Injection of hope

It is amazing how quickly my moods can swing.  One minute I am crying on the phone to my husband, wracked with fear and ten minutes later I am feeling in control and rather elated.  The irony is that the same event caused these two very different reactions.

I just returned from a three day visit with Matthew to Cincinnati, where he sees a team of specialists on an annual basis at an MD clinic.  An added reason for the trip is that Bobby and I enrolled him in a clinical trial for a growth hormone study for linear growth and potential muscle strengthening for boys with DMD.

Matthew was selected to be in the test group. 

Of course, I knew that there was a 50/50 chance of this and in my heart of hearts was prepared for this, but if I have to be honest, I was hoping that he would be in the control group.  I am not particularly proud of this.  I knew I should be wanting to provide my child with all the opportunities possible for better physical health, but the idea of putting a needle in my innocent boy, every day for 6 months, seemed to steer me away from the big picture.  

So after the “shock” that should not have been a shock and after my moment of weakness, we headed to see the nurse who was to show me how to wield a needle.  I should not have been surprised when Matthew showed more curiosity about the process than concern about the potential pain.  He let me poke him (over and over, in fact) and as I learned the procedure, suddenly two things occurred to me.

One – I am not the patient.  This is not all about me and if my child, the actual patient, is not concerned, than I need to be strong for him and get the job done.

Two – Finally!  After years of feeling helpless in the wake of my son's diagnosis, I can actually be part of the treatment process.  I can personally give him what may result in added strength.

We agreed to have Matthew participate in this study because we wanted to help further research.  This trip reminded me of how humbling it is to know that there are people out there who have a passion for   helping boys like Matthew and have made a career out of this passion.  I feel nothing but great fortune for the opportunities that have been placed before us.  Hope abounds and life is good!

Allison Wood Greiner is a high school French teacher, a founding member of Inspired Wining, and mother to three children, including Matthew, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. 

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