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To the professional treating my child

One parents message to the professional treating her child.


My child is living and breathing, and although their life is very different to what we hoped and imagined for our child it is still valid and worthwhile.  You (the professionals) never expected them to live and I understand that, I understand that my child is complex and that you do not fully understand the condition or how to treat it.  Sometimes it is very hard to express how I am feeling and to put my views across in a calm calculated way but I wanted to tell you this.

  • Thank you to the doctors and nurses who have cared for my child, to those who have stayed beyond their shift to make sure that we are ok, who have popped in to visit us from different wards, who have asked if I was ok and didn’t expect me to answer.  To the nurse who always let me use the phone in Intensive Care to order Chinese and who takes the times to eat it with me on her break you will never know how much I needed that – just someone to listen to me and treat me like a human being.  I cannot thank you enough – even on the bad days because without you my child would not still be here.  If you take nothing else away from this please know I am thankful to you and your knowledge because you have kept my child alive.
  • I know that you are medically trained and have x number of years experience however please recognise that I know my child best.  I understand what their different cries and gestures mean, I understand when they are in pain and distressed please listen to me.  I do not want you to do unnecessary procedures, I do not ask lots of questions just to be awkward I want to understand, in fact I need to understand.  I have taken the time to read medical journals around my child’s condition and get my hands on every piece of information that I can. I am happy for you to challenge me and dismiss my ideas providing you explain to me why – we are both experts – you in your field but I am the expert in my child.   
  • Sometimes I am upset, angry, emotional sarcastic or just just plain rude – and with the benefit of hindsight I am sorry for these days.  I am sure there are days when you would rather not have to deal with the awkward mother who wants to understand everything about her child’s condition and has researched and spoken to other families – believe me I would rather not be that mother and having to see you as well.  Whatever we feel about each other we need to work together, remain professional and respect each others views.  Sometimes I hate how distrustful and sarcastic I sound even to myself but please know even on these days I do appreciate what you are trying to do for my child.
  • My child is an individual with his own hopes and dreams, similarly we as parents have dreams for our child and things that are important for us to be able to achieve.  Please recognise that sometimes what you consider is irrelevant is a massive deal for us.
  • We have to live this life.  It is not a road we would have chosen to lead and we know and understand that our childs life is going to be shorter.  It is not ok to use that as a reason not to provide us with the best quality care – to us our child is not a number, and we do not care if the medication is expensive and may not be cost effective when you say this, or remind us of the cost of the medication it makes me feel like you do not value my childs life.
  • Please always be honest with me, even if you think that I do not wish to hear it please at least ask.  If I know I can be prepared, I am lucky to have an amazing support network (thank you Little Miracles and all of the other mummies who chat to me in the middle of the night as I sit next to my childs bed making sure they are still breathing and adjusting the machinery that make it possible.)  This is our normal never be scared to tell me I have been stressed since the day my child was born what ever the news I will be less stressed to find out now than I would be if I find out further down the road and find you have omitted to tell me something important about my child. Our normal is other families worse case scenario, the additional stress is not going to tip us over its just another battle we need to face.
  • Don’t try and tell me I am special.  I am not.  What I am doing is making the best for my child out of this situation.  I do not want to hear about religion or how God only gives special children to special people, or you will only be given what you can cope with.  I do not believe you and frankly it makes me feel awkward on a good day and on a bad day I want to scream that its to much and that no God would chose for a child to suffer like mine has done.
  • If you do not know I will respect you more if you say you do not know – we can learn and get extra advice together, I know my child is unique as is their medical care lets learn and go on this journey together.


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