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Deeply Bruised

Deeply Bruised

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A peaceful Shabbat afternoon, with kids playing happily. All is still and calm.

Chaim Boruch gets up from his chair and comes to join us. He is in a happy, playful mood, and starts to do his usual silly “dance,” entertaining his family, encouraging smiles and laughter from each of us.

His balance is unorganized and unpredictable. I warn him to be careful, to settle down.

My I warn him to be careful, to settle downwarning is too late. He trips over his own two feet and slams his face into the wall with full force. The next moment, I am kneeling by his side, trying to assess the damage, my heart thumping furiously in my chest.

He is hurt, his ego deflated, like the shriveled pieces of a popped balloon. A bump is swelling over his right eye. His face is pale, and he looks like he is on the verge of passing out.

My nerves are shaken, and I find myself calling out to his siblings to get ice and a wet cloth for his bleeding lip, and to wake up Tatty (Daddy) from his peaceful Shabbat rest. Because I don’t think I can find another ounce of strength to pick up my very heavy and sore boy.

The bruising begins to emerge, and he is now sitting outside, refusing the ice packs, cold cloth, homeopathic remedies. Refusing to allow me to soothe his throbbing little face, despite the pleading in my eyes. His rhythmic whining slowly dies down as he acknowledges his less-than-brilliant idea of showing off his fancy dance steps, which were choreographed without walls or unstable little feet in mind!

I retreat into my room, into my bed, and take a deep breath. I think I need that cold cloth, ice pack and remedy to calm myself down, yet I cannot move. I am bruised.

Deeply bruised.

Wishing I could have caught him in time, saving him from his fall. Wondering if he needs new shoes, or if we should try yet another therapy to help him balance better . . .

Yes. The bruising of a mother’s heart.

I We are bruised by the challenges of lifeam tired and worn and talk to G‑d. Look, G‑d, look at Your children, all of Your children, young and old, infants, babies and 7-year-olds who stumble and fall. Look at each of us.

We are bruised by the challenges of life, by the bumps in the road, by the tears in our eyes.

Please, G‑d, send us two strong feet to stand on. Send us spiritual “ice packs” to soothe our wounds, remedies to cushion our falls. Send us happy, healthy days. Please, G‑d.

Days with no more bruising.


Chana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. To read more about Chaim Boruch, and Chana’s journey, take a look at her personal special-needs blog, Life of Blessing.
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Chana Scop Mill Valley August 24, 2014

Homeopathy Dear Yihezkel,
I completely agree, clarity is extremely important.
Alternative treatments definitely have varying results as each human being is truly a world on their own, with such intrinsic differences that impact the effect of treatment.
Thankfully, I am not part of a 'scientific community' and I feel extremely grateful to have experienced the benefits of homeopathy.
Wishing you all the best, Reply

Anonymous August 24, 2014

Treatment options I'm unsure if you are commenting on my post but agree with Yihezkel, on going for evidence based treatment. I am not commenting on homeopathy here but in fact had to resist the continuous pressure from relatives to put my son through very suspect treatments. That was more mentally challenging than the actual diagnosis.
Learning from the Occupational therapist about the sensory needs of an ASD person and using and the OT's methods has been the most helpful so far, as my son is on the lower end of the spectrum .
We also use a number of educational approaches for non-verbal children with ASD which has been very helpful. Reply

Yihezkel Raanana August 23, 2014

Thanks Chana for your response. I certainly respect your right to pursue whatever treatments you find worthwhile.

The only value I hope to add here is to be clear, like to the most recent poster (Anonymous), that alternative treatments may or may not make a medically beneficial change in a patient, depending on the treatment. I am by no means saying that everyone should follow the same treatment.

I am merely saying that specifically homeopathy is dangerous because it simply cannot work. There are no scientific principles underlying the discipline which can even in theory be true. The scientific community is unanimous on that. For beginners, I highly recommend the wikipedia article on the subject. Reply

Anonymous August 22, 2014

approaches
I find that certain methods that are not considered "conventional" sometimes works wonders, although we are pretty conventional in the approaches we use (i.e. the educational/behavioral approaches). For example . smelling essential oils(sharp aromas) will calm my son in a matter of few seconds This may or may not work for every child because their autism presents differently. If the approach is harmless and non-invasive I'm sure most parents will try a variety of methods conventional or not, for specific situations and for that specific child's needs. Reply

Chana Scop Mill Valley August 20, 2014

Quick Comment Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
This particular blog is a compilation of only personal experiences specific to me and my 'special needs' child and our family.
The alternative therapies and treatments that I mention are based on my successful experience with them and in no way is a medical guide book for others.
I do agree that anyone who has any personal medical concerns should seek advice and treatment from their doctor or health care practitioner.
Wishing you good health, Reply

Chana Scop August 20, 2014

To be a Mother Thank you for your kind words and may Hashem bless us all with beautiful blessings! Reply

Yihezkel Raanana August 19, 2014

Quick comment While I enjoy the article overall, I have to point out that homeopathic medicine is not scientifically valid. There have been no well-designed studies that have shown even the foundational tenets of homeopathy to have any scientific validity, nor its remedies being any better than a placebo. Please be careful publicizing such a dangerous misconception on a public blog, lest God forbid it lend any credibility in anyone else's mind of homeopathic treatment being effective.

If you don't have a scientific background but want to learn more, it might be useful to look up the wikipedia article on homeopathy. Reply

Kay August 19, 2014

Amen!!! "Send us happy, healthy days. Please, G‑d.
Days with no more bruising."

AMEN!!! Reply

Dorothy R Bienen Wellington, FLA August 19, 2014

To Be A Mother When our child is hurt...whether it is physical or emotional...we are hurt! Such a beautiful piece...and so aptly described in Chana's article.

Not only are you an amazing Ima to your children, but a talented and gifted crafter.

May Hashem give you, and all Mom's, the peace and comforting all parents need.to protect their children and to be there for them! Reply

Donna CA August 19, 2014

I understand. G-d bless us all :) Reply

Anonymous WA August 17, 2014

Thank you, I am having a bruised moment right now, feeling overworked and underqualified in my new job as I realize I've made quite a few embarrassing mistakes. What divine providence that I popped open chabad.org at this moment and saw this. Reply

Anonymous August 17, 2014

Challenges of life The sense of orientation is extremely difficult to "teach" , since we learn that at an instinct level. I understand the anxiety you constantly feel !
A few years ago my son got a cut about an inch long next to his eye in a similar way. I look back now and thank G-d that the cut narrowly missed his eye (about 5 mm away). Although I dreaded our first hospital experience until then, the medical staff were eager to accommodate for his sensory defensiveness while treating him , which was a huge relief.
His sense of space improved with age (towards age 10) although much more delayed than a normally developing child. He can now notice and step over/dodge objects. Recently he has gone to the opposite extreme , in becoming super-cautious but I think in a few years time he will find the optimum level. I hope Chaim Boruch will too. Reply

Chana Scop shares her experiences parenting a child with special needs.
Chana ScopChana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. She also writes about a mother’s journey of raising a special-needs son on her other blog, Life of Blessing. She welcomes you to be a part of her creative and touching journey.