Letter From An Overprotective Mom

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Letter From An Overprotective Mom

To all you moms, teachers, nurses, school administrators, strangers, family and not so understanding friends, I write this for you.

YES, I am what society would deem an overprotective mom (and proud of it).

In our family I have to be “overprotective”, my children’s health and well-being depend on it.

You think that sounds overdramatic?

What would you do if your child had the life experience of any one of mine?

Many times over the course of our lives I have desperately wanted to speak up but did not do so because it would only cause more stress in an already stressful situation.

But I am tired of keeping quiet.

These are some of  the things I wished to say.

Dear Soccer Mom who rolls her eyes and says” Kids get hurt.”  When I explain why my baby is no longer allowed to play soccer although it is her all-time favorite sport and she is good at it.

When is the last time ALL 3 of your children suffered fractures at the same time by simply walking around in every day life?

When is the last time you stayed up all night with 2 of your children, willing them to breathe and not cough due to a month straight of bronchitis?  Bronchitis that was brought on because the Saturday morning games are cold and damp and you didnt want to stop your child from enjoying life.

When was the last time your child suffered 3 sublaxations/dislocations from a single soccer match and didn’t even take a hit or fall?  Just ran the field and kicked the ball.

To the parent who gets upset because the request was made that students not spray perfume, body spray, cologne or hairspray on an enclosed bus.

When is the last time you had to rush back into town because you received a call from the school stating your child was rushed by ambulance to the local hospital because he stopped breathing?

He stopped breathing because of an unknown air borne hairspray, perfume, cologne, etc… was sprayed in a small space and he simply walked through it.  He now must carry not only his inhaler but an epipen because he never knows when it might be triggered again.

To the parent who rolls their eyes and fusses at me when I tell my child NO, she cannot ride rides at the fair or other event because school is in session right now.

When is the last time you spent hours at the ER and days at the hospital because your child dislocated their elbow (completely) while riding a “safe” ride?  And now dislocates the same joint just getting dressed in the mornings.

To the family members who complain when we aren’t enthusiastic about taking HUGE family outings or vacations.

You were blessed with very healthy children who seldom had a boo-boo and never made a trip to the ER.

When I tell my child they need to take a break or opt out of an activity it is NOT your place to tell them.  “Oh, go ahead. _____says you can.”

That is NOT ok!

You are not the one who must sit with them when they spike a 103 degree fever and suffer with seizures because they used up too much energy by spending another hour in the pool or playing ball.

You won’t be the one sitting in the hospital and doctor’s office watching your child cry because they went ahead and participated in the fun and are still in excruciating pain 3 days later.

We have rules and limitations for a reason.

As a child immediate gratification is important and yes, I want my child to have life experiences but some experiences are not worth the long term damage to their bodies.

To the parent who sits with their child and makes fun of mine because of his/her leg brace, sling, walker, wheelchair, etc… calling them a “faker”, lazy, etc…

Yes, my child may have come to school ready to take on the world but a simple movement could have caused a complete dislocation.

Example:

Stretching in choir=dislocated shoulder

Writing in English=Dislocated finger wrist or both

Walking up the ramp=Dislocated hip, knee and ankle

Yep, it is just that easy!

What would your child have done?  Most likely called you and went home, right?

Not my little troopers.  They found a way to adapt and finish their school day even while your ill taught child made smart remarks and spread rumors.

For the school staff who think it’s freaky that my child resets a joint when possible and continues on her day but requests to come home when you can see nothing visually wrong with her.

The protruding bones, awkward, angles and creepy snap, crackle, pop sounds are something we learn to live with.  We refuse to let this disease rule us, we are still in charge of our bodies and will overcome it when we can.

As for leaving when you cannot physically see a problem… yes, ribs do move.  No, they cannot be easily reset.

Yes, we can tell when a “flare” is coming on and know that only rest and fluids will allow us to combat it.

We know our bodies better than anyone else, and you need to listen to the decisions we make even if you question why.

To the friend, family member, parent who is upset when I limit my child’s soda intake in your home and mine.

When is the last time your child spent 10 days straight vomiting (non-stop) with no flu/virus as the cause?

Until your child does, PLEASE do not tell me “No, it’s my house and it is OK.”

To the family and friends who are offended we don’t travel to visit.

When is the last time you spent 2 weeks flat on your back in severe pain because you felt obligated to travel 2-4 hours to attend a family/friend event while already injured?

We love to visit as much as the next person but between allergies, food restrictions, pain from riding and then the requirement we participate in ALL activities (regardless of the pain it may cause us) or get endlessly harassed about it, we choose not to attend at all.

