Admitting my cousin - the importance of respite

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My mom just called. They are admitting my cousin - she's completely losing it. I know this is part of the drive of my mom's recent insistance to help me (which I am thankful for).
    My aunt and uncle (mom's brother and wife) have two adult children with children of their own, my cousins. Their daughter, Sue, who is a few years older than I am, had 2 boys around 10 years old when she became unexpectedly pregnant at the same time their son, Charlie and his wife, Lee, who is my age, did. So they had 2 grandbabies within a month of each other. When Sue's baby was 6 weeks old, her husband was killed. She was a true submissive housewife in every sense of the word and had no idea how to budget her own money, let alone run a farm and household - and here she was with 2 older children, a new baby, without a husband or any means to sustain herself. A month later, they learned Charlie's baby was blind. To say the family went thru he!! is an understatement.
    Charlie and Lee were devastated and Lee was beside herself, but as we are all so familiar, she pulled herself up by the bootstraps and became a warrior mom to the highest degree. She made herself the strong one, because Sue had no one and needed Charlie's family. It was learned that the baby's condition was genetic, and it is still a mystery how their older son was not born with it. They were advised to not have more children. Early on, there was some hope of treatment, and Lee pursued it all, leaving no stone unturned in an effort to help her son. The treatments failed, and the boy is blind, but Lee is still his advocate. She has flown with the boy all over the country for schools, treatment possibilities, and research.
    And now Lee is falling apart. Her baby boy is 9 years old. Her existence has been defined by him - she never smothered him, she is a master at letting him go out into the world, and even at letting him fall. She guided him without allowing him to depend on her, but she was always the one there for him, and the price she is now paying is unspeakable. They all beleive the stress has finally caught up with her and overtaken her - she will likely be admitted by the weekend.
    It breaks my heart and worries me, for myself and all of those in similar shoes. And try as I might, I can't seem to come up with a good solution. Respite is so needed, and if its not available, its sometimes just plain truly not available...
    So hugs to you all, and remember to get that respite if you can. Might be the most important thing we do for our babies. (and I need to heed my own advice.)
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow. Im so sorry to hear all this but you are so right. Respite is so utterly needed for all parents of special needs kids. I dont think many people realize how exhausting it is to take care of a child with a disability whether it is physical or emotional. Parents really cant just hire the teen down the street to come in once a week and watch little Johnny while they go out.

    I know we didnt have any help from family when my boys were growing up. None. No one would take my boys on. It was sad.

    I couldnt even ask my mom to watch Cory and Jamie if I was sick with the flu.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Hopefully she will get the treatment she needs and the tools to use to cope. Sending lots of positive thoughts towards your family.
  4. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I will pray for her to find herself again and to get some support with the heavy load she carries.
  5. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Just as they tell you on the planes, put your own oxygen mask on first......then help others.......hope respite is available to all.......