Explaining Rheumatoid Arthritis to Children is No Easy Task

Hollybgroovin Health Guide
  • “Will I be sick like you momma?” asked my four-year-old son this morning. I wanted to cry, but I held my tears back as I answered, “You’re going to be just fine bubba, momma will always take care of you!” I continued to hold my breath in hopes that I could fight back my tears for just a little longer.



    My kids say I’m sick and they’re right.

    My kids have never known me any other way. Every morning my 8 year old asks me how I am feeling and I say “I’m sick bubba.” I’m amazed at how well they handle all this. The have to help me just a little more than most kids their age, but they never complain.

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    Today after school, my boys went outside to play in the 6 inches of snow that fell last night. I watched them from my kitchen window. They were having snowball fights and laughing so much. I wanted to play with them. I wanted to throw snowballs too, but I couldn’t because I was in so much pain and so swollen that I couldn’t even bend my fingers. I sat there and wondered if they would be able to throw snowballs if they were sick. I wondered if they would someday be in my same position, watching their own kids throw the window because they were too sick to play outside with them.



    How do you deal!

    Everyone has their little ways of dealing with rheumatoifd arthritis What’s mine you ask? I tell myself that God has given me this disease so that I can carry all the illnesses for my family, and so that no one else that I love will ever have to endure the pain that I face daily.

    Crazy, I know, but it helps. I also know in my heart that it is not the truth, as I saw my dad pass away last March. The truth is that I know that there may be a chance, even if very little, that my sons may develop this disease.



    It’s scary to think that someday my kids may have to fight this painful disease. They have seen me go through so much. They have watched me cry, unable to walk or open my own bottles of medication. They have seen me unable to feed myself, bathe myself, and dress myself. They have seen me in despair. And I wonder if faced with the same disease would they be able to handle it. Would I be able to handle it?



    The fact is I don’t know if they will ever become sick. I don’t know if they will have to face the same pain I face or if they will know the despair this disease brings. I do know that they will be strong, and that they are fighters. There are so many great people out there fighting this disease everyday. They will find support and comfort in those who know the pain that they know.


Published On: March 04, 2008