It’s funny how a few simple words can restore my lust for life…
I have felt like I’ve been wandering aimlessly for quite some time now. I am passionate about so many things, but I think that has been my inevitable downfall. I have always over-analysed every situation that has ever crossed my path, which I thought went in my favour… But that might possibly be the only thing that keeps me in the exact same spot as I started. I can dream, I can talk, I can write and I can think up all of the best and worst case scenarios imaginable…but it never actually gets me anywhere.
“Thoughts don’t make the man, actions are everything.”
I’ve always been fascinated by genetics. Whenever I heard about a new syndrome, disorder or difference, I would research the heck out of it…quietly. I felt like it was wrong of me to be so interested in things that didn’t concern me at all… And then I had Heidi.
Most of my life i have considered myself a Writer but I never knew where to go with it… I needed something else, something I was confident I would never tire of.
During the first 2 years of Heidi’s life I was suddenly thrown into the world of ‘special needs’ and what seemed like the most daunting experience of my life, slowly became my reason for living.
“You realise your life will now consist of ALL of the appointments that you can possibly think of…for the rest of your life.”
I never thought in the beginning that these therapies, courses and endless medical examinations would end up helping me as well. I wondered after those first 2 years, if maybe I could use these experiences to get ahead… Cardiologists, Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors, Audiologists, Radiologists, Pathologists, Paediatricians, Nurses, Physios, Occupational and Speech therapies and appointments turned into the need to complete courses such as “It Takes Two to Talk”, “Makaton (Key-Word Sign Language)”, “Signposts” “Learning Together”, the list goes on… Slowly it became obvious that it was going to take alot more work than I first anticipated. Heidi may ‘only’ have Down syndrome, but she’s almost 4 and isn’t walking or talking independently yet. Unlike the majority, we use walkers, sign language & flash cards and the idea of wheelchairs aren’t completely out of the realm of possibility.
Ever so gradually, it became essential for me to learn everything possible to help my daughter reach her full potential…and then it dawned on me. I had to do these things, to help my daughter, but what if I could use it to further myself? How many people know all of these things I HAVE to know?
I thought about this for awhile, I went through the ideas of entering Disability Services, Childcare Services, becoming a Therapist, or maybe even a Nurse? I thought about it for a long time, and eventually started doubting myself.
One of my friends works within the Disability and Aged Care industry; I’ve seen her with black eyes, vomit soaked shirts and I’ve heard the stories of the people she’s had to shower, dress and feed…all while they spit, swear and attack. I’ve heard the screaming and head banging that goes on in the room next to ours when we visit Pinarc.
“Just because I know Down syndrome, doesn’t mean I can cope with EVERY disability…”
I heard of people in the Childcare industry, working with kids all day and cleaning up after them, then coming home to their own kids and housework. Therapists are really smart. Nurses have to administer needles…uuuhhhhh… You see where things can go when you think about them too much?
So I gave up…well, I was still thinking and hoping my brain would come up with a foolproof way to make a living, something perfect, something that didn’t have any chance of failure…
I was like this for about a year… Until one of Heidi’s childcare workers spoke up. She reminded me of my passion. She reminded me that there are always going to be bad days for everyone, in every job, but that I should go for it anyway…because I have something that so many have never had a chance to experience. She reminded me that I could put my knowledge and passion to good use, to help others that are currently going through that ‘daunting time’.
So here I am, back where I was 2 years ago… Thinking alot about what my niche could be. Only this time, being very careful to ignore the negative aspects and look to the future. This time, thinking my best bet is to just jump in head first and deal with the repercussions later.
What’s the worst that could happen? I could have bad days?
My brother and I talked about ‘the many lives within a life’ that we all have. This is just one life that I could try my hand at, and if it doesn’t work out…onto the next one?
I think I can do this, as long as I don’t think on it too much…
(Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, although I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to do…) 🙂