Because I am pregnant right now, my RA is currently completely untreated. And while I was lucky enough to experience at least some remission during my first pregnancy, I just haven't been that lucky this time around.
My RA has definately been flaring. And while my usual flares are more of an overall body ache or sometimes a relatively dull, persistent pain in a particular joint, my pregnancy flares have turned out to be different. I have been experiencing excruciating joint pain that comes on without any warning and with barely any reason. This pain will last for a day or two and then disappear almost as quickly as it arrived. So far it has been my right hip, my right knee, my left toes, my left hip, my left shoulder, and then my right knee again. The problem is that the joint hurts so much for a couple of days that it almost incapacitates me, especially since there is basically nothing I can take or do to help with the pain that is safe for the baby.
For example, last night I read a book for about ten minutes before going to bed. Half an hour later, my right wrist was in in such severe pain that I could barely sleep. From what? From holding a book open for ten minutes? Apparently. I put a wrist brace on and tried to go to sleep. I ended up taking some Tylenol in the middle of the night. But I just couldn't get comfortable and my wrist hurt so much I barely slept at all.
This morning it felt like my wrist was in even more pain. So when OZL decided he didn't want to get dressed, I knew I was in trouble. I pointed to my wrist and tried to explain to him that mama had an owie. He listened very intently and said "mama has owie." But he is not even two yet, so he forgot all about mama's owie as soon as I tried to dress him. He ended up flailing around and screaming, and I had no choice but to physically fight him into his clothes. But the end of the ordeal we were both sobbing.
Luckily it is a school day for OZL, so all I really had to do was get him dressed and get him to school. But, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what I am going to do with the rest of my day at this point. I'm supposed to be writing today, but even typing this short post is pretty slow and painful because of my wrist.
I guess the moral of the story is this: while my kids are completely worth it and I love having them more than anything, sometimes being a mama with RA is just downright hard.
(P.S. The book I was reading for 10 minutes last night was a baby name book - which only leads me to wonder how I will ever survive on days like this when I am outnumbered!!)
I always wanted to have 2 children, but I've realized after the past 8 months, that you are so right. Having kids and RA is downright hard. I was lucky in my pregnancy, like you in your first, to have very little issues. But this postpartum period, even while treating it, is taking its toll on me, and my husband and I have decided at this point that my little girl will be our only biological child. Between working, housekeeping, and caring for my little one - I can't even think about having a second. So I completely commend you for doing it! Good luck! :-)
Your pregnancy flares sound just like the "normal" flares I experienced during the first 10 or so years after I was diagnosed with RA. They'd come out of nowhere for no apparent reason, attacking one joint here, another there, last two or three days and then end just as abruptly. And they were often excruciating. My heart goes out to you, especially since Tylenol is about all you can take to relieve the pain even a little. Oh, owwwwwwwww...
As for the rest--how will you manage with two little ones when one is so hard? You just will. Somehow. Just like today. Please know that we're out here keeping you in our hearts and in mind, rooting for you and OZL and the little new one and your hubby. You're gonna make it.
Sending smiles and comfort your way... :o)
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