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When Mom Is Sick

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My daughter is 10 — all the love in the world to my husband, for all of the hypnotism it took to lure me in. He is by far the best decision I have ever made, because without him, there would be no her.

For a long time you wonder when it comes to things like this. You handle it as an adult. You forget, that even though you are an adult, eventually this will change your child. This does change your child. This will make your child an adult, in a very real “what happens if” way, or even a “look what’s happening now” kinda way.  Having lupus and fibromyalgia is difficult enough, and I have come to realize it makes having a 10-year-old even harder. The depression and anxiety only add to the jumbo of painful nerves that exists as her mother sometimes.

This summer, with almost six grams of protein in my urine, we all struggled.

This was and is hard for all of us. It is hard for my mother to watch her child struggle, and my grandmother to watch her daughter struggle also. It is hard for my husband, who feels helpless and deals with this mostly on his own. I doubt I’ll ever hear him complain, and if he does, it is because he can’t help me. I think it becomes especially hard for a child. Especially my child, who will run to get you an ice pack and a band-aid if you say, “Oww.” She is also an only child, who is accustomed to a run and grab, a tickle flight, or even an impromptu lay on top of each other while we watch silly YouTube videos.

We can try to understand what it is like to not be able to hug your mother the way you know how, the way you love, because it hurts her too much. As the child of someone like me, you have to learn that those days in bed with text messages, cuddle cuddle snuggles and mommy napping on you, are more for mommy.

This is something I think she learned really quickly, and that makes me both happy – and sad.

I am strong, there is no doubt about it. But, I do not possess not even one iota of strength that my child has in her pinky finger, on one eyelash – or even in the crescendo of her laugh.

She is a good learner, and we tried to teach her how to understand someone’s words – and to take those words at what they mean. We tried to teach her young that my absence was just in another room. My missing is never because I don’t love her, never in malice and never on purpose.

Sometimes, we make plans and the disease laughs. One day we will laugh too – through the eyes of my child.

One day.

Gettyimage by: Liderina

Originally published: January 10, 2018
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