Happiness Is Not Exclusive To Recovery

It’s been a tough few weeks in the Baggy household. Both Mei and Min Min caught a particularly nasty bug that’s been going around town. We’ve been dealing with fevers and bronchitis for what seems like forever. Though in reality, it was only 4 weeks. I threw every arsenal I had at it; Vitamins, supplements, herbs, Epsom Salts baths, rubbing Oil of Oregano on the soles of the feet, wet sock hydrotherapy, homeopathy and just about every natural remedy I could think of. But despite my best efforts, this time we finally had to resort to antibiotics. I was disappointed we broke our antibiotics-free 1 year streak, but you gotta do what you gotta do right?

For many families, no hospitalization or antibiotics in a year may not seem much; but to us, it is HUGE. It is as much a success as recovery from autism. For us, losing the autism diagnosis did not automatically mean good health for our kids. It would take a bit more time to improve their health, but I know we’re nearly there.

Having two sick, cranky, bored girls at home was not ideal to say the least. The girls fought and squabbled. There was a whole lot of kicking, pushing and tears all around. But despite it all, I was optimistic because it was a sign that they were getting better. If they stayed quietly in bed all day, that means they were REALLY sick. Mei was all giggly and silly due to the antibiotics-induced yeast-beast. And to top it all off, Min Min fell down the stairs, her leg was badly lacerated and we had to go to the Emergency Room.

You’d think that I’d be absolutely miserably during this period. On the contrary, I was fine. Despite all the chaos, there was still a lot of happiness and love in the house. Sure, I was exhausted and worried, but I found and recognized the underlying happiness so apparent in my little family.

For the longest time, happiness was not my natural state. Blame it on autism times two. It took great effort to realize that even though I was living a life encompassed by autism, it did not necessarily mean it ruled my life. Happiness was there, yet I couldn’t, wouldn’t and didn’t see it. I still need to work on finding happiness at times, but I’m comforted knowing that it’s there even when I’m festering in my own negativity. I realized that being happy doesn’t mean I’ve given up the fight on autism.

Most importantly, I learnt that happiness is not exclusive to recovery.

During those long weeks of illnesses, I’d browse the Internet for hotels in Beijing, Singapore and Australia. I was planning my trips for the next 5 months and it gave me something to look forward to. Makes me feel kind of like a jet-setting It Girl. If only It Girls travelled with hubby, 2 kids, strollers, MB12 lollipops, probiotics and 100 vials of homeopathic remedies. Envy my fabulous lifestyle if you must. Just know that most days I’d be slumped on the sofa still in my pajamas, checking on Facebook on the iPad, with grungy hair, covered in snotty tissues and crumbs courtesy of the girls. Mei and Min Min cuddled up to me on the sofa, coughing and hacking their lungs out. Dontcha’ wish you had my glamorous life LOL!

I just came back from Beijing with my BFF. We’ve gone on our annual girly-trips way before either of us got married. Marriage, pregnancy and children didn’t stop us. However, there were a couple of years when we didn’t get to go on our trips. Autism and the challenges that came with it demanded all my time and energy. I felt guilty going off on a holiday and I couldn’t bear to leave Mei and Min Min, deep in autism then. Ironically, I probably needed the break so much more back then. I’m glad that we’re continuing on with the tradition. Hubby graciously took care of Mei and Min Min while I was gone, he knew how important these breaks were for me. I knew the girls were happy and healthy, they were in safe hands. Thank you honey!

I came home rested, relaxed and ready to jump back into Mommy Warrior mode. Sure enough, the day I came home, both girls came down with stomach flu! Within 3 hours of landing, I was knee deep in diarrhea, snotty tissues and vomit. Home sweet home…













“Thinking Mom and Rescue Angel on the Great Wall of China


About the Author:
Marissa Bagshaw is a mother of 2 children who are recovered from autism. Her blog Spectrum Mum in Malaysia is inspired by her daughters’ journey through autism.  Marissa is the founder of KL Biomed, a support network for autism families doing biomedical intervention in Malaysia and neighbouring Asian countries. She is also a co-founder of The Thinking Moms’ Revolution. Marissa lives with her husband and daughters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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