Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Glimpse...

Almost a year ago Chiquita had her first visit to the dentist and I ended up having an unexpected experience that has taken me a while to process.

I'd seen brown spots on her teeth and she indeed ended up having six cavities.  To avoid a traumatic dentist experience we decided to have her fully sedated for the fillings.  I was SO nervous!  I couldn't wait for her to wake all the way up and ended up holding her in my arms as she struggled to come out of the anesthesia.  As I watched my vibrant, intelligent little girl struggle to control her body or form words it was almost too much for me.

It terrified me to see my baby like that, even if I knew that it was temporary.  However, it had another, unexpected effect...

...I felt like I had a glimpse of what life might be like with a child with a brain injury or disability.  To have to watch them struggle to perform basic functions when you know the bright, shining child they really are.  I hadn't seen it before.  Intellectually I knew, but emotionally I hadn't seen that those kids aren't really any different.  Some connections that don't work right, some chemicals unbalanced or genes that didn't quite line up, but that's all, the person they are is still that exciting, unique individual, just like all kids.

I won't even pretend to know or have any insight into the life of a parent of a special needs child.  I have family that was born with severe brain damage and I am aware of the on-going and daily challenges that I haven't had to deal with.

For you parents that are living the life, I want you to know that, even though it may have taken 30+ years, now I can see your child a little bit more for who they are.


  1. Well said about how you feel seeing your child struggling! , I thought exactly the same as you when my girl went through a polyp surgery.

  2. Very insightful piece! That must have been difficult to see your little girl struggling, but how wonderful that you turned this experience into something so powerful.

    1. Thanks. It still makes me a little panicky thinking about it... took me a long time to write this :)