The Mighty Logo

Dear PANDAS, You Can't Steal My Family's Joy

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Dear PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections),

This past week you tried your best to steal away our family vacation. Our precious memories. Our joy. But you didn’t. You failed.

You may have thought you won when my daughter had a meltdown in the middle of Old Town St. Augustine, because her shoes hurt. Instead, we all went to the mall and bought some cute new sneakers. Because, you see, you have taught us well, on how to be flexible.

You may have thought you struck gold, hoping I’d overreact when my daughter was aggravated in the beach house because she was overtired. But I didn’t, and eventually she fell asleep, and woke up from her nap feeling much better. Then we proceeded to have a fun afternoon at the beach.

Or how about tonight, when my daughter was teetering on the edge of her sanity because it was pouring outside and she hadn’t been to beach yet today — our last full day here. Sorry to disappoint you, but we ended up putting our bathing suits on and going out in the rain, chasing waves, building sand castles, dancing, and collecting shells. We even saw a dolphin — so, there.

There have been many times where you have, unfortunately, won. Many sports, groups, and activities have been lost because of you. You seem to have an insatiable appetite for consuming any and all things good in our lives.

However, every time you knock us down, it only makes us stronger. It may take me a while, but slowly, I am learning your ways, and you really aren’t as slick as you think you are.

Because of you, I have met precious friends. I have gained a deep appreciation for life, and I know the goodness that even the simplest of things can bring. You may not have meant to, but in your haste to try and take over our lives, you have instead blessed us with much.

Sorry PANDAS, but you lose.

Check mate.

Sincerely, A PANDAS Mom

Originally published: August 2, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home