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Fighting the Bear

July 14, 2017

"I've also lost a son. Nothing compares to what some people in this room are going through. And as bad as losing a son is, you parents, some of you, are having to endure far worse suffering."

-Dr. Paul Hardy, 2014 New England PANS/PANDAS Association conference

 

Our son Max served as cantor for the first time last week. I shut down the urgent care I'm working at part time early that night to make it in time to see him. He sang beautifully. I'm not just saying that as his mother. I'm actually not the type of mother to brag and I worry a good bit about inflating my kids' egos (right or wrong). He really was amazing. He was angelic. All the various parishioners came up to us afterwards and said how wonderful he was and more than one said he brought them to tears. He was so calm and peaceful up there with the whole church looking at him, listening to see if he'd hit the high notes, if he'd get it all right. And he did. He'd learned the entire mass the night before. Barely any time to practice. No one would have guessed it. Self assured, hit

 

ting every cue, projecting his voice, spreading the joy of the Lord.

 

On the drive home, he worried he hadn't done well. I gushed to him that he'd been amazing. "Didn't you hear all the nice things everyone was saying," I asked.

"They were probably just saying that to be polite," his PANDAS countered.

"Max, people say "good job, honey" to be polite. They don't say you brought them to tears and are a blessing from God."

"I guess"

 

Screw you, PANDAS, I thought.

 

We went home and I made a nice dinner for us. My husband and I were beaming with pride and he said, more than once, I can't believe how far Max has come.

 

I winced when he said it. I'm superstitious when it comes to jinxing. But I'm also a PANDAS mom. A PANDAS mom whose kid went undiagnosed for eight years. So, I know not to get too comfortable with the good times because bad times are always around the corner.  I was happy, though, to see my husband so happy, if only for a little while. He deserved to just be proud and happy for a little while.

 

Then it happened. (Oh well, at least we had 5 minutes)

 

I had the kids setting the table for dinner and Max's older brother was being difficult. He's on the au