Learning to tackle challenging situations

Last summer I called a few tumbling/gym type places to see if Austin would “possibly” be able to go to learn how to safely tumble. I called them because, I have to admit that occasionally I am guilty of not challenging Austin enough in certain situations. There are some things that scary the beejeebees out of me…like tumbling. Yes, tumbling scares me.

Now if he were a typical two and a half year old, no biggie. But there is something about that artificial airway being at the base of his neck that takes it to the next level for me. We never did make it, a near constant scheduling conflict stopped us from attending, probably just as well, with H1N1 around town.

Even after two years, during weekly trach changes, he will pull at it or wave his arms wildly around his face, which obviously makes it an unsafe situation. And that is with two people managing the situation. So yeah, he totally does not “get” that he needs the trach to breath and it needs to be protected. I am hoping this concept will come with age.

This is a situation where I have to say, where is the Manual?

You know the one that says: Your trached two year old understands enough to know that he needs to protect his airway from odd contortions. He understands that he cannot tuck and roll like his cousins or kids on TV. He understands why bouncy houses might be a not-so-safe place.

Yeah, we’re not there yet. So far he is not good with the concept of “be careful”. He understands concepts after the fact.

He understands “don’t touch” or “that’s hot” because he once tried to dip his fingers in some hot coffee. It only took a fraction of a second to register, but now he is on high alert for hot things. It was a hard lesson to learn, but much easier than, say…oh losing your airway because you are tumbling on the grass, rolling down a hill, or being tossed around mercilessly in a moon bounce.

When I look back on my childhood, I remember some of my fondest memories were rolling down hills and my biggest worry was crashing into someone on the bottom, not whether or not I would be alive at the bottom.

I’m sure every parent worries when they put their two year old in a moon bounce with other kids, right? What’s probably not typical, is having 911 on speed dial, just in case.

I need to work on my fear of placing him in more challenging situations, if we can conquer a pool surely we can conquer a bouncy house, right?

I need to learn to replace the “what if’s”.

What if something bad happens?

What if he knocks his trach out?

with…something monumental like:

What if he has fun?

What if he loves it?

Is there anything that you were afraid to let your child do?
If so, how did you overcome that?

Janis chronicles Austin’s life and medical journey at Sneak Peek At Me. She is an advocate for medically fragile children and families living with a rare disease diagnosis.


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