Skip to main content

eSpecially Parents June Edition: Michele's Story


Marriage and having kids is hard work to begin with but when you throw in a baby with a life threatening disease and developmental delays that is the true test! I’m not going to say our marriage is perfect or horrible because I believe we are somewhere in the middle.

Some days I want to hit him over the head with a frying pan but then other days I adore him but I think that is normal even for couples that do not have the struggles we face. I think the key to marriage, whatever hurdles are faced, requires both parties to work harder than anything else in life.

Rich is a wonderful father and Ethan idolizes him. They often play “cars and trucks” together. When Ethan isn’t feeling well he cries constantly, wants to be held all day and night and we are stuck in the house for days or weeks. So I can go a little stir crazy.

Rich understands that on certain days if I don’t get out of the house by myself that I will turn into a monster! He participates in feeding, bathing and putting Ethan to bed, no questions asked, just so I can be an “adult” sometimes!

Even though he does spend a decent amount of time with Ethan and has been to many doctor visits, physical therapy sessions, etc., Rich is often in denial about his disease and our situation. He can’t seem to grasp the fact that our lives are changed forever. He just expects things to be the way they were before Ethan, 2+ years ago. This is probably the biggest strain on our marriage.

We are very different in the way we handle things which most of the time is advantageous but in Ethan’s case, it can be very tricky. Everyday is a challenge for our whole family. We have had many joys and disappointments. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t want to ride this rollercoaster with anyone else but my husband, Rich. He’s an amazing co-pilot and partner on good days and bad!
This is us at Relay for Life - It's a fundraiser for research for all cancers. Rich's students asked him to do it. He won 2nd place in the Miss Relay contest. Men dress up as women & walk a lap around the track & collect donations in their purses.  Haven't laughed that hard in a looooong time!!


First time eSpecially Parents reader? Check out the series here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Catching up with Ben

  I wish I had more time to write on eSpeciallyBen . Ben teaches us lessons on a regular basis: Smile often, give hugs, sit down and savor the moment, grab someone's hand to let them know you care and laugh with abandon–even if it annoys your brother. Ben will be 18 this summer. He attends high school in-person and enjoys seeing his classmates and teachers each day. In the photo above, it's 6 a.m. and he's can't wait to get on the bus. As for most people, the pandemic has been tough. Ben's in-person activities, camps and programs were canceled. He's happy to see grandma when we met on a Charlotte greenway or park. Ben seeks out social interactions and being quarantined away from friends and family was even more difficult because he didn't understand why. Ben's teacher sends me photos of him throughout the week. They just finished a rousing game of catch here.  Thank you for following eSpeciallyBen. If you want to see what I'm working on now, find me

A Lesson on Supplemental Security Income

In October, I received a letter from Social Security Administration saying that Ben no longer qualified for SSI AND we owed a very large over payment for two years of SSI that Ben did receive. The letter showed that we owned two of the same car. I knew this was wrong and immediately wrote a letter. I thought it was a computer glitch. Over the past five months, I have met with Social Security, spoke with several people over the phone and wrote countless letters providing documentation to show the cars we actually owned and filed appeals for the decision to revoke Ben's SSI during the two year period they think we owned these two cars. Tomorrow I have another meeting. I am hoping we can get this straightened out. This situation has caused a lot of stress for us and has taken a tremendous amount of our time trying to unravel the problem. I have not written a post in almost a month, partially because my brain power has been consumed with this issue and the bathroom saga (qualifies

Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities: Talking About the Future

Ben in the middle with Dad (left), Carla Payne with Aging Care Matters and Mom This is the first of several posts about parenting an adult child with a disability. Ben will be 19 this summer; I am learning along the way. As always, I hope to pass on resources and wisdom. Discuss the future.  If your adult child is able to participate in planning for their future, ask them how they envision it. Let them draw a picture. Ask them to tell you a story. Maybe they can sign a few words that mean a lot to them. Find a way to get them involved. How do they see themselves living? By themselves, in a group home, with another family or with a sibling? Where do they want to live? In another city, in an apartment, in a house? How far away do they want to live from family? What level of independence can they handle? Do they want someone to check in on them? Do they want to find a job? Do they need a job coach or supportive employment? Who will help them with their finances? Is there someone they tru