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When I Told My Son I Couldn’t Run After He Brought Me My Shoes

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Having chronic pain means experiencing challenging moments that no one hears about, such as walking to the bathroom unassisted, washing your own hair or even eating your own food without the need of being fed.

Most people who have chronic illnesses don’t talk about these moments. But you know what other challenging moments we deal with? Having to talk to people who don’t understand our illnesses. And sometimes those people are our children.

I have scoliosis, fibromyalgia and brain disease. Just last month, I suffered a small stroke, and a few weeks ago, I had my first seizure. I talked to my 7-year-old son today about it.

“You shouldn’t let your tiny stroke, your seizures or anything else stop you from doing what you love,” he said with tears in his eyes. “You can’t let that stop you, Mami. Just like you tell me all the time, I’m telling you now to don’t give up. I know your head and back always hurts, but I can help you.”

Running has always been my passion. It’s my escape from my pain and, at times, my pain reliever. It takes care of the fibro pain, but because of all the problems with my brain lately, I haven’t been able to be active in the past two months.

I’ve spent more time in bed than I’d like. I have trouble standing and walking, but I make an effort. My son even helps me walk around, but some days are just too painful to bare.

While we were talking, he suddenly got up, ran off and returned with my running shoes and said, “Here, start stretching. I’ll go get your socks.”

This is when I have to tell my 7-year-old son that I will get back to running and doing other things I enjoy doing. But for now, I need to take it slow. I need to recover and keep going forward. Chronic pain is never-ending, and I must learn to be stronger than the disease trying to beat me.

Then he tugged at my heartstrings one last time: “I know you will, I’m always cheering for you. I’ve never stopped believing in you.”

Originally published: September 16, 2016
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