Though it has been difficult to manage life with a baby who suffers from severe reflux, I have had, of late, much reason to be thankful.
My change in perspective has come gradually, over a period of several days. It actually started more than two months ago, before I even knew the cause of my son's misery. A friend shared something she'd found on a blog (I wish I could remember the name of the blog. If I do, I'll post it for you) about being thankful. That thought nestled itself down in my heart, waiting for just the right time to spring up and bring some sunshine to my life.
Last week, as it poured down rain again, I walked out to my garage through an enclosed breezeway. That simple experience reminded me of how thankful I am for my home, and especially how thankful I am for my enclosed breezeway. Since then, I've had many little thoughts of what I can be thankful for. Since most of them pertain to my experience with my son and his reflux, it seems appropriate to share them with you. It is especially appropriate since I'm sitting up with my precious little guy, who has had an especially difficult evening.
First, I'm thankful for healthy children. Though my son suffers with severe reflux and MSPI, he doesn't suffer from anything more serious. Many of the forums I've been on lately have posts from parents with children whose challenges are much greater. And, I have eight children! To have something as relatively mild as reflux as the most serious challenge we've faced is amazing. It is truly a reason to give thanks.
Second, I'm thankful to live in the 21st century. Many experts are saying old fashioned "colic" is actually reflux! Babies have suffered with this malady for all of history, yet it is only in the last few years that we've had treatment (even if just for the symptoms) or easy ways to help relieve the misery of our precious children. It is a blessing of immeasurable worth.
Third, I'm thankful to live in America. Though not a perfect country, it certainly provides more options for parents of "gerdlings" than many places I could live on this planet. To live in America is a treasure I don't take lightly.
Fourth, I'm thankful doctors are starting to recognize and treat GER/GERD in infants. I saw a doctor who didn't provide much help (and he was a specialist!), but my family doctor has been fantastic. Not only has he been great about finding a way to treat our son's reflux, he has encouraged us to take care of our needs as well, including prescribing a two hour respite period every day! I SO appreciate our doctor!!!!!
Fifth, I'm thankful for the internet. Without the resources, encouragement and support I've gained through this modern convenience, I don't know what I'd have done. I certainly wouldn't know what I know about how to help take care of my little guy. And I would feel much more alone.
In the end, I have SO much to be thankful for!! Even though it doesn't take away the misery my son faces on a daily basis, nor make up for the time I've not devoted to other areas (like my home), it does make it possible to keep going when life feels very bleak indeed. And that is even more reason to be thankful.
My prayer is that regardless of where you are at or how difficult life is right now, you can find reasons to be thankful and you believe there is Someone you can express your thankfulness to.