Sharon Tango and her son.

I have always thought of myself as nurturing, a good mother, someone who goes the extra mile.

I never knew how vital those qualities would be for my son until he became paralyzed. His story is a long one, and one for another blog perhaps. The short version is that one October day when he was 14 years old, he woke up with a bad headache and ended up paralyzed and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. He is now 29 years old. No diagnosis was ever made. All we know is that his immune system attacked itself.

I am his primary caregiver. Through the years nurses and personal care attendants have come and gone, but I am the constant. When someone doesn’t show up, I pick up the slack. Even when the caregivers are with him, I help with the tasks that require two people such as lifting him, or his bowel and shower routine. There’s no downtime for me. I also have a business and work more than full time on very little sleep. I often ask myself how the heck I am still going but the answer is simple.

The reason I am still going is because my son needs me. Somehow, I can always find the energy to help him. He can’t help himself – he needs me. I am the c