The Gifts of CF

I am totally stealing this idea from a friend of mine’s blog. It’s a great blog about organizing (of which I need all the help I can get) and you should check it out: http://declareorder.blogspot.com (LG, I hope you don’t mind that I am sharing and I just realized you and Leo have the same initials.)

When I was teaching, I always felt so bad for the kids that had food allergies. It seemed difficult to manage and intrusive to their lives. The parents at the grade I taught (2nd) were still very nervous about the kids being in school all day and my heart went out to them for how much they worried. I remember when introducing Nico to solid foods, I would say a little prayer of thanks that he didn’t have a reaction. How stressful to have to worry about everything your child puts in their mouth. With the twins, there was no worry about food allergies because I was too busy worrying about CF.

My friend wrote a wonderful post sharing the gifts of food allergies that she got from a newsletter. I never thought of it that way and I am impressed with her ability to enlighten me and others. While reading it, I realized that a few of them hold true for CF and in that spirit, I am going to list the gifts of CF. This is a true challenge and I thank her for inspiring me.

The Gifts of CF
These are the ones I got from my friend:
  •  You are active in your child’s academic life; the administration, nurse, and teachers all know you.
  •  You’ve become more than you were (stronger, wiser, more assertive) to keep your child healthy and happy.
  • Your child knows what it feels like to be different and has learned to be compassionate to others.
  •  Your family has learned to “look out for each other,” allowing children to learn true caring.
  •  Your child has learned that his or her actions can have extreme consequences and has learned to make responsible decisions (we are still working on this one).
These are my own:
  • You don’t have to worry about junk food consumption.
  • Your child learns how to take pills by the age of three so there is no messy, ill-tasting liquid to mess with.
  • Your child learns early on how to sit still for long periods of time because they have to for treatments and while doing the vest.
  • When your child goes to a sleep away camp with his baseball team and you are worried because it is his first time away from you for that long, your husband gets to stay in the dorm with the coaches.
  • You know every breath and every cough and have the knowledge sometimes even before the doctors of what your child needs.
  • You are forced to have hard discussions with your children which opens lines of communication for other issues that come up.
  • There is an immense pride in seeing your child triumph over all he battles. (I know pride is one of the seven deadly sins but I’m pretty sure God didn’t have CF in mind when that was written.)
  • One of the biggest gifts is that we can all get caught up in the small, petty B.S. but CF forces you to realize that in the grand scheme of things, the small, petty B.S. doesn’t matter. There are bigger issues than travel baseball tryouts or being weaned off the bottle or losing 10lbs.
This was definitely a challenge for me but I am glad I did it. It is proof that you can find the positive in any situation and focusing on that instead of the negatives (which these days have been bogging me down) makes for a much brighter day and a much brighter outlook.
Pouring my heart out with a recycled post:

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the luv AnneMarie :) I know I make it look easy sometimes, but remember I have 1/2 as many kids as you!…we are still working on “responsible decisions” too! Have a happy day…

  2. What an inspiring exercise! :) It’s something we can all put to practice with whatever challenges us in a big way.

  3. Bobby has a peanut allergy, and you are so right. There really are gifts and positives to be noted. I have never really thought of it that way, but it’s absolutely true. Thank you for this. I’ll have to spend more time thinking about it. Identifying the positives makes it easier to live with the negatives. :) –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..How Pinterest Sucks The Fun Out Of St. Patrick’s DayMy Profile

    • That last line is so true. I struggle with seeing the positives but there definitely are some. Peanut allergies scare me because it seems like peanuts are everywhere. It’s so true that everyone has something that they deal with, isn’t it?

  4. Beautiful list AnnMarie!!! It’s so hard to focus on the blessings of something so terrible…and you DID IT!!! This list shows your strength and perseverance…
    Chris Carter recently posted..It’s A $110.00 CASH Giveaway!!!!My Profile

  5. Beautiful outlook, my friend! We realize who we really are and what we’re capable of as mothers when we’re faced with challenges. But, there are so many positives! Thanks for sharing this!
    Adrienne recently posted..#GoingGreen-Recycle Your Best {Missed} Posts!My Profile

  6. Glad you are able to put into words the positive side of CF and your experience.
    Robbie recently posted..Childhood MemoriesMy Profile

  7. I love that you are able to take a challenging situation and find the upsides. I know when my son was in the NICU, I knew every cough and wheez and what it meant and that to this day, I can tell when he’s getting sick ions before it comes out of him. I think it’s also amazing to have a situation that makes family look out for each other. Last month in the ER after my daughter’s accident, my other 2 kids were there for her in the most touching way. I think difficult situations can bring out the best in us, despite their difficulties.

    • I feel the same way about knowing when they are getting sick. Funny how that works. I do love to see the family unite in the hard times. I think those times put things into perspective and it’s nice to see them rise to the occasion.

  8. I think it is so beautiful that you have this perspective. I’m sure it’s so tough, but admire how you find the strength and the positives within. You are a warrior!
    Meredith recently posted..Finding the Funny! And a few other good things about March…My Profile

    • Thanks so much, Meredith! I like the thought of me being a warrior. Can I just tell you that when I read that, I immediately heard the 80′s song, “I am a Warrior” and now it’s in my head. (I just aged myself, didn’t I?)

  9. What a positive outlook.

    I too have a little dude who can swallow pills like a champ. He mocks his big brother for not being able to.

    Maybe I need to try a list like this… but another week. I’m cranky right now. Not at my kids, just in general. ;)
    Shell recently posted..Getting Through the Rough Spots in Marriage: Pour Your Heart OutMy Profile

    • This comment made me laugh (mostly because I was cranky when I read the comment and it wasn’t at my kids, was just in general). I think you should do it. I’d love to read it!

  10. great post and I loved your reasons. I think you could do this about any of those things you wish you could change in your life!

  11. Always putting forward a positive attutitude and being greatful for all the good in your life. Staying positive and looking for the good is really the only way to get through these tough situations we are faced wiith and still have the ability to be happy despite the difficult.

    You should think about adding a like button :)

    • I know that you’re one of the people that gets this. What other choice do we have? The alternative won’t be any good for anyone. I’m going to go look at how to install a like button. :)

  12. That is such a positive outlook on such a crappy situation. You are an amazing mother and your children are so blessed to have you! It’s true though, until we are faced with something like this, we don’t really appreciate so much in our lives.
    Alexa (katbiggie) recently posted..Friday Fiction March #3My Profile

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  1. [...] finally, Ann Marie from Queen of Chaos, shared a lovely list on her post, The Gifts of CF. This was such a great list that any parent who has a child with special needs can relate to. The [...]

  2. [...] when I was challenged to find the positive about special needs parenting, it really and truly was a [...]

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