Yesterday, the psychologist at the hospital said, “Don't you want to be normal?” to my daughter. I wasn't in the room at the time otherwise I may have bitch slapped him because I think it was insensitive and it quite possibly could have emotionally devastated my child (It didn't. Thank God). I wasn't going to blog about it, but I'm sitting here a day later and it's still bugging me. Here's why.
My kid is not normal. Normal kids get up every day feeling great, get through a full day of school and homework and then make it to activities at night. They don't have to worry about keeping a rigid sleep schedule or watch what they eat. They don't have to cancel plans at a moment's notice. They don't carry medication and they're not comfortable in the emergency room. Normal kids have few worries outside of the crap that comes with being a teenager. Normal kids are lucky, yet they don't even know they are.
A kid with chronic migraines lives a different life than a normal kid. That's a fact. There's not a day that goes by that my daughter does not have a headache. Some days they turn into migraines. Other days they don't. Since my daughter has abdominal migraines too, she has a lot of nausea and stomach pain. Unlike some migraineurs, she doesn't see signs that she's getting one unless she's had a really stressful day- so usually we're surprised. Our schedule has to be flexible to accommodate her migraines.
My child isn't living a normal life, she's living one that accommodates for her illness. And, as she pointed out to me as she was telling me what the psychologist said, “I am normal. MY normal.” Rosie's normal can only be hers and it's different than her normal from a couple of years ago and that's been a challenge. She's done an excellent job grasping change, learning to cope and trying to be patient while we find medications that work. She's also been a trooper with homeschooling because she'd really like to be with her friends. She'd like to live their normal.
That's what bugs me about the psychologist's comment. Yes, she'd jump at the chance to be normal. She'd love to go to high school (that's how the conversation started) but she knows she'd have to be there more than three days a week and right now we're still getting migraines on at least two days. She's also a little afraid- scared she may be behind in some classes now that she's home. Unsure about the pressures of deadlines and tests. She's not 100% sure what she wants to do next year and that's fine.
Whatever she decides, I will support and I won't put up with anyone making comments to her like, “Don't you want to be normal?” It's bullshit. Of course she would. She'd love a life pain free. She'd love to wake up every day feeling great and right now she doesn't have that. She has Rosie's normal.