To the family member and strangers who judge what my children and I do and do not eat.

When is the last time you spent 10 hours in the restroom because you ate thyme or another everyday spice?  Or better yet spent 3 days with diarrhea because you drank water from the faucet or in a fast food cup?

To the school parent who gets upset because you must tell the teacher the ingredients of the treats you send to school.

When is the last time your child’s eyes swelled closed, throat swelled shut and he/she couldn’t breathe because another parent INSISTED there was no peanuts, eggs, wheat, peanut butter, etc… in the cookies they made.

To those that judge me as crazy because my youngest cannot be in the heat or cold (at all).

When is the last time you ran a fever, developed a huge rash and collapsed for 3 days from 1 hour of heat exposure (80 degrees)?  Or had frostbite on all your fingers (in October) from attending your classes in high school?

To the parent who doesn’t believe my child should be homeschooled

When is the last time your child passed out and hit the floor because their blood pressure plummeted?  Or dislocated a shoulder walking down the hallway empty handed?  Or fractured a foot stepping onto the ramp?  Or caught what should have been a 2 day virus that sent them to the ER and lasted 2 months?

We are homeschooling because my child THRIVES in my “overprotective” environment.

She excels above other students in almost ALL courses, she makes a million less trips to the ER and doctor and is over-all happier learning at home.

For the parent and administrators who are concerned about our homeschooled child’s social skills.

After 1 1/2 years of homeschooling and returning to 8th grade our local principal REPEATEDLY stated that our child is the most well adjusted homeschooled child he has ever had enter his school.

She was always smiling, always surrounded by friends and always included when possible.

He could tell she was in pain (from the EDS) but she didn’t take it out on others or shirk her schoolwork.  She did what should be done and did it well.

Yes, she is homeschooled again and probably will be for the remainder of her high school years.

In the 3 weeks she has been home her health has improved considerably and we believe it will continue to do so.   She will never be cured, but she will be as healthy as we can keep her.

I love my children and will do whatever is necessary to keep them as healthy as possible.  Yes, this means that very often they get upset with me, they miss out on big activities and may have a bit of a fit, but after the moment has passed they thank me for making the hard decisions and sticking by them even when it is obvious others judge me.

Does this mean my children never get to do Anything?

Absolutely not!  We simply choose what is a priority, what is possible and what the pros are versus the cons.  We go on field trips, travel to the beach, take vacations and participate in family events.

For those of you who are wondering, my children and myself struggle with the following health problems:  EDS (Type 3), MCAD (Mast Cell Activation Disorder), POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), Possible Marfans Syndrome, Arthiritis, Cyclic Vomiting, Asthma, Severe Unknown Allergies, Food resistance, failing eyesight, constant pain and dislocations (courtesy of the EDS), migraines and several other “personal” issues.

They are currently ages 14, 16, and 18, and as of this very moment one is using a walker to move around in her own home due to severe and debilitating back pain as well as other issues.  She cannot even lay on the recliner without extreme pain.  My youngest has a stay in the dark, in the silence, migraine and virus symptoms. while my son has a case of the flu (which can trigger his cyclic vomiting or fever/seizures).  I often hear sympathetic people say “I would lose my mind if I had to live in your shoes for a single day.” and I often make jokes that my mind ran away and please return it, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t trade my babies for the world no matter how many health issues they have.  Please believe when I say I am not a bitter old hag but just want people to understand WHY I make the choices I do.  AND I want other parents to know they are not alone in this battle to protect their kids.

If you have a “Dear……, note please feel free to share it in the comment section.  I know I didn’t even begin to touch the tip of the iceberg with the frustrations I feel.

Check a poem my 14 yr old wrote about her is illness here and a story my older daughter wrote about homecoming here.

#overprotective mom

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4 Comments

  • By Jeanne, February 10, 2015 @ 1:37 pm

    yes, even though my baby is 41, I am still and overprotective mom. My daughter has EDS and still works a 60 hr a week job! Me, with EDS and Lupus, watch her boys (10 & 12) get them ready for school, do as much housework as I can and run the family all over. My daughter does not drive since she has had her spine fused and refused x4 and does not feel she has the ability to watch traffic. Oh by the way, both the boys have Autism too!

  • By TinaMiller, February 10, 2015 @ 2:26 pm

    You definitely have your hands full.

  • By TinaMiller, February 25, 2015 @ 10:15 pm

    Jeanne, thank you for sharing. I will probably NEVER stop being an overprotective Mom either. My oldest doesn’t drive (but thankfully my son does so I can send him on errands). It sounds like you have your hands full and then some. Strength, prayers and hugs to you.

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