Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Plan B

It's that time again. Every three months we load the kiddos up and off we go to St. Jude's. Because we travel for their appointments, the day typically starts at about 5 am. When we land in Memphis we're met by a driver who takes us from the airport to the hospital.

Once at St. Jude's, there are blood drawings, well check-ups, and a multitude of other things all sandwiched into the space of a few hours. Everything generally runs like clockwork, and the kids love seeing everyone at St. Jude. It's pretty obvious that they enjoy caring for the kids too. I can't sing their praises enough. It's been awhile since I've made the trip on my own. It's no big secret that I have a fear of flying. My palms get sweaty just thinking about it.

There aren't too many things in this world that make me shake in my shoes––public speaking, flying, centipedes, freeways, flying... Did I mention flying? Because of this, my sweet husband usually does the day trip with the kids, but this time there was a ticket mix-up and I'm stuck like chuck. Flying solo. Help me@!!

Usually, when there's flying to be done, I resort to what I refer to as Plan A: This consists of two cocktails (preferably Bloody Mary's) tossed back in quick succession just before the plane starts to shimmy down the runway. Although this works wonders on vacation jaunts, I doubt this would go over too well before the kids' doctor appointment. Which means I'll have to resort to the dreaded Plan B.

Plan B, you ask? It's pretty cut and dry, and calls for courage. Which means, I'll just have to face my fear like the cool-under-pressure, gutsy woman that I know resides within me somewhere. (Deep Breath) Yes, that's what I'm gonna do...

Here's to St. Jude's and all they do for kids, our safe journey, and to being back on the ground SOON : )


Friday, July 15, 2011

No Fear...Hope is Here

"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow." – Orison Swett Marden

Just recently The New York Times posted this very interesting article about a study supporting the use of anti-virals to ward off HIV-infection. They proposed using it in people who are believed to be at high risk, but did you also know that antivirals can be used for "possible" HIV exposure? As a mother with three school age children who are positive, I felt confident–nothing could happen. I mean, what were the chances that my child would scrape knees at the same exact time with another child, or any of the other (never could happen) bodily contact scenerios that might go through your head?

The odds were a million to one. I would have banked my life on it. Even so, in 2008, shortly after Yonas was adopted, we made the decision as a family to let each of our children's schools, including their PE teachers, know about their HIV status. Why? There were a number of factors, but the biggest was that keeping it a secret had become a burden even larger than the illness itself. It was just "time," was how my daughter put it.

Have I ever regretted that decision? Never–not even once. I think that after hiding it for so many years, being able to have it out in the open felt like becoming a free man after a life-long confinement. I don't think I realized, while we were going through it, what a toll keeping the secret had become.

Disclosure is a very personal decision, and one that should not be taken lightly, especially where young children are concerned. In our case, it was the right decision at the right time. I know that there are other mothers and families out there struggling with these same issues and I hope that my story offers reasurance and hope.

In lieu of all the recent news about the success of anti-virals for post exposure, I think it fitting to reshare this story, "A Mother's Worst Nightmare."

Do not fear the unknown, but instead arm yourself with education––


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