Allison is a blogger and SAHM to a six year old daughter and four year old boy/girl twins. She’s a bookworm and loves to cook as long as she doesn’t have to do the dishes afterwards. On her blog Twingle Mommy, she writes about her parenting adventures, marriage, and recipes that her kids will actually eat.
It’s a social disease; your children are perfectly healthy. Try not to worry about it.
These were the words that the attending doctor thought would comfort me after my twins were diagnosed with Vitiligo. They missed their mark.
My pediatrician suspected that Mark had Vitiligo and sent us to UNC Chapel Hill to get a diagnosis. Thanks to Google, I knew Mark had Vitiligo before we went to the appointment. I was prepared for him to be diagnosed. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder that attacks skin pigment. Over time the skin will slowly lose its pigment. The doctors don’t know why people get it, and there is no cure. There are limited treatment options, but not everyone responds to treatment.
I wasn’t prepared for the doctor taking one look at Molly’s knee and diagnosing her as well. To my credit I didn’t break down and cry, I held it together, even when I saw my husband tearing up.
But on the inside I was melting down.
I was in a place of acceptance with Mark having Vitiligo. I was prepared to hear our treatment options and to plot a course of action. That’s what we always do with Mark. But when the doctors all agreed that Molly had Vitiligo as well, I was heartbroken. All I could think was “please no, not my Molly.” I said that in my head a few dozen times during the appointment.
I don’t really know why it’s so much harder for me that Molly has Vitiligo.
Perhaps it’s that I know Molly will suffer socially more than Mark. While boys are sensitive about their looks and want to fit in with their peers, it’s not the same as girls. Unfortunately it doesn’t end in adolescence, men are not judged by their appearance the same way women are judged by their appearance.
Perhaps it’s that Molly looks so much like me. I had acne scars that appeared when I was in junior high school. I was horribly self conscience of them and tried desperately to cover them up with makeup. It breaks my heart thinking about Molly being self conscience about her looks.
Perhaps it’s that as a woman I can relate to my daughter’s pain better than my son’s pain.
Perhaps I’m used to Mark being different. He has Cerebral Palsy and some learning delays which have always made him different from his peers. While I hate that he has one more obstacle in life, I’m used to him being a little fighter.
In all honesty, it’s probably a combination of all four. I feel a tremendous about of guilt that I feel this way; what kind of mother is ok with her son having a physical difference and not her daughter? But that’s how I feel right now and the guilt isn’t making the feelings go away, it’s just making me feel worse.
I know eventually I will get to a place of acceptance for Molly like I have with Mark. One thing that does make me feel better is that they have each other to lean on. My twins are going to face obstacles together that very few people will understand. And I know that they have each other’s back!