As I was getting ready to say goodnight to Meghan a few days ago, she was visibly upset.
During our conversation I learned that she felt the cleaner I had just given her for her face had made the small bumps she has (courtesy of Cowden’s Syndrome) more noticeable than before.
I didn’t see it.
I look and I see my beautiful daughter – radiant inside and out.
Cowden’s affects the skin, and sometimes we get these obnoxious small bumps in all places you would never want them. Dermatologists with little experience with the syndrome don’t recognize that each one is in fact a tiny benign tumor, in the hair follicle, causing inflammation.
She is almost 10. She is 5 feet tall. She has fantastic hair and a great attitude about life. But, like any girl in this society she gets self conscious about her appearance at times.
So, in my effort to reassure her that her “bumps” were most noticeable to her, I showed her my legs.
Both legs are riddled with bulging, pulsating, colorful varicose veins. I have had 7 surgeries to keep them under control and eliminate the pain that goes along with them. I have over the last 2 years lost about 35 pounds. They just don’t let up.
I told her how self conscious I am about my legs. I told her how hard it is to wear a bathing suit, or shorts. I told her that I have only bought my first shorts in over 10 years in the last 2.
I know now what I didn’t know then – that these relentless varicose veins are likely a credit to my Cowden’s Syndrome, and the same path that led Meghan to that pesky AVM in her knee – a generation earlier presents as these veins in me.
She looked at me, pointing out my own insecurities, and she said Mom, you have to understand – it looks worse to you. And you have to remember, “Some people only wish they had legs… or legs that work.”
And there it was. My girl again.
“Sometimes your blessings come through raindrops, sometimes your healing comes through tears…” – Laura Story
We took the iPad. We looked at pictures of veins. We looked at pictures of acne. We looked in the mirror. We hugged.
Sometimes its so hard. One battle after another on this journey.
I don’t know that I could handle anything so gracefully without my young teacher.