Being a mom is rough. There’s no easy path into it and don’t ask me to describe these preteen years.
I’ve discussed having a stroke in 2013 in a previous post, but today’s post is on what I deal with daily, and in one case, pretty often.
Another Wonderful Condition
Until I got to a rheumatologist, I’d never even heard of the term palindromic rheumatism. (Go ahead and search this on Google. I’ll wait.)
You’re back? Great.
I had been struggling for some time with severe joint pain, fatigue, swelling and some other not so great issues. My doctor ran blood tests for just about everything but my symptoms continued. Thanks to my family history of rheumatoid arthritis (thank you, Granddad) my mom’s issues with arthritis, and the fact my older sister has RA and lupus (that can occur), she decided to refer me out.
I had an ultrasound done on my hands, fingers and knuckles (absolutely not fun), got more blood work done and…”come back in a few months, your symptoms don’t entirely fit RA but they fit the diagnosis for palindromic rheumatism.”
I went back at the end of November for a checkup and my diagnosis got a shove into early onset RA. WONDERFUL. I was not thrilled, but not surprised. My March visit went well, and I finally started medication. It’s been a great help. I have a lot less pain days. I did have to deal with some really bad insomnia in the beginning and my appetite took a hit but I could probably stand to lose a few pounds.
Migraines Are NOT Fun
I started having them right before my stroke, but they became more intense after, which I was warned about. I’ve learned my triggers and if I can, I avoid them. Sometimes this isn’t possible but I lessen them when possible. Sometimes they come out of nowhere. Either way, they’re awful.
It’s like an elephant is sitting is on my head and playing a drum. Or the throbbing is like I’m at a rave but I’m not even at a club to enjoy the music. I’m nauseated. I’m lightheaded and thanks to aphasia, I may or may not be able to make sense when I speak.
These migraines can last a few hours, or two days. There is no timetable. I wish there was.
Both of these conditions suck. I get through them the best I can. That’s all I can do, right?
What I have written so far is not meant to get pity or anything like that. I actually hate the idea. I’m trying to describe what I deal with and let others know they’re not alone. Many moms deal with chronic illnesses including a few that I know.
My tips for momming through chronic illness:
- Remember that you can only do so much. Our bodies shut down at some point, and pain will make that happen quickly.
- Don’t shame yourself for what you can’t get done. Leave the dishes for tomorrow. Those towels can stay in the basket unfolded.
- Build a support system. My kids know that when mom is “down” they have to help. They are really self sufficient, and are able to at least start their own laundry, cook using the microwave, and some other tasks. They’ve had to learn because I can’t always do everything (even without these issues). My husband also helps a lot around the house. If I’m in bed with a migraine, let’s just say the dishes may or may not be done. Priorities. I may not be able to handle the noise.
- Let your kids know that you’re not okay, because they need to see that, but not too much. Kids worry about their parents when they are sick, in pain, or both. If they really want to know, explain things to them in a way they can understand.
- Alter things for yourself to make the chores you need to do easier. This will make things easier on you when you need to get things done. Less pain, more work. 😄😊
I don’t have it all figured out. I just do the best I can.
Do you have a chronic illness? Do you have tips?