My new job started this week - I am now a full-time mom. Yeah! I worked for my employer for almost 10 years, and felt I was missing something at home - so here I am, at home. While I was only working 3 days a week when I finished, there was a toll on me and my health. I think I just wanted to slow down. I wanted to make sure that in 10 years, I didn't look back and wish I had spent more time at home with the kids. I know I am fortunate to be able to stay home with them and I'm glad I am taking advantage of this opportunity.
The kids just turned 3 and 5 - along with their birthday parties (on back to back weekends, as their actual birthdays are 4 days apart - whew, that was beyond busy), came their annual check-ups with our family doctor. All is well, but every year we go, I have a fear that she will find something with their joints - and to be honest, I check them from time to time myself. I know that the cause of RA is unknown, however there is a small, but irrational, fear that they will live through what I have. And I do not want this part of my life for them.
Patrick (my 5 year old) had to get a booster for a few of his immunizations, and he did not take his needle well. On the way home he went on and on about how he was never ever going back to Dr. Karen's. And then out of the blue, he asked me if I still take needles. It's funny what kids remember - we had talked about it 3 - 4 months ago, but they have minds like steel traps. So I told Patrick that I take medication to help me feel better. That's my line for now, I'm sure it will change as his capacity to understand grows. He said he didn't want to be me and take needles every week. In my head I agree with him - sometimes I don't want to be me either...
I have seen a glimpse of the pain of being a parent of a child with RA - when I was younger when my dad created the pain machine and recently, when I had my shoulder replaced last year.
When I was post surgery, I was able to leave the hospital room with my parents, so we went downstairs to the atrium at the Ottawa General hospital. I drank a Tim Horton's Iced Capp with a tube sticking out of my neck and my arm in a sling. Nice. It's the feeling of helplessness as a parent - knowing that all you can do is sit there, be there and hold their hand. I'm grateful for my parent's ongoing support through my ups and downs and I hope that I don't have to face those particular parental challenges, as I don't know if I would be as strong as they have been.