It happened. It hit me hard, it arrived fast, and it quite honestly took me by surprise in more than one way.
As I sit here, in the hospital again – with a sick child, again – I open up social media and alas, senior year of high school. Or should I say, what SHOULD have been my daughter’s senior year of high school. Wow. Let THAT sink in.
Post after post, friend after friend. All of her baby playgroup friends off to their first day of school for their senior year. Smile after cheerful smile.
And I sit here, doctor after doctor, appointment after appointment with my million dollar mystery child.
I mean, I should have seen it coming. I am no stranger to missed milestones. The first day of Kindergarten? Birthday parties, prom, driver’s license? All the moments I tearfully worked through but, given my recent circumstances, this one I didn’t see coming.
For months my phone has been ringing off the hook with parents of vaccine injured young adults in crisis desperately seeking a solution for their transitioning child. It’s been such an interesting time in my life. From fighting on the front lines for vaccine choice freedom and keeping more kids from entering the system to walking many families through the system – that broken system that is entirely ill-equipped to handle this epidemic we have created.
Along the way, with each family, with each situation, my heart shattered a million times. With each family we have lovingly and prayerfully guided through their situation as best as we could, I counted my blessings that I was still holding on and thanking God it wasn’t my child. Mine? She was stable. Stable enough anyway.
And then it happened – my worst nightmare. A period in my life that will forever haunt me. It seems in an instant my already fragile child fell apart. And JUST as I had begun to put the pieces together, JUST as I started to see a glimmer of light…. this moment of realization of what could have been, what should have been: her senior year. It would have been her dang senior year.
Let me clarify this by saying I know there are no guarantees in life or in motherhood. No one signs up with the promise of a perfect child or an ideal life. However, no one could have prepared me for this life I would live. This life of vaccine injury that I would watch destroy countless families.
I consider myself a reasonably knowledgeable human with the ability to do what I need to do to care for myself and my children and I nearly broke. And as much as I would love to think I am out of the woods, the truth is, I suppose I am not. I sit here again with this coffee-fueled, ADD brain on overdrive, and I look at these pictures and I look at my sick child – who virtually deteriorated before my eyes – in another medical facility with hundreds of other parents with the same story with doctors who have heard it over and over again, and I can’t help but scream at myself:
IF SHE WAS WORTH YOUR GREATER GOOD, if her LIFE was dispensable, then where the heck is the love, compassion, and support NOW? WHERE IS IT?
Where is the quality of medical care? The financial stability? The emotional support? I mean, if it’s JUST one in a million and we were JUST the unlucky ones who had to take one for the team, then someone please do tell, WHERE IS THAT TEAM TO CARE FOR US NOW? Come on, HERD! Come protect and fight for the one who gave it ALL, the one who sacrificed for YOU and your health. Surely, she is worth THAT, RIGHT?
I recently heard some statistics on special needs parenting:
– 80% of special needs girls and 30% of special needs boys have been sexually abused.
– The divorce rate for parents of special needs children is 80%.
– The financial burden of caring for an autistic person through their lifetime: $2.3 million
– Mothers of special needs children are 40% more like to die from cancer, 150% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and 200% more likely to die from “misadventure” (suicide, homicide, accidents).
– Siblings are prone to struggle with feelings of jealousy & resentment, or they may feel the need to be “perfect” or to do all they can to remove the burden from their parents.
Now granted these situations are not exclusive to vaccine injury, but vaccine injury is almost exclusive to these statistics. That is, if you’re a lucky one whose child survived their vaccine injury.
It was a moment. In time. It will pass. We will survive. I am a special needs warrior mama. It’s just what I do. It’s just what WE do. But I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge my utter fear and horror when thinking of the future of this nation & the lack of compassion and care for those who DID sacrifice it all, the burden of this epidemic we have created, the cost to families, society and the thousands of children coming down the pike, and their parents blissfully unaware just as I was 17 years ago.
It would have been her senior year.
HER Blessed Senior Year.