Perhaps it's someone I haven't seen in a long time, and they ask because they really don't know what has been going on in my life lately, and so they figure "How is everything" will cover all the bases.
It could be someone who does know some of the things that have been happening, but they don't quite understand Brennen's condition and all of the medical details, and so "How is everything" is a safe word choice.
In either case, my response is usually something generic like "Oh, we're good." or "Things are fine. Brennen is doing well."
Sometimes that is true, but most often there is a whole lot more to it that I don't share for a number of reasons:
#1 - I just can't be bothered getting into it at that time.
#2 - I don't want to come across as the complaining, whiny type.
#3 - I don't want to be seen as the crazy lady who shares too much information when all you wanted was a simple answer to a simple question.
I thought I'd take a minute to tell you how things are really going. Not everything.. but some things.
Brennen is still having his moments of absolute inconsolable distress (like I talked about HERE). We have seen doctors, done tests, and tried everything we can think of to try and comfort him and relieve his agitation, but nothing is working.
We've had him seen by a Chiropractor, who was super calming and gentle and very in tune with what Brennen needed and how his body responded. He saw him for several sessions, giving him slight adjustments each time. Brennen seemed to really enjoy the treatments, but there were no real lasting effects - meaning, it didn't solve the problem.
We saw both a Homeopathic doctor, and a Naturotherapist. They spent some time with Brennen, tested him for food sensitivities (Brennen reacted negatively to peanuts, wheat, rye, barley and apples), and prescribed a combination of homeopathic remedies to be dissolved under the tongue two times a day, fifteen minutes away from food (including toothpaste and gum), five minutes away from each other, and ten minutes away from other medications. They are to be kept away from electricity, magnets, strong aromas, and anything that gives off vibrations. Also, you have to clap three times and do the hokey pokey before taking them.
It's ok. I got this.
I have to say (cautiously, yet optimistically) that Brennen does seem to be doing slightly better. Since he finished school last week, he's had some really good days! We think it might be because he is able to sleep in and wake up on his own time instead of me hauling him out of bed at an ungodly hour in the morning. I think sleep has a lot to do with it. I don't want to say too much and jinx it, but today was a good day, and I'm hoping tomorrow will be another one.
I'm sure it's the same for many parents of children with special needs. A simple question does not always have a simple answer. We even do it with each other. When a dear friend, and fellow CP Mom asks how I'm doing, I might just say "Oh, fine", when she knows full well that Brennen had a giant seizure and we ended up in the Emergency room on a Friday night. Totally Not Fine.
I might ask the same question to another Mom and she will respond with something like "Oh, you know, pretty good." when I know that they've had a terrible week full of stressful appointments and they have been fighting with the insurance company over the ridiculously inflated cost of some essential piece of medical equipment .
I think we have a general understanding between us though, that we get it. We understand each other. We know that life is crazy and things get out of control, and sometimes it can be really really hard. We are on a roller-coaster ride that we never signed up for, and we just have to take it as it comes.
For those of you who don't have children with disabilities or medical conditions and who might not know what we are going through.. please continue to ask us. We might not elaborate a whole lot, but don't take it personally. We probably don't have the energy to talk about it, but we do appreciate you asking.
So.. how is everything? Things are good. Life is busy. Work is great. Andrew is awesome. Brennen has good days and bad days, but he is generally healthy and strong. The sun is shining and we have been able to get out and enjoy the warmer temperatures.
Life is beautiful and wonderful and horribly disappointing all at the same time, and there's no end in sight, and for that I am thankful. xo