A few weeks ago I received an email from a mom with chronic illness looking for some advice. Our email conversation made me so happy, with her permission, I share it with you here:
Football Mom with neurosarcoidosis (chronic illness) asks…
Dear Dr. Aletta
I have loved reading the different articles on the website and thanks for being my friend on FB. I do have a question that has been bothering me for weeks now and I have not read anything about this and I am too embarrassed to talk to anyone about this difficult decision.
Our son is one of the star athletes on the football field. We live in a very small town-close knit community. I was [diagnosed] with neurosarcoidosis when he was 12… He is now 18 and this is his Senior year of High School. This Thursday Night…Senior Boys escort their Mothers on to the football field and get introduced to the crowd. I have missed many games because of the illness and I have gone from being in a wheelchair to walking with a walker. My problem is this: I am so afraid that my son is embarrassed. I can walk with my walker but I do stumble much of the time…
Should I just bow out on Thursday Night and tell him I am just not up for it or do I go and hope everything turns out ok?
Torn Up about this…
Dr. Aletta Responds to Football Mom
Dear Torn Up Mom,
if it won’t make you very ill, I hope you can participate.
I am concerned that if you bow out you would feel even worse than if you took part in the tradition.
What if you asked to be one of the first to go on the field, allow yourself to be taken out in the wheelchair (your son helping you, of course), then once out there, stand up leaning on your son’s arm. If you believe this is something you can do, talk with your son about the idea. I have an 18 year old son, too, and I believe if I were in the same position I would share my dilemma with him. At that age, they are developed enough to feel empathy. Maybe you are underestimating your son. Maybe instead of being embarrassed, he would be proud.
Warmest wishes always, Dr. Aletta
Dear Dr. Aletta
Thank you so much for your response. I will take your suggestions to heart and Z— and I will have a talk tonight. Everyone tells me that he is not ashamed of me being in the shape I am in these days. I have some very dear friends at the high school and they have been emailing me to see if I need anything special for Thursday night. I know what I need to do.
Thanks again for taking the time to give me your input. You don’t know what it means to me.
A few days later…
Thank you so much for steering me in the right direction…I took your advice and I did attend Senior Night for the football team. I was really worried and nervous and I took your advice and suggestions and everything worked out perfectly.
Thank you again for helping this Mom make the right decision.
I’ve written a book!
Can you relate to this Mom’s story? Tell us your’s in the comments!!!
Elvira G. Aletta, PhD, Founder & CEO
Life gave Dr. Aletta the opportunity to know what it’s like to hurt physically and emotionally. After an episode of serious depression in her mid-twenties, Dr. Aletta was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that relapsed throughout her adulthood. While treatable, the cure was often as hard to bear as the disease. Later she was diagnosed with scleroderma, another chronic illness.
Throughout, Dr. Aletta battled with anxiety. Despite all this, Dr. Aletta wants you to know, you can learn to engage in life again on your terms.
Good therapy helped Dr. Aletta. She knows good therapy can help you. That’s why she created Explore What’s Next.
Today Dr. Aletta enjoys mentoring the EWN therapists, focusing on coaching and psychotherapy clients, writing and speaking. She is proud and confident that Explore What’s Next can provide you with therapists who will help you regain a sense of safety, control and joy.
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