Welcome to Our House - The Analogy ©

Having a baby is special. For some, it’s a lifelong dream, for others, a wonderful surprise. Either way, many of us have thought about taking this journey and whether it’s planned or a pleasant surprise, we all have preconceived ideas about what our child will look and be like. But what if it isn’t what we planned or expected? This is a short story I have written for parents who have or are expecting an exceptionally special child.

Welcome to our House – An analogy

After many months of dreaming, you finally decide it’s time. You are going to build that perfect house of your dreams. You have saved and saved, and now it’s time to put your plan into action. You find a wonderful, perfect piece of land in the city. It’s exactly what you are looking for – because it’s the plan that everyone talks about. You envision the all brick house sitting on luscious green grass, surrounded by a white picket fence. Inside is a marble foyer leading into a family room with beautiful oak hardwood floors. Granite lines the kitchen counter tops and there is an island sink in the middle. Upstairs has four perfect bedrooms and the master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and an enormous walk-in closet, of course. It’s truly a dream come true, and it’s only a matter of time. You purchase the land and think to yourself, in nine short months, you will have it all.

But suddenly your agent calls to tell you, the land is not properly zoned, and the city has not approved it for building your perfect home. They have instead, given you land in the country, where an old country home sits. You are absolutely devastated, your dreams vanishing right before your eyes. You know you can’t back out now, you need a place to live, and despite it not being what you wanted, you know that somehow you will manage and that you can continue on.

You tell everyone what has happened, and everyone is disappointed, some even offering their condolences. You know that everyone else has a nice city home, and that was what you had planned, but you have to come to terms with the fact that you must learn to live in the country.

You go to see the property every month until closing and something funny happens. You start to fall in love with the place. The air is fresh, it’s peaceful and serene. There’s a pond on the land, and the house, though not a new all brick home, is quaint, and has lots of hidden potential. You soon realize it’s not a awful place, it’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than the city, less noisy and flamboyant, but it’s beautiful none the less. And in the process, you soon realize you may even get to meet some new and wonderful neighbours.

Its closing day and you suddenly find yourself full of anticipation, but you are still a little worried. After all, it isn’t what you had originally hoped for, and the house may need some repairs. But you are determined to accept it, and tackle everything one step at a time. You open the front door, and suddenly you are thrilled with what you see. The house is lovely, and has lots of character. The rooms are smaller but it’s decorated with beautiful attention and detail. The kitchen has marble instead of granite, and the bathroom has a soaker tub instead of a Jacuzzi. There isn’t a walk-in closet in sight, but the rooms all come with an indescribable view. Somehow, you just know that it was always meant to be and that this is now home.

This is my analogy of what it will be like for people who discover that they will be caring for a baby with Down syndrome. For us, it is not a terrible place to be, it is a journey full of surprises, milestones and discovery like any other child. And as the story suggests, sometimes it’s only a matter of ‘point of view’, and surprisingly, once you have been there, you don’t want to be anywhere else. The journey, like all others doesn’t come without some bumps in the road, but once you find your way, it’s all about the place you discovered, in most cases - quite by random chance
Author: Sandi Graham-McWade, Copyright

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Journal - Week 59 (03Oct10)

Spot... Spot... Where are you?  Are you gone Spot?!  
(A follow-up to my post on Friday 1st October 2010)

Today I am glad to say, all traces of the "spots" are now gone.  After much reserach, it has come down to the fact that I believe that Hunter actually did have the measles (German Measles aka Rubella) and thankfully not the "Red Measles" or "Hard Measles", which are the ones that children are vaccinated against (MMR - Measles, Mumps & Rubella) during the first year after birth.  The problem is, even if a child is vaccinated against Red Measles (aka Rubeola or Hard Measles) they are not protected from the simple German Measles and visa versa.  After Interestingly enough, I also received a call from one of my relatives today advising me that she co-incidentally had also come down with mysterious red spots in the same areas and thought to call me after reading my blog.  The only thing I was left to conclude after putting two and two together was that it had to be German Measles.  My reasoning was further substantiated (in addition to the symptoms noted on my last post) by these few extra coincidental points.
1.  Hunter first came into contact with my cousins Richard & Catherine (on the16th September) after they had just arrived to our home from a one week visit to British Columbia (Vancouver - where there had been a German Measles outbreak).  
2.  The incubation period is typically about 14 days.  We noticed the complete red spot outbreak on the Friday the 1st of October (exactly 15 days after the arrival of my cousins from B.C.)
3.  We had our Meet and Greet party (on the 18th of September) for my cousins Richard & Catherine where most of our family came to visit.
4.  My other cousin called me today to tell me that she has had spots for the last two days, which means if it is German Measles, her incubation exactly 14 days from the party where she met Richard & Catherine, but spent a lot of time cuddling Hunter, who at that point would have already been incubated and viral?

Well for now I am closing this investigation, so long as there doesn't seem to be any other problematic issues.  (I have contacted my Doctor just to advise him though.)  The mucousy congestion and cough have all dissapeared, along with any traces of pink, runny eyes.  The good thing is, despite it being shocking in appearence, there is no treatment regimine for German Measles itself.  The only things you can treat are the symptoms such as fever (if one exists) with Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  Otherwise, just like any other contagious virus such as a cold, it must run it's course - which is usually 2-4 days after the rash appears.  Medical literature and information indicate that it isn't necessary to see a doctor for German Measles unless a fever persists and will not go away with treatment.  The concern regarding an un-treatable fever is encephalitis (swelling in the brain), which for German Measles is very rare and unusual.  Also, the only other additional medical concern is (not for the child) but for any person who is pregnant.  Contracting German Measles while pregnant can be very dangerous for an unborn baby.

We are all happy... (much happier that it wasn't something serious) and probably could have taken a lesson from Hunter's calmness!  Always smiling - even with spots!

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