All day long I kept searching for the right words or a poignant quote or the best meme or the most insightful article. Something to impart wisdom about yesterday and today. I’ve got nothin’. LOL! I have posted a few things on my personal timeline, but nothing really resonates with me. It seems that 50% of us were pissed off, and now 50% of us are still pissed off. That is basically how it all seems to shake out. Some of you may be dealing with your own anxiety from the results, and I know some of the PANDAS/PANS Kids are anxious too. This was a big election for our country, and the world was watching us.
As a PANDAS/PANS Parent or Caregiver, you likely voted with consideration given to the future of your sick child(ren). There is going to be a period of adjustment, like there always is after a major election. It’s nice to think that we citizens did our job when we went to the polls and voted, but that’s not true. We are still in control of how everything plays out via our own actions and comments and personal power. You can decide what kind of world you want to live in regardless of your political party, and then go work to make it a reality. Newsflash: it ain’t the president that makes all of that happen…it’s YOU. It’s me. It’s the entire country. Everybody.
So, the election is over. Now what? I am not going to get into specific politics and all of the implications of this election. I do have a few thoughts in regards to what this all means for PANDAS/PANS Advocacy.
1. NATIONAL/STATE/LOCAL. Yes, we all are looking at the national elections, and there are going to be big changes. But be sure to look at your state and local races. What were the results? Did your state have a governor’s race? Will that affect your state’s ability to have a PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day? (I will tell you that my state of Kentucky got a new governor last year. We’d had two years of PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day with the previous governor. I filed for the Awareness Day proclamation in May, and it was still down to the wire in getting it approved. Be aware of this!) Congressional changes shifted the balance of power, and that is very likely going to have big impacts on decisions and mandates and appointments. Consider any shifts in your state’s legislature that might help or hinder anything pertinent to the PANDAS/PANS cause? Were there any state or local health or insurance mandates that will impact your family? Did your area get any new taxes that will mean less spending money for you? Yes, the Presidential race is big and will have far-reaching impacts. Also look at your state and local outcomes because that could possibly have the most immediate impact on your family.
2. FUNDING. What will this shift in power mean for national research and funding dollars? The articles I’ve been reading seem to indicate that there will be cuts in scientific research, which would not be that surprising. As far as PANDAS/PANS research or any federal funding of the Centers of Excellence, time will tell how that will go. Hopefully, key areas will still be funded for continued research, and there are a lot of dedicated PANDAS/PANS researches and doctors to help this happen. Health insurance costs have been a key topic in the election with some families seeing increases or possibly facing the loss of insurance. Lobbyists and pundits and insurance companies will all be working on that one, and I cannot venture a guess what will happen. Another factor to think about is charitable giving, which might see a bit of decline until the unknowns becomes better known. Being stingy with your money until you know how much you’re going to have is human nature and maybe wise. It seems everybody may need to get used to doing more with less until any economic fluctuations are steady, and we see what the national government budgets are going to look like. There may be state and local races that will affect available financial resources too. As a PANDAS/PANS Parent or Caregiver, you’re likely used to budgeting and stretching funds as much as possible. Keep doing that.
3. CHANGE. Change was inevitable in this election. There was so much at stake that either outcome was going to bring big changes to the country and to the world. We don’t know what exactly will change or how long it will take. What has been said in campaign promises may prove trickier when they aren’t just bravado. It is impossible to list everything that could change, and I keep thinking of different factors. One thing that will hopefully change for sure is the ugly attitudes on both sides. As a woman, I was very discouraged by the tone of this Presidential race. I can choose to personally reject certain ideals and make sure they do not take hold. It is also my duty to be sure my son has respect for everybody regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, abilities, and any other traits of somebody’s personhood. The fears are real out there, and emotions are running high. We have to hope that common sense will be used on both sides. It is a chance to come together in whatever way you wish. I’d urge you to choose love because that’s always a good choice. Stress can open the blood brain barrier for our PANDAS/PANS Children, so let’s do what we can individually to collectively bring the stress levels down a notch or a 100 notches while we deal with all the changes and aftermath from this election.
Okay, that is probably about as neutral as I can be on this topic. I don’t make a lot of political statements on this blog, but I have real opinions. Yep. I can share my views all day long, but right now, it’s more important what actions I take. How I chose to channel my energy can continue to make big differences long after this election. Anything that is going to happen one way or the other will still take some time. Nothing ever happens over night…except FedEx (and even that has failed me on a few key occasions). I have read a lot of comments during this election and made a few myself. I still support the ideals I supported before the election happened, and I’ll keep supporting them now. Sigh.
The presidential election is over. As far as emotions about the 2016 election, we can’t help but to feel ever how we feel. It’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. This was a big election for many people, and the changes could be huge in many areas domestically and internationally. Take time to consider the impacts and make plans. Once you have recovered, you need to breathe, regroup if necessary, help others recover, and keep going. Keep going on the journey to heal your child. The PANDAS/PANS Community has a lot of stamina and energy and heart. I believe in us, no matter what.
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Sarah Jane Alleman is a PANDAS Mom to her awesome son, Jesse. She spends much of her time on Facebook, making to-do lists, and listening to music, especially Depeche Mode. She drinks a lot of coffee, likes a good red wine, and has been known to hide chocolate in her pantry. Sarah really thinks PANDAS Sucks (the autoimmune disorder, NOT the bears!). PANDAS Sucks exists to tell the collective story about PANDAS/PANS. Sarah wants to empower other PANDAS Parents and let them know they’re not alone. She is also the Director of Kentucky PANDAS/PANS Support, which strives for more awareness, support, and understanding of PANDAS/PANS. Sarah was a Parent Contributor to the book “PANDAS and PANS in School Settings.” Find PANDAS Sucks on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Note: Please do not ask for doctor referrals or specific medical advice. This blog/web site is for info and support purposes only. I’m not a doctor.