“I’m so worried about something, and I need your advice,” I hear Kelsey say to her big brother before bedtime. I wait at the door to listen for a few minutes. I always love to hear their conversations and the bonds they are forming as siblings every day.
“Sure, you can tell me anything, Kels.” he replies.
“Well, I’m worried about going back to school. I have these giant red marks all over my arms and legs. They just keep itching me. What if all the kids laugh at me and think I’m a monkey? I am so worried they will say I am a monkey.”
Now, of course, I start sobbing and really cannot go in now. I am hoping that big bro has something poignant and reassuring to say to Kelsey.
“Kels, two things. First, I am there at school with you. If anyone says a word or dares to laugh at you, they will answer to me. I will say, stop giggling. How would you like to get a needle every single day? I think that my sister is braver than you can ever hope to be. And if they still laugh, I’ll just go tell a teacher,” he spoke as the sage I can always count on him to be.
So 2017, here we are. I hope you will be kind and generous to Kelsey. I know that her family is here to support her, our search for a researcher continues around the globe, and I pray that no one dares to notice the marks or the itching.
It is one thing to actually give a daily injection that is working wonders, making it a little bit more bearable to deal with the pain. It is quite another to have her think about not only the medication and the anguish of that injection every evening and morning, but also to worry about the perception of other kids.
At least you can always go and tell a teacher. There is certainly comfort knowing that.
2017, please be kind.