At the end of the book you say. “Chronic pain demands a proactive mind-set, and that you need to help yourself at a time when all you want is for someone to save you. Believe in yourself, and trust your instincts. If you think that something is wrong with your child, don’t give up, and believe in the power of you.” Could you elaborate on that statement?
When our son’s reflux was at its worst, we were also at OUR worst. All we wanted was for someone to come in and make a really bad situation better. We were so frustrated and sleep deprived, we were ready to take advice from almost anyone. At that time, it didn’t really matter to us who we turned to, or what we said to them. We just wanted help, and FAST. In fact, we weren’t very careful about who we turned to for help. We didn’t really care what an individual’s qualifications or experience was with acid reflux – we felt DESPERATE for answers.
But history usually shows that desperation rarely makes for good decision making.
To me, this paradox seems to be one of the most challenging aspects of chronic illness: when the illness is at its worst, that’s usually the time when you need help the most. But when you are sinking deeper and deeper each day (either physically as the patient, or emotionally as the caregiver), I think it can be very tough to stand back, and proactively ask the questions about the illness that need to be answered next. The irony is, that in the midst of a really bad situation (or one that has the potential to become really bad), this calm, thoughtful approach is really the only one that is going to lead to the best results.
That’s where trusting your instincts and believing in yourself comes in. As the caregiver, you have to somehow find the strength in the situation to say, “I (or We) can do this.” It will take some outside help, but if I stay calm and thoughtful, I can find the resources to make this situation better. That is “the power of you.”
Published On: August 30, 2006