Taking The Good With The Bad: The Day to Day Challenge Of Raising A Child With Extraordinary Needs


It was a long day. The kind of day that warrants a cold beverage and several uninterrupted moments of mind numbing reruns on television because this is all my head can handle at the moment.

Today was Olivia’s annual appointment with her rehabilitation team. These appointments consist of Olivia being the focus of more than a dozen medical professionals ranging in various medical expertise, talking about her development and achievements; as well as medical issues that have arose and require further investigation. She always gets xrays, is examined by both ortho and physio teams and we answer series of questions ranging from nutrition to muscle spasticity and seizure control.

Olivia is a beautiful seven year old with a keen sense for adventure, loves everything family and gets more joy out of life than anyone I know. She is also a child that was born into a body that battles her every movement, deprives her of rested sleep, jolts her into epileptic seizures, causes her painful muscle spasms and is the reason for more than a half dozen surgeries and medical procedures. For every success she has strived to achieve, there has (and always will be) something else Cerebral Palsy affects.

This is why it came at no surprise when her orthopedic surgeon looked at me and said,”we think it’s time we started to discuss the need for hip surgery.”

This is Olivia’s reality. This is our reality.

These are bad days. These days suck. But parents like us realize if we focus too long on the bad days, we miss out on the good ones.

I am a firm believer in living for today and always having hope for tomorrow. So tonight, as I mull over all of the information we received today; tomorrow we will research alternative, non-invasive treatments to alleviate the strain from Olivia’s hip.

Tonight I will remember all of the previous challenges Olivia has faced and kicked ass because this kiddo was born a survivor. We will get through this. There will always be the day to day challenges, but we must focus on the good.