To the Parent of the Chronically Ill Child Asking, 'What If?'

I know you always want the best for your child. As a daughter with multiple chronic illnesses, I know you always ask, “What if?”

“What if I could have prevented that tick bite?”

“What if I would have chosen for you not to receive that one vaccination?”

“What if I could have prevented that surgery?”

“What if?”

As an only child, you had one chance to have the perfect child. You ask what you could have done differently so I would not have to deal with the symptoms of my diagnoses.

I want you to know that you never need to ask what if. None of this was your fault and if you could do it all over again, I would want you to do it the same way. Everything you have done for me is something I would never want you to change. You did your best to protect me which is something every parent would do.

You never stopped searching to find me a diagnosis which would later lead to a second, and to a third, and so on. You always believed me that something was wrong and would go to the ends of the world just to find a doctor. You cared for me on my best days and on my worst days. You supported me through thick and thin. You would be sure to always have extra vacation days and work extra hours just in case I had to go to the ER, to the doctors, or was admitted. You battled insurance companies time and time again to get me the treatment I needed. You have done all of this and so much more and I could never repay you.

I don’t want you to ever ask, “What if?” because every decision you made for me are the same decisions I would make for myself. These decisions were in my best interest and you never would have know any of this would have happened. Don’t ever blame yourself but know that I cannot thank you enough for the decisions you have made for me over the years.

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