What is my illness through the eyes of a child?
My son Jacob has been growing up with a chronically ill mom for a number of years – he doesn’t know any different because I was diagnosed at 29 when he was only 2 years old – before he can even remember. Now he’s 8 years old in a month and currently in the 3rd grade. While I was helping him with his writing assignments for school I thought it might be a good idea to work on one together. He’s been a huge support of my blogging and advocacy I thought to include him in a post.
Jacob for years has told me to not let people put me down because of my illness, it is not my fault. He has had a very clear understanding of what I am going through for such a young person – I have friends and other family members who don’t quite get it like he does and that’s because he has a lot of lived experience with my disease too.
What does rheumatoid arthritis mean?
My mom has rheumatoid arthritis, she has chronic pain in her joints, she gets really tired and it can make her kinda weak. It made her cry a lot at first. She goes to a lot of doctors. It made her lose her job.
It also happens to boys but mostly happens to girls.
How does it effect you?
It makes me wish she didn’t have it. I like the walk for arthritis because it promotes a cure for arthritis.
What are the biggest challenges for your mom when it comes to living with rheumatoid arthritis?
Sometimes we can’t do much, it’s not her fault, it’s the arthritis fault. She’s not a disappointment though.
What do you want other moms to know about being a mom with arthritis?
You are not alone and you are not a bad parent. It’s not your fault you are sick or can’t work.
What do you want other kids with sick moms or dads to know?
Be kind to your moms and dads. Be helpful. I let her relax so she doesn’t make her arthritis worse.
What are your favorite parts about being with your mom? What do you like to do?
I like that my mom knows how to relax good but we do fun active things together.