Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratituesday: therapy

I was reminded yesterday at Charlie's Dysphagia therapy, that this coming Thursday will be 2 years exactly since we started therapy for his eating issues.  That was quite a realization to think it's been 2 years.  My initial thought was how ironic that the anniversary of something I've been so un-thankful for is falling on a day of thanksgiving.  Wait, is that irony?  I never know.  And not that this is the only day we should be thankful, people.  

It's been a long two years.  There are plenty of days where I feel like the martyred mother who must do therapy with her child every day, multiple times a day.  The mother who can't eat a meal in peace unless her child is at someone else's house.  Wait, maybe that's all mothers with toddlers.  The mother who's life revolves around her child's meals and food.

And then I get perspective.  Perspective like the Dragon Mom I recently blogged about.  Or this other story I found recently of another Dragon Mom who finally lost their battle and kissed their sweet baby girl one last time. I'm sure I would have cried over both of these stories even when I wasn't a mother, but being a mother now makes these stories so much more real, and I can easily saturate tissues and napkins galore before I get past the first paragraph of stories like that.

And when I finally connected all of this in my brain yesterday, I had this moment, perhaps for the first time, where I was truly. seriously. for real. absolutely grateful. for therapy.  Not just the "oh yea I'm grateful we have this and are trying to fix it, blah blah blah" kind of thankfulness.  Charlie has never been failure to thrive (which some kids with eating disorders can be), it's not a terminal illness, we have money to see a therapist, and most vivid yesterday was the fact that WE ARE SEEING PROGRESS!!!  The progress part is exciting because we have definitely been through long periods where progress has been microscopic to non-existent.  And recently it's been visible!  I have hope!  My son will one day eat soup and bread and raw veggies and nuts and pieces of all kinds of healthy foods, instead of pureed everything.  Did I mention I hate purees?  I do.

Why am I glad for therapy specifically?  Because we are seeing progress.  Wait, back up.  Because the speech/dysphagia therapists caught the problem when he was 6 weeks old, and we started taking measures to make sure that nothing got worse, so he didn't grow up establishing a cycle of incorrect eating patterns, resulting in more problems as he grew, poor digestion from un-chewed food, refusal to eat food due to poor digestion and upset tummy (which can lead to failure to thrive) and scariest of all, lots of potential choking that happens when you don't have correctly established chew/swallow patterns.  I don't care how experienced you are in the matter, that moment when you realize your child is really choking, it's scary.

Am I grateful to have avoided all of that?  You bet.  Did that mean I was thankful for therapy?  Not really and truly.  Not until yesterday.

So on this Gratituesday I am thankful for Charlie's therapists and his therapy sessions.  And while I'd love to think of what else we could have done with the time and money we've poured into therapy, I can truly say that  I am grateful we have been able to do this for our son to save him a whole host of problems as he progresses through life.

And this Thanksgiving day - 2 years from our first therapy session - I will be so grateful to have a happy, healthy, thriving child.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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