Our family is going on 4 months with dealing with a chronic illness. I remember that first month, and am always reminded how far we have come when a new parent joins one of the groups I belong in. Its the same introduction, that we all frantically give. " My child just had an MRI, I got a phone call, they said it was Chiari 1 Malformation, and I am so scared." And you see these parents post lots of questions and trying to take it all in.
I truly believe we all go through the stages of grief... but not just once. I believe when you are told your child needs surgery, you go through them again. And I can not speak on any further times....because I'm still on the second round of it.
The Stages of Grief are:
Stage 1: Fear and/or Denial
Stage 2: Anger
Stage 3: Bargaining
Stage 4: Depression
Stage 5: Acceptance and Re-evaluation
Fear and/or Denial: Yes, we all think it, "not my family", "not my child".... I personally wasn't in a lot of denial, I was in the fear side of it more say. I was scared for Kaylie's future, and still am. I know she is going to go through this surgery ok.... but I worry about is as she gets older... what's to come. Will she have to have other surgeries? How will her quality of life be.... she has a GREAT life, but I think I mean, I just don't want her to be in constant pain, or dealing with these symptoms the rest of her life. It's just hard to wrap your head around the possibilities of the future.
Anger: who's not angry???
Bargaining: When I first saw this listed as one of the stages... I couldn't comprehend it. I thought to myself... Bargain with what?? But then, I thought... I have bargained. I think I bargain with God all the time. I think I even talked in one of my first post how... "if everything works out, I will dedicate my career to neuro side of medicine".... I have bargained to please let my other two children not be diagnosed with this condition. And I know I will bargain on the 27th. I don't think it matters what religion you are, we all believe something, and I think we all bargain with it. We're human.
Depression: I go through waves of it. When I hit a low, I shut down. I'm not writing/posting a lot, I am not calling my regular friends as much as I usually do. You just shut down.
Acceptance and Re-evaluation: I accepted pretty quickly. I try not to get in the low times... so I can stay strong. I accepted pretty quickly, because I personally want to make a difference. I want to help others. In the long run, this happened for a reason.... I re-evaluate everyday. To me .... it means to go back over. What can I do better for her, or the awareness of Chiari.
When I said earlier, I feel like you go through these stages twice... I feel like, when I was told Kaylie should have surgery... I went though them again.... I feel like I am still in the middle of them, and will be up and until she is released from the hospital. As it gets closer.... I can not help but worry...
We are down to days, and I am just ready to get this part over, and for her to be recovering.