Impact on the couple and work life

Impact on the couple and work life
After nearly two years of medical tests, Dina Auger and her husband learned that their daughter Roxanne had an intellectual disability.
After nearly two years of medical tests, Dina Auger and her husband learned that their daughter Roxanne had an intellectual disability.

In 2013, when she was nine months old, Roxanne was hospitalized after experiencing major convulsions in her sleep. It was Christmas Eve. The doctors ran a bunch of tests but found nothing. In early 2015, they told us she had a global developmental delay, but it wasn’t until February 2016 that we were given the official diagnosis. Our little girl had an intellectual disability caused by a genetic mutation.

The news gutted me. As parents, we want our children to be healthy. We dream of watching them grow up, go to school, become independent. That dream was suddenly crushed! The diagnosis was a shock, to the point where I became depressed and could no longer bring myself to work. My husband reached his breaking point a few months later and had to stop working as well.

There’s no doubt that managing our daily routine is a huge challenge. Roxanne is behind in all areas and everything is a struggle. She learned to walk very late, throws frequent tantrums, and still wasn’t potty-trained at three and a half years old. We need to watch her 24/7. It’s exhausting.

We have to plan everything we do around Roxanne—think about what she can and can’t do and the logistics of where we can take her. I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t created tension between me and my husband. He tends to be more protective of her whereas I want her to push herself.

My dreams for my daughter were shattered overnight.

Looking back, I think we’re coping pretty well. After a lot of discussion, we decided that I would stay home to be with Roxanne for all of her appointments with her occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech therapist, and so on. She has several appointments every week, and it’s these specialists that allow us to see our daughter’s progress.

In my opinion, now’s the time that she needs to be stimulated. It might mean sacrificing my career for a few years, but I want to give my daughter the best shot at reaching her full potential.

My husband is doing better and is in the process of returning to work. Living on just one salary makes things tougher, but we’ve come to the decision that our family’s well-being is more important than travelling or getting a new car. Ever since we made that choice, we’ve felt more at peace.

 

Naitre et grandir.com

Source : Naître et grandir magazine, May–June 2017
Interview by Kenza Bennis

 

Photo : Maxim Morin