Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Waiting ~ WAGR Wednesday

Handsraised for #rdd2015 #rarediseaseday on Lake Tahoe

There is a lot of "waiting" that comes along with having a rare disease.  First, my husband and I waited at the hospital for the doctors to figure out where to refer us when my daughter was three days old.  They drew blood and sent it off to Texas for a special FISH analysis and we waited for weeks for the confirmation that she had WAGR Syndrome.

We waited in the ERs and Urgent Cares for doctors to come in and ask the same ridiculous questions which had nothing to do with our visit. 
  • Was she full term?
  • Any complications during pregnancy?
  • Was it a  normal delivery?
This was not necessary questioning when we knew it was pneumonia or a UTI, but, as the "3 Ring Circus" that drew observers from all over the hospital, apparently we needed to be patient and wait for them to satisfy their curiosity.

We waited while our daughter would be under sedation for eye exams and ultra sounds; we waited through eye surgeries, chemotherapy appointments, surgeries, and recoveries.  We wait for blood tests to figure out how her hormone levels are, and how her kidneys are functioning.

Waiting for medicaid approval and acceptance into the county programs was and is hard, because financial concerns heaped on emotional duress only multiplies exponentially one's fear of the future. 

Life with a rare disease can be lonely as we wait.  Waiting for the next diagnosis, the next medication, the next referral to a the next specialist.  We wait for researchers to show interest, for pharma to release the "affordable" generic, for the FDA to "approve" it for children.
We wait, and wait, and wait some more.
On Saturday, February 28, 2015, if you would, please take a photo of you with your hands raised as a sign of solidarity with those living with one of the 7,000 rare diseases~let us know that we don't wait alone.  Post your photo to Facebook, Twitter or even on the official Rare Disease Day website with the hashtag #rdd2015 and #rarediseaseday to join hands around the world and make our rarest voices heard.

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