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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Not Alone ... : Special Needs Parenting 101.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Monday, July 12, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A mother is learning to rely on God as she raises her daughter, who has significant special needs.

Tyffanie Michaela is my pride and joy.  I would do anything I possibly could to help her have a more meaningful, more meaningful life.

Tyffanie is six years old, and my only child.  She is beautiful with long, thick red hair and big dark brown eyes.

She is also severely handicapped.  She was born with cerebral palsy that left her brain damaged and unable to talk, walk, or feed herself (she is tube fed).  Tyffanie requires a lot of care, but I am happy to do it:  as long as she is happy and comfortable, then I am all for it.

Tyffanie is in a wheelchair.  She is also fed by a tube that has been surgically implanted in her stomach; if she tried to eat the regular way (like she used to), then she would choke and possibly end up with a nasty case of pneumonia that could kill her.

I think I do a pretty good job in caring for her, but at times I feel overwhelmed.  I think that nobody cares or that I am the only parent in the world who is facing this:  caring for a severely disabled child.  On days like this, I cry and scream, which I know is detrimental to Tyffanie's well being, and then I feel horrible.

To help myself, I go to church on Sundays, and I attend a meeting for parents with children who have special needs on Wednesdays (also held at our church; our church has a wonderful ministry helping children with special needs and their families).  I am learning that God is with me, even on the worst days where Tyffanie is in the hospital yet again or is having seizures or other problems. 

I am never alone, and God will never leave or abandon me, no matter what I am facing with my own self or with Tyffanie.  He will always be with me.

I also have neighborhood kids (teenagers) or adult friends who watch over Tyffanie while I have some "me-time"; this is when I do my errands or go out to eat with friends, and put all my worries aside.  This helps tremendously.  By the time I return home to my daughter, I feel so much calmer, and I am ready to deal with whatever life decides to throw at me.

I wish I could have a child who is able to talk, walk, feed herself, or anything else she would set her mind to; but since I don't, I might as well learn to love Tyffanie just as she is and make the best out of a very difficult situation.  I also learn to tolerate other people's reactions to her and not judge them when they are less than kind. 

This is probably one of the hardest things I ever have to face as a parent to a child who is disabled.

Well, I am going to go to the store (my neighbor, Jenny, is taking me; my mother is here, and she is going to watch Tyffanie for me).  I will write in here again another time; until later, this is Ryanne Cruthbert saying so long!  God bless you too!

*to be continued.*  

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Reviewed by Paul Berube 7/12/2010
Nicely done, Karen.
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 7/12/2010
Yes, difficult....but a mom with a heart that is filled with so much love.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/12/2010
An excellent write, Karen, very well penned. You teach compassion to the rest of the world that doesn't understand having a child with special needs, and the parents that (thankfully) love them to be the best they can be.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by E T Waldron 7/12/2010
Karen, you do stories of this type so well! Your attitude, understanding,and loving nature, are splendid,and should help any parent to learn how to handle the difficult situation of caring for handicapped children!Very well done!

Love and prayers,

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