Author Archives: Keara Engle

The Downsides of Sleeping With a BiPAP

I knew having a child meant that I would lose a lot of sleep, but I didn’t realize the extent of it. Most children sleep through the night by age 4, but my son, Cayden, does not. There are many reasons why sleep is challenging for him, but it doesn’t…

Resuming Home-based Therapies Is a Help

This month, we started back up with home-based therapies for my 3-year-old son, Cayden. He receives a few different services, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Each of them is extremely beneficial for Cayden, who has infantile-onset Pompe disease. He has been getting these different…

Potty Training My Special Needs Child

Last week, I started the dreaded process of potty training my son, Cayden, who turns 4 years old next month. I realize we started this process a bit later than most parents do, but we have our reasons. Cayden has infantile-onset Pompe disease. Some of the symptoms include muscle…

When COVID-19 Came to My House

My family had managed to avoid being exposed to COVID-19 until recently. Earlier this month, on the same day I got my vaccine booster shot, I was exposed to the virus by my mom. She woke up feeling very sick the next day, and shortly after that, all…

Trying to Fit In as a Teenage Rare Disease Parent

I was 16 when I had my son, Cayden, in 2018. Being a teen parent brought its own set of challenges. I had to leave public school and finish high school online. I also lost many friends, because most teenagers like to spend their weekends having fun, not cooped…

Teaching Children That Not Everyone Is the Same

I take pride in teaching children about disabilities. The earlier they learn, the better. These small lessons can be very beneficial as children grow up and learn that everyone is different.  My 3-year-old son, Cayden, is only 15 months younger than my little brother, Larry Jr.,…

A Lesson Learned About On-the-Job Medical Training

Every doctor, nurse, and respiratory therapist has to start off somewhere. They don’t just jump right into their position. People trained in these occupations must complete years of medical school, and undergo extensive training at a medical facility.  Over the years, my son, Cayden, 3, has…

Unable to Speak, My Son Uses Nonverbal Communication

My 3-year-old son, Cayden, is nonverbal, which presents some communication challenges. But it isn’t the end of the world, because there are many different forms of nonverbal communication that can be used when someone is unable to speak. Cayden has infantile-onset Pompe disease, which has caused…

Doctors Need Medical Advice Sometimes, Too

I often have to explain my son Cayden’s rare disease to medical professionals. But sometimes, they need more help than I can offer. While my knowledge of Pompe disease is pretty advanced, there are some questions I just don’t have answers to.  Cayden, 3, has been…