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When My Son Asked ‘Why Me, Mommy?’ When He Was in Pain


Surrounded by medical staff, wired up to oxygen and in terrible pain, my sweet 6-year-old son looked up at me with his innocent blue eyes and asked, “Why me, Mommy?”

I wasn’t the one in pain, but it broke my heart.

I knew this question would come, but when it did I simply wasn’t prepared.

As someone put it so eloquently, developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) isn’t life-threatening  but boy, is it life-changing.

My beautiful boy wanted to know why he had DDH.

Why he hurt.

Why he had to come to the hospital, again.

Why he needed to have pre-medication that made him feel like he was upside-down.

Why he was not allowed to have breakfast that day, not even a piece of toast.

Why he had to be pushed across the hospital corridors and down to the cold surgical ward.

Why a man put a needle into his hand and made him cry.

Why the man needed to pump “magic” juice into his arm that made him go to sleep.

Why his mommy had to leave him for hours.

Why his surgeon had to break his pelvis and shave his bones.

Why he had to wake up in the recovery room, where he was surrounded by strangers and machines as Mommy held his hand.

Why he had to listen to other children crying.

Why we couldn’t go back to the ward and find Daddy for two hours because his oxygen levels were low.

Why his wound was bleeding and Mommy was worried he had an infection and would need emergency surgery.

Why he felt too poorly to drink his tea.

Why the nurses had to wake him in the night to turn him over, which hurt all over again.

Why he couldn’t see his brother Eddie.

Why he wouldn’t be able to walk for two months, maybe more.

Why he would have to use a wheelchair.

Why people would stare.

Why he had to have a chronic condition.

The answer is, I didn’t know why him.

He has DDH, and no one really knows why.

It may have something to do with genetics, maybe something to do with chance.

I couldn’t say. I could tell him, however, how brave he was.

That I wish I had DDH, not him.

How much we love him.

How Mommy and Daddy and Eddie are always here to help him.

That everyone was sending him messages of love.

That he was the reason I wrote my book, and so many other parents would be able to learn about DDH and how to help their kids.

That he was the reason we’ve raised over $1,000 to help other kids and their families.

That we will help him get better.

That he will run again and play football.

That he can have lots of “duvet days” with Mommy at home.

That sometimes life can be tough, but that he is a fighter.

That he is the bravest person I know.

That I love him so much.

That his Daddy and brother think he is a superhero.

“But why me, Mommy?” he asked again.

Follow this journey on Just Because I Love.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images