Sunday, November 10, 2002


I love my sons.

That’s nothing new. You all love your sons, don’t you? And if you don’t have any, you’ve might have some pretty fond memories of your parents.

One of my sons, Jacob, has a lot of medical challenges. I almost typed “problems” but then I checked myself. It’s interesting to think of the differences between those two words. Challenges can be overcome, problems are there forever. And in reality, Jacob has a little of both.

For example: we found out soon after he was born that he has Cystic Fibrosis. At the time I had heard that it was fatal to children. I have since learned that as treatments have progressed, there are many CF patients living well into adulthood. And living well, into adulthood.

But even with those treatments, the CF doesn’t go away. CF isn’t a disease, it’s a genetic condition. So, unless treatments change as medical technology improves (which is very likely), he’s going to be doing these treatments his entire life.

Still, that alone shouldn’t debilitate him. It’s a challenge, not a problem. He should be able to live a normal life with the exception of his daily regimen of treatments.

Except for the fact that he also has Cerebral Palsy.

And with that brings a host of other regimens and treatments, like Physical Therapy twice a week. It’s been interesting to watch my son learn to talk before he could learn to crawl. But it’s also been exciting, because it changes your perspective. Because he was diagnosed so early with CP, doctors couldn’t give us any real answers. Will he walk? Who knows… Will he be able to think clearly, even talk? Just a shrug. So every little thing that most parents enjoy about a growing, developing child are multiplied in gratitude, simply because we didn’t expect him to be able to do that.

But again, these are challenges, not problems. Even though these are lifelong, they can be overcome.

I know that someday, I’ll wish he’ll quiet down, but right now I’m enjoying the little chatterbox. He’s WAY into Veggietales, and loves to sing along, even though he struggles with the timing a lot.

So, this morning, he woke up saying, “Hold you, hold you”, which is his way of saying, “Pick me up!” So, I held him and he went back to sleep. And I smiled with him and thought I could come upstairs and tell some of my friends (you) about him. He tackles life with a courage born of not knowing he’s not supposed to be able to do things. He takes his sufferings in stride because he’s never known anything different.

So after a lesson like that, why do I let myself go on whining about MY life?

Well, that’s the subject of another blog, another day…

Mark Hansen

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