17 August 2010

Breck's Thoughts: Carnival Conversations

A few weeks ago, a woman stopped me at a city-wide carnival in our neighborhood.  I noticed her glancing my way but wasn't sure, at first, what she was referring to when she said,  "I just noticed your feeding tube."

She had evidently noticed Bennett had a big clear cord from his belly to the handle of the stroller.  Caught off guard, I wondered how she knew that's what it was (since few people really recognize what was going on).

It turned out her daughter uses one too. (She has Cerebral Palsy.)  We (the woman, her husband and I) ended up having a great discussion about g-tubes and feeding pumps, how we're so thankful for them and how often our kids use them.  And we chuckled about the uniqueness of our conversation.  Only one special needs mother to another can really appreciate all that goes into feeding tubes and pumps.

It was a strange situation to have in the middle of our city-wide neighborhood carnival: dozens of people were swarming around us visiting the booths, music played loudly in the background while this woman and I discussed our children's feeding tubes.  But I was so happy.

It was only moments before that I was self-consciously thinking about how weird it was that I was strolling my kid along at this event while he's hooked up to a pump forcing fluid into his tummy.  Will this ever normal??," I thought.  Just before speaking with this mother, I was keenly aware of just how different I felt.  It was like I was among all these people but yet sort of felt alone.  And now, here I was, just a short time later, laughing about g-tubes with a family, in some way, just like me.

This mother and I compared feeding tube tips and she shared how she admired how I had set up the somewhat complicated situation - a feeding pump hanging from the stroller.  And I was so proud.  (I am a pretty good pump-situation-maker, if I do say so myself.)

But most importantly, I realized, I'm not as different as I thought I was.
And that feels good.


We love to hear from you! Please leave your comment below!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.