When my eldest was a baby, I only took him out alone if I was going to visit my parents or close friends, who could offer support if I needed it. I took Jack to a local playgroup but only if my friend was going too. Although there’s very little I’ve been unable to do for my boys, I shied away from taking them out on my own for fear of something going wrong and perhaps subconsciously, worrying about people judging my ability to manage.
So whenever Jack had doctors appointments or booster jabs, I’d make sure hubby could come with us. I remember one occasion when Dean was working and I asked my Dad to come with me as Jack was having his pre-school jabs. The nurse we had was extremely rude – refusing to talk to me and was overly rough with Jack. My dad pulled him up on it, not that he acknowledged him. Jack was upset and I’m really not sure if I’d have been OK had I been on my own.
But as time has passed, I’ve noticed that my confidence has slowly grown. It was our youngest’s turn last week for his pre-schools jabs and as hubby had just started a new freelance project, I decided I’d take Niall by myself. Though a little apprehensive, I knew I’d be fine. To my relief, we had a brilliant nurse who was great with Niall and he didn’t make any fuss. We were in and out in a couple of minutes and Niall was happy to get a bravery treat on the way home!
These are experiences that any parent dreads, but having a physical disability, the anxiety intensifies as I go through all the possible scenarios. But it’s a nice feeling to realise that I’m feeling the fear – but doing it anyway.