“Clayton arrived in this world ready to make sure his appearance was known. He came out saying hello with lots of noise, almost 10 pounds! I thought, ‘Wow. 10 pounds? He’s almost grown!’ Little did I know, he needed that extra size for the fight he was getting ready to show us all that he had!
Our journey started off rocky. Due to his size, we opted for a repeat cesarean section after my daughter’s birth two years prior. Also because of his size, we left the hospital with a brachial plexus injury that ended up minimizing the use of the left arm. If that was the worst of it, we were good with that! He was thriving and healthy! For the time being…
Our journey continued to be eventful. Meningitis at five weeks old, chronic ear infections and ear tube surgery at three months old, plagiocephaly, torticollis, an IGA deficiency, food allergies that kept him away from more foods than he could eat… the list continues. It literally goes on and on. We’ve been through many tests and many specialists to figure this kid out. Immunologists, neurologists, allergists, GI specialists, plastic surgeons. You name it, we’ve seen one. I honestly thought it was going to be never-ending. He didn’t deserve any of it. I asked God ‘WHY?’ many, many times.
The good news? He has outgrown every ALMOST every single one of those ailments or diagnoses. Even the ones we thought he wouldn’t. He fought and he fought hard. I couldn’t be any prouder of that kid!
The bad news? There’s still one that we are fighting: ASTHMA. He has been moderately to severely asthmatic since around 1 and a half years old and continues until this day. The last seven years have been filled with loud nebulizers, oximeters, wheezing, medications, and hospital admissions. His little body was also steroid-dependent for a bit and has caused him to be the tiniest in his class. He even has been able to ride in the ambulance due to it. He thought it was cool! To this mama, not so much!
Now that we make it to the present day, I have a boy who is almost 9 years old and is the most compassionate, witty, and fearless little boy who can do anything! The asthma is being monitored and we’re doing better since we have recently moved to another state. Things should be good and happy, right? No, not to my little guy.
Clayton and I laid in bed last night and we talked. You could tell something was on his mind. He told me he couldn’t sleep, and I let him hop in my bed. We talked about good things, not-so-good things, and all the things going on in the world. He knows about the Coronavirus but in no way any of the scary details.
I was blindsided a bit when the next statement comes out of his mouth.
‘Mom, isn’t it crazy that we’re all going to die one day? You never know when or how. The good thing is that I have a long life ahead of me so I shouldn’t worry. Well, unless asthma gets me first.’
Wait, what? Did he just say what I think he did?
While we asthmatic mamas are extremely worried about our children, I never imagined he was just as worried. An eight-year-old shouldn’t be! He should be covered in dirt with ketchup on his face and smelling like sweat, without a worry in the world.
Maybe I’ve said too much. Maybe I’ve shown my fear too often when he’s going through a flare up or attack. Maybe I’ve let him hear the scary details or possibilities of this scary medical issue. All I know is my heart breaks for him and I will never allow this to happen again.
With the pandemic going on, he is one who is threatened. I would never let him know that, though. I will fight with everything I have to keep him healthy as he can be. Since he is mildly aware of what is going on at the moment, it has been my duty to continue to assure him he is safe, and he shouldn’t worry. Be aware, but not worry. Just as with his asthma, we have discussed steps and information on what needs to be done if this turns ugly so we can be prepared. Safety, shelter, and everything else.
Moms and dads: While I learned a valuable lesson that was brought to my attention last night, I urge you to do the same during this pandemic of the Coronavirus. Please assure and reassure your babies, no matter the concern or crisis, they are loved, safe, and perfect no matter what. Make sure they don’t worry about the things that are too large for their little minds to comprehend and understand. Also, make sure you hug their tiny bodies as much as you can!
While I worry and am extremely scared about both his ASTHMA and the CORONAVIRUS, he is my strength and I am his.
Our beautiful journey WILL continue, and I made absolutely sure that he knows it…”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Courtney Newman, 34, of Clayton, North Carolina. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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