Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Mother's Love

When I was a little boy, I relied on my mom to get me through every trip to the doctor’s office, no matter how routine it was considered. Her lap was my chair for most of the day. After the physical exam, which was the least of my concerns, we had to walk down a hallway lined with teddy bear wallpaper towards my least favorite part of the visit. After a few trips down this hallway as a child, I had learned to not be fooled by the innocent bears who now seemed to hum a dirge as I walked slowly by them.

Awaiting my arrival down the hallway, plotting her attack, was a nurse. Her instruments of pain: needles. Right beside the needles was a seemingly endless amount viles to fill with my blood. My mom took her position and sat in the chair typically reserved for the victim patient. After calming me down for several minutes, (I required more than just your standard lollipop), my mom opened her arms and invite me to sit on her lap.

As the nurse prepared my syringe, my mom wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tightly. The nurse showed me dozens of blood-filled viles, assuring me that many kids had come through and survived the ordeal. I didn’t care about the other kids. Showing me about a hundred viles of blood only exacerbated my fear.

The nurse approached me and I began to cry in anticipation of what was coming. I begged and pleaded to be released from this torture, but to no avail. My mom began to rub my back to help me relax. As the nurse grabbed my arm, my mom whispered in my ear that everything would be ok. The tears flowed down my face as the nurse pricked my finger. My mom squeezed me tighter, maybe to pump some more blood out, but mainly because I think she actually felt my fear. She did everything in her power to make the situation as painless as possible.

That’s my mom.

Flash forward 20 years to November, 2007; the month of my MS diagnosis. My parents knew that I was experiencing some strange symptoms, but none of us had expected that MS would be the culprit. After receiving the news from my neurologist, I knew I had to tell my parents. It was one of the most difficult phone calls of my life. As we talked that night, it didn’t take long before my mom’s loving nature came to light.

First, she cried. I suppose most mothers would if they heard that their child has a chronic disease at such a young age. After working through the crying, she began suggesting ways to help me get through this rough time. She offered to fly out to Denver to be with me. She offered to make me chicken noodle soup and ship it to me. If there was anything in her power that she could do to help me, I know that she would do it with no hesitation.

Even though so much has changed in 20 years, my mom’s love has never wavered. My mom and I have a great relationship and it has only been enhanced since my diagnosis. Now whenever we see each other, her hugs seem extra long and she squeezes me tight. If I am having a bad day, she will rub my back to calm me down. She will do everything in her power to make the situation as painless as possible.

That’s my mom.