship. We set special times for dinners together, weekend vacations, times for us to hangout with our individual friends, and yes, we even scheduled specific dates and times for love making. We called upon family and friends to help us out with all of these things…, and they all happily did.
For anyone of you facing any type of hurdle here are a few of my suggestions;
1. Accept and embrace your current situation
2. Do not let your mind have negative conversations with yourself
3. Reach out to family and friends for help
4. Take time out to engage in other important parts of life (exercise, friends, etc.)
5. Stay focused on your goals and objectives
6. Know that positive actions will produce positive results
7. Remember that you are a team and that everyone needs to work in harmony
Okay guys, whaddaya think?
Have you had a similar experience? Can you relate? Share your thoughts, your stories, your questions and advice so we can all learn from one another and make better decisions. Plus, you’ll get some huge karma points for doing so.
Have a great day and a great life.
A regular guy, another opinion.℠