The last few weeks have taken us nearly to the breaking point. I've caught myself thinking things like "I've never worked this hard in my life for so little." And, "I could get a waitressing job and it would be easier than this."
No, we aren't quitting, but these are the thoughts that cross your mind at 3 am when you're checking on a 4 week overdue momma donkey, after losing twins a few weeks before, and planning / prepping for a free health event on our farm, and your lips are covered in cold sores, because, stress. (FYI: our Dulce de Haer / Calm Balm? AWESOME on cold sores. Wish I'd known that two weeks ago when that mess started. That stuff is the bomb. And I'm not just saying that because I make it. Which reminds me...I'm almost sold out again. Sheeesh. So behind.)
Back to my point. When I got this email this morning from a PANS mom who has her son on our freeze dried milk from the Azores, it was exactly what I needed. A reminder of why we're doing this, and why it's so worth it. (Even if our current retirement plan is Jesus coming back before we get too arthritic and old to milk donkeys, but, that's beside the point.)
"Saundra & family,
I know that y’all are probably crazy busy getting ready for the Hee Haw for Health but I had to drop you a quick note to say thank you. My son was diagnosed with PANS when he was 6. For the last 3 years we have struggled to keep it at bay. While we are grateful and blessed that his situation isn’t as severe as many other kids, daily life was still a struggle for him. He was always depressed, agitated, refused to participate in school, had emotional outbursts, fought irrational scary thoughts and had “lost his smile” as he put it. We were blessed that we were able to find help. We tried many things over the years and saw many doctors, but could still only get him functioning around 60-70% at best. Then I saw some posts about donkey milk in one of the PANDAS FB groups and figured I have nothing to lose by trying. Our son has been drinking 2oz of the freeze dried milk everyday (1 in the am and 1 in the pm) for just under 3 weeks. In that three weeks I have seen my son’s smile return. He is happy, relaxed, doing his school work and even decided to run for (and won) the position of 4th grade class president! Twice in the last 2 weeks his teacher has emailed to say what a good mood he’s been in and how much his participation in school has improved. I know it’s the milk because after 2 days of being on it I took him off most of his other meds/supplements. It was risky, but something told me it would be ok. And it has been so much more than ok! For the first time in three years I feel like we can breathe. We don’t live in daily fear of the next phone call from school and my son is enjoying his life. I will be honest, I still feel cautiously optimistic that it will continue. But only because we’ve been through so many peaks and valleys in the past. However, this has been the highest peak we’ve seen and I hope so much that it will continue. Sidenote: My husband who suffers from "depression"...has decided to start drinking the milk himself now that we’ve seen what it has done for our son.... THANK YOU so much for answering the call. Thank you for working so hard for these kids that suffer. And thank you for finding ways to get milk to those of us who can’t get it fresh from your farm. Sending many blessings to you and your family from up north in Michigan. With gratitude"
I cried. I told her how much it meant to us. I asked if I could share. She said yes. Thank you, sweet momma bear, for reminding me today of our WHY. Because every child deserves to have their smile.