Changing your lifestyle when a parent becomes ill.
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Parents

adjusting to life with a sick parent

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." - Bob Marley

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MariaCamille Esquerra

Around Thanksgiving of this past year my mother began to feel very ill. She began to feel weak and tired all of the time which kept her from doing simple everyday tasks. As the days progressed, she spent more and more time in bed crying from the pain she was going through. My family and I didn't know what was causing my mom to feel so much pain.

Soon after the holidays passed is when my mom began to progressively get more sick which worried us even more. Two weeks into February my dad had asked me if I could take my mom to her doctor's appointment so that he could continue working and not fall behind. During the doctor's visit my mom's primary physician was worried that the sickness she had could be more serious than she had thought and advised that my mom go to the hospital so she can be further diagnosed by specialists.

About a month had passed, soon after she was released from the hospital she returned again so that she could be seen by more specialists. All I remember is how much pain my mom was in. To my luck, my mom was at Banner University of Arizona Medical Center which was less than 5 minutes away from my apartment on campus so that I could visit her in between my classes and various activities around campus. Unfortunately for my dad and younger brother, my mom was 20 minutes from our home so it made it difficult for my dad to juggle work, my brother, and seeing my mom every day. The second time my mom was in the hospital was thankfully better than her first visit. While it was still hard to see my mom so sick, I could see my mom more positive and energetic than most days.

Even now, eight months after my mom became ill, seeing her during her good days gives me strength to believe that my mom will get better. As cheesy as it sounds there is nothing more than I love during these hard times is to see my mom smile and laugh. If you are lucky to know my mom, you know how big of a personality and happy person my mom is around others. In the tougher days that she experiences due to the pain she bears with, all I can do is pray and hope that my mom can be healed and return to the person she was before she got sick.

Due to privacy reasons I do not want to share the diagnosis of my mom's sickness. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do is to learn to accept that my mom's illness is chronic and she has to live with this for life. Before this illness, my mom was active and doing the imaginable to be able to give my little brother and I a good and fortunate life. My mom does have a chance of recovering from this terrible illness and live a normal life again by taking care of herself but right now all my family including my mom is to be patient in her healing process. Staying positive, faithful and hopeful is the only way that we can all benefit best in helping my mom recover and be able to get back to good health.

I am so thankful that I am going to college in my hometown so that I am able to be close to my mom during her hard times and be there to help my dad and brother as well. I would not be able to be out of state for college during these difficult times in my family. My family means everything to me and always will come first in my life. I wish my mom didn't have to suffer through this kind of pain and one thing for sure is that I will be there by my mom's side during these hard times.

One of the things I've been learning adjust to is balancing my family, school, work and school clubs full time. It's hard work but I know is not impossible. I've had to mature a lot in these past few months which has helped me be more responsible in my life and take better action of it. But has also taught me to be more patient with myself, my mom and other around me. My mom is the strongest and bravest women I known in my life, I know that deep down my mom is going to get better and be herself again. For anyone who has a sick mother or father or sibling, always remember to stay strong and hopeful even in the most difficult situations. Never let your loved ones lose hope in the chance of recovery because anything is predictable and everything happen for a reason. Be thankful for your moms', dads' and family members and hug them just a little bit longer next time you get the chance.

"Whatever life throws at you, even if it hurts, you just be strong and fight through it. Remember, strong walls shake but never collapse." - Unknown

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