Having the support system I do, is really what has gotten me through my struggles and challenges over the course of this journey.
First of all my amazing family, they have been incredible. Being first time parents, my mom and dad were not prepared for anything out of the ordinary. For example the hundreds of trips to the doctor, hospital bills, surgeries, etc… Did I mention that they both really disliked doctors, blood, and hospitals? They sat with me as I cried myself to sleep for my procedures. They sat in the waiting room and slept in the uncomfortable chairs numerous times for 22 plus hours during major surgeries, my mom even chose to limit her career from five days a week to two since many times I had Ann Arbor visits multiple times in a week. I am sure that is not what they thought they had in store when welcoming me into the world 21 years ago. I can say they rose to the occasion and loved me unconditionally. God truly blessed me with awesome parents. He also blessed me with amazing grandparents. All of them spent their fair share of time down at the hospital waiting with my parents. Heck, my lovely grandparents have taken me to numerous doctors’ appointments as well.
I also have great support from my sister. Since she was very young during a lot of my major surgeries, many times she stayed at family friends’ houses and at the Ronald McDonald House where she celebrated many holidays, including Easters and even a Christmas. Growing up, I can see she was my protector, confronting the bullies and defending me. I could not have been blessed with a better sister, even though we get on each others nerves on a daily basis, I cannot see myself paired with anyone more perfect for me.
While my support system consisted of my family and the friends I discussed yesterday I cannot forget to mention some other key people that were a major part of my support system.
I was very blessed to have an amazing church family. I always had prayer warriors on standby during not only surgeries but the healing process. My prayer warriors also extended to my grandparents church as well so you could say I was definitely feeling the love during my operations.
Then there were those wonderful family friends who were there for support and there to buy my blue dogs and yellow pajamas because I had very specific taste as a child and the lengths people went through to make these experiences more comfortable just astounds me.
Having a positive support system meant more to me than anyone could ever understand. I’m sure my parents were terrified but I believe the prayers and love given by others kept them strong and brave. I found comfort in knowing people cared and knowing I had God on my side going into the operating room.
Food for thought; When someone you love is going through a tragic experience, consider taking a load off by offering a piece of yourself, whether it be prayers, a hospital visit, offering to watch siblings, picking up mail or bringing meals afterward to make their life a little easier. Trust me every little thing helped my family and we are very appreciative, as I’m sure you’re loved one would be.