ATLANTA, GA - This article was submitted by iCAN Board of Director, Christine Woods as she shares her personal experience of parenting two children with rare and chronic conditions during the pandemic.
"Yes, you have pandemic fatigue. Yes, your mental heath - and make no mistake, that effects your physical heath - is suffering. But the reality of it all is that Covid-19 is unconcerned with your mental and physical health. To use everyone’s favorite phrase: “It is what it is.” Parents of immunocompromised children, you know. For months or years, or like our family, decades, you know that magical thinking has no place in keeping loved ones safe. For years, I begged God for a normal Summer, without the preparation, without viewing every day as full of new threats, to just...relax, to give my mind and body a break from hyper vigilance. Grief sucks. Feel it. But don’t give in to denial. If our family woke up one day when Hampton was little and said, “Screw it. We are done. We declare the post-transplant issues over,” he would not be a college Sophomore living with his friends, happy, thriving, planning for adulthood. We adapted, and found new (and grossly expensive!) ways to navigate his condition. This pandemic will end, one way or another. If we want a happy ending, we have to recognize that we have to be adults and do the work. Social distance. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Talk to each other about your stress. If you need it, take your meds. Our family has done this for 19 years. Do I have PTSD? You betcha. Has it been worth it? 100%."