Ever since my diagnosis as I struggled with enormous fatigue and all the other aspects of Sjogren's, I couldn't begin to count how many times this thought crossed my mind: Thank God that my kids are older. I don't know how I could have possibly managed had this disease begun when my children were tiny.
My concerns evolved as time went by. Because my kids WERE older, and as they married, gradually my thoughts also included worries like these: I wonder if I've passed along any autoimmune diseases to my kids? And if so, how will they cope with a chronic illness and being a parent?
While it's true that the majority of women and men with Sjogren's are diagnosed in their 40's and 50's, there's an increasing number of people being diagnosed at a much younger age, many of them young parents. They understandably have concerns about the impact that autoimmune disease will have on their families.
AutoimmuneGal, blogger, sjoggie, wife, and new mother, has written an excellent post entitled Being an Autoimmune Mama: The First Months in which she shares her anxieties and experiences in dealing with a new baby:
.....Now, for my confessional: I must admit that I had real fears before she came was that I would not be able to take care of her because of my health issues. My worries ranged from big picture fears to specific practical concerