Appointment fatigue. It's a thing.
I am currently on a plane heading back from 4 and a half days spent with my sister and sister-in-law in Antigua feeling that creeping anxiety that sets in when I think about the week ahead. It usually starts on Sunday nights and I like to call it the "Sunday Scaries." So far, this week Adeline has 7 appointments. SEVEN! Did I mention those seven appointments happen between Tuesday and Friday? Did I also mention that I too have an appointment, and my older daughter has swim lessons on Wednesday? Am I stressing you out?? Sorry if so, but I really want to share how this fatigue can set in because I know I am not alone. On average, Adeline has about 10-12 appointments per month. This includes her early intervention appointments like Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Feeding Therapy and Speech Therapy as well as medical intervention appointments. It's a lot and I don't really see it slowing down for a while. There are weeks where I nail it and we are on time to every appointment and I am even able to stop by Home Goods on the way home! Woot woot! Then there are weeks where we are racing down 495 W because I got the appointment time wrong and don't want to be late. Our kids are in a way really lucky to be so busy with appointments because it means that they are getting the intervention and support they need. That said, it falls upon the parents to make sure they show up and get there on time.
I like to joke that I feel as if I am the Executive Assistant to the CEO of a large corporation...Adeline INC. The amount of time I spend on the phone booking appointments and paying the bills that come along with them is pretty nuts. I was thinking the other day how nice it must be to just have to take care of your kid. I am a stay-at-home-Mom but I don't just take care of Adeline, I run her entire life. I also do a lot that nobody really sees which is why I think it's important to share this side of things. It feels almost like a luxury on days when we don't have appointments. So much so that I try really hard to have at least one day a week where we are appointment free. On these days I try and set aside some time with Adeline to just hang out and play with her. I know that sounds silly, but because we are constantly running around, I don't get a lot of time to just be with her.
There are so many incredible growth opportunities, and perspective shifts that come along with being a parent to a child with special needs. I truly feel blessed to get to operate on this new wavelength of life. A wavelength where the things I used to put value on simply don't even come close to the things I value now. That said, it isn't always easy and here at Extra Lucky Moms we want to highlight ALL of it. The good and the bad, the joy and the hardships.
This experience has forced me to lean into a set of skills that I didn't know I possessed. Who knew I could do all of the things I get done. I impress myself! Although there are of course the days where I put the laundry in the oven.
If you love someone who has a child with special needs, make sure you tell them they are doing a good job :). We appreciate it.