Pushing Children: Lessons From Chronic Pain [Almost Fearless]

“Mom,” my youngest daughter, Isabel, whines, her copper hair sweeping across her freckled cheek. “My knee is killing me. It’s seriously the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. Can we please be done?”

I take a deep breath and assess the situation. We are less than halfway into our hike through the cliffs overlooking Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego…

I look down at Isabel’s left knee. I can see through her leggings that it is rather swollen. I ask her to number her pain. She lands on a four, far from the worst pain she has ever felt, but nothing to scoff at either. I offer her a sympathetic smile and speak matter-of-factly. “Let’s go until you feel like you’re at a six and then go just a little bit further than that.” Her distressed expression warns me that she might cry. My resolve begins to falter and I consider taking her to the nearest bench to sit out the hike with me. Blinking away tears, though, nostrils slightly flaring, she suddenly takes several shallow, staccato breaths and then pushes past me to catch up with her siblings…

You can read this entire essay about knowing when to push and not push a child with chronic pain at Almost Fearless by clicking here:

Pushing Children: Lessons From Chronic Pain

Leave a Reply