My Daughter is Really Sick. And I Can’t Fix Her.


I haven’t written about my daughter’s illness before, because we both thought it would change. We thought one of the five doctors I have taken her to would fix her. We thought it would pass and just be a chapter in her life she had overcome.She and I both thought that she would get better last summer. Or the summer before.

We didn’t think it would actually change the course of her life.

I don’t know what is wrong with her.
No one has been able to diagnose it.

Sure, I know the symptoms.
Fatigue. Extreme fatigue.
But the depression came a year after the fatigue started.
Go figure.

The depression has been helped with drugs, but the fatigue just keeps getting worse.

She has suffered through several anxiety attacks, which were not the way I expected anxiety attacks to be. Think shaking like she is holding onto a live electric wire. For seven hours.And then repeating that the following night.

I now know that depression is not necessarily triggered by an event or sadness. It can come on like an electrical storm. It comes on swiftly and you can’t do anything except light the candles and wait it out.

Not that we’ve stopped trying.

I have turned to Eastern Medicine. I am taking her to see a reflexologist who has raving fans everywhere I turn. They are coming out of the woodwork. He’s like a guilty secret in town. His name is Dr. Joe.

I am taking her to an acupuncturist who went through the same symptoms when she was 14.

I have high hopes.

But her illness has been a catalyst.
It has changed how she thinks of herself, and where I assume life will take us.

Instead of worrying about how to pay for college, I am wondering if she will finish high school with her class.

Maybe she has this illness so she doesn’t waste four years of her incredible life following society’s idea of success, and instead follows her inner compass to her life’s passion and work.

I believe that most days.

Sometimes it takes life’s bumps to change our deeply rooted beliefs. 
I know you don’t have to go to college to be a success. I know that for sure.

But it’s easier when thinking in terms of someone else’s child.
Someone’s child who struggles with traditional learning.
Someone’s child who struggles to get A’s.
Someone’s child who doesn’t have the money to pay for higher education.

Not my child.

For a few more years at least, I am this sweet girl’s guide. And hopefully more, if she desires.So, I will keep learning lessons.

Lessons of long-term illness.
Lessons about expectations.

I am feeling pain about things that haven’t even happened yet.  They aren’t even real.

All I know, is when I live in the present moment, it’s not so scary.

When I hold her hand and see her smile, I have everything.
So, I crack open the door every once in a while and look at her sleeping face in the moonlight. And it’s like she was just born.

All is well.
I am in the moment.

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