I’m a fairly organized, detailed person. In fact, I’m probably borderline (ha!) OCD. This is all extremely helpful when parenting a couple of kids with special needs.
It also makes me want to record everything. That’s probably a good thing, right? I think I do it because I’m pretty sentimental. Plus, well, the kids have a life-threatening condition and so I feel like I have to. I have to.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that I can recall with certainty the date of nearly all medical events for my kids. Is that strange? I can almost tell you where I was when I received an important call (in the car when we learned my son would need EPO shots) or the details of a big visit to the hospital with one of the kids (the room color and temperature of the room where my son was diagnosed with a kidney disease). You know, little details.
I know I have my blog and scrapbooks at the ready so I don’t necessarily need to remember all the details, yet, I do. I think it is my internal way to honor their struggles. When I remember the details and can have long conversations with my kids about what has happened to them physically and emotionally I like to think that they feel like I was there; that they weren’t alone. In the isolating world of growing up with a chronic disease and learning difference I want them to know that I was there with them even though intellectually they know it.
A couple of times I remember haunt me. I think about what I could have/should have done differently. Many of of the time markers I hold on to are ones I can recall with pride that I (or the kids) handled everything the way I (they) should have.
A haunting: I wished I’d pushed harder one day before I did when my son had a horrible, painful surgery experience. It was night, he finally fell asleep but he was in horrible pain for a long time. It was his birthday. February 2007.
A good one: I worked around a doctor who would have allowed my daughter to go on dialysis but in a stunning turn of events they relented after a 2nd opinion and approval at another city’s transplant center. That happened in February 2009.
What are two of your time markers?