What You Don’t See

A few weeks ago my mom accompanied me to a biopsy appointment. My doctors had to biopsy a particular region of my right hand in order to confirm my genetic mutation. Even though I’m an adult, my mom is always near and attentive when doctors or nurses are working with me. This time, however, I noticed that she wasn’t watching what the doctors were doing. She remained seated as they biopsied my hand and stitched it up.

After the appointment, I asked her if she watched them perform the biopsy. She very quietly replied, “I couldn’t watch. If it would’ve been anywhere else… But it was your right hand. I’ve protected that hand your whole life.”

When we look at my right hand, we don’t see what most people see. We see a hand that is precious and valuable. We see a hand that world-class surgeons have spent countless hours working on. We see a hand that bears the scars of tough battles we didn’t think we would win. We don’t see what most people see. We see so much more.

I’m adding a baby picture to this post because I want you to see what we see. I want you to see how much work my doctors have done on my arms. I want you to imagine how much of my life has been spent in the hospital. I want you to think about all of the custom-made outfits I wore because I couldn’t (and sometimes still can’t) fit into standard sizes. I want you to grasp how thankful we are that I can wiggle my fingers. I want you to see what we see.

When you see what we see, you don’t see my defect as something to point at or make fun of. You see it as it is: a small part in a much bigger story.

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