My So-Called Problems

By Alyson Porter

The Law of Relativity states that your situation is not fundamentally good or bad until you compare it to something else.  This has shown up so many times for me in my life.  One of which has been my husband being gone a lot because he was getting his PHD.  I used to complain about it so much.  I felt all alone, and things were hard because I had to basically raise my 4 kids by myself.  I was also trying to run my businesses as well.  

So one particularly rough day I called my mom complaining about this and that.  And she seemed very distant and I asked her why she was so quiet.  She took a deep breath and told me that she had just gotten a text from my sister (who was living in Japan at the time), and it was about her daughter (my niece).  She was in the hospital again…(for the hundredth time since she was born).  And it was very serious.  She had already stopped breathing multiple times (from her seizures) and they didn’t know if she was going to make it.  Little Kaia was born with White Sutton Syndrome.  It is extremely rare.  It has only been discovered in 2016.  

White Sutton Syndrome (WHSUS) is a condition characterized by autism and developmental delay and/or intellectual disability, as well as a characteristic facial profile. Children may also have speech and language delay, motor difficulties, vision problems, hearing loss, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, obesity, anxiety, and attentional problems.  

My heart stopped.  I couldn’t speak.  Here I was complaining about such insignificant little things like my son pouring 20 pixie sticks in the peanut butter and mixing it with an icecream scoop…and my sister…on the other side of the world without any family there to help her was watching her daughter barely clinging to life.   At that instant..all of my “so-called problems” vanished.  They didn’t seem so hard or annoying anymore.   

I prayed so hard that day…and luckily by the grace of God Kaia pulled through.  But since that time she has had multiple other episodes and her condition is permanent and her parents will have to take care of her the rest of her life.  (And they don’t even know how long she will live.)   Every day with Kaia is a gift.  And every day with my children is a gift.  So just remember your situation is not fundamentally good or bad until you compare it to someone else’s. 

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