This week, it seemed like I had more than the average number of phone calls from reflux moms who were dealing with overwhelming situations. One mom told me her toddler had not been diagnosed until recently despite frequent illnesses and daily digestive problems. Poor sleep, poor eating and chronic illness made his situation complex and tangled. Another mom was in daily contact with the pediatrician because her little baby was medically unstable. She had her bags packed and ready to go to the hospital at a moments notice. On top of that, she has significant health issues of her own.
As I listened to their stories, it brought back memories of caring for my daughter Rebecca. When Rebecca was a baby, she needed round the clock care and monitoring. Each new illness and symptom brought stress and anxiety. A visit to the doctor brought hope that a new treatment would lead to a cure. Then there would be disappointment and anger that the medical care did not bring an end to our misery. All of us have times when we question ourselves and have doubts about finding a way out of this mess.
I told one mom, some days, I wish I had a magic wand. If I had a magic wand, I would FEDEX it to you Priority Overnight and you would get it the next morning. You could take the wand and fix everything: the crying baby, the hurting and the sleep problems. While you are at it, wave the wand and fix the mess in the kitchen and the laundry pile. We both laughed. We both wished we DID have a magic wand.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and in need of a magic wand, it is often helpful to talk with someone who will really listen and let you share your story. PAGER Association has a team of trained parent volunteers who understand reflux and the emotional rollercoaster ride you are on. They have extensive on the job training from raising their own children with reflux. Call the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association message line at 301-601-9541 or log on to www.reflux.org and follow the link to talk to a volunteer.