Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Thrill of Victory & Agony of Defeat

Whew, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. If I complained about summer vacation in the past two months, I take it all back! I had forgotten how hectic weekdays and evenings are during the school year.

In the midst of all this chaos - and my own mild crashes that have resulted - one thing stands out, making everything else seem trivial. Jamie, our 12-year old son who spent much of the past two years flat on his back because of CFIDS, is going to school full-time, back in band playing his saxophone, and playing his favorite sport, soccer. In other words, he's just like any other seventh-grader.

I can't begin to express the depth of our relief and gratitude. Watching Jamie go off to school each morning is a miracle. The real test came last week, when soccer season started. Jamie has played - and loved - soccer since he was 4 years old. At this time last year, he was unable to attend any team practices and was absent from school more than 50% of the time. We'd go to the soccer games each Saturday, and Ken (my husband and the coach) would put Jamie in for 5 minutes , usually as goalie so he wouldn't have to run much. Five minutes was all he could handle before he had to come out and rest again. Even that little bit sometimes caused a crash.

This past Saturday, Jamie was out there, running as hard as he could for most of the hour-long game. He'd been to two 90-minute practices during the week. He ran and kicked and even scored a goal for his team. (That's Jamie in the blue shorts and socks). I was terrified of the consequences and watched him carefully the next day for signs of a crash....nothing. It's astounding. Thank goodness for Dr. Bell, Dr. Rowe, and Florinef.

So, that's the thrill of victory. And it sure is sweet, but it's tempered by the agony of defeat. Our younger son, Craig, also went back to school (third grade) and started soccer last weekend. Craig loves soccer as much as Jamie does. After almost two hours on the soccer field Friday evening (he stayed for his own and for Jamie's practice) and his game on Saturday morning, he crashed big-time. (That's Craig fighting for the ball, in the red shorts. He also scored a goal at his game.)

When Craig said "My throat hurts so bad!" on Saturday evening, my heart sunk. He's been home from school for two days now, with the too-familiar symptoms in the same old pattern - first a sore throat, then congestion, then exhaustion and all-over aches. He's lying on the couch this morning and says, "I feel so weak I can't even sit up." Now it's very likely he'll also develop a sinus infection - typical for him when the congestion gets this bad. Seeing Craig suffering hurts with the same intensity as the joy I feel in Jamie's recovery.

This disease sucks.


Anonymous said...

I will keep your son in my prayers. I know how difficult it is for us as adults to have to deal with this disease on a daily basis. For children, it has to be even doubly hard. Take care.

Anonymous said...

It does suck! And I cannot imagine how hard it is to watch your boys, especially when they are going through such different things. But Dr. Rowe is so awesome! He is truly one of the best doctors I have ever worked with. I am sending you good wishes.

Michelle said...

I'm so excited for Jamie! How wonderful that the Florinef is working!

And you're sure right. This disease so sucks. Hope Craig's crash doesn't last too long. :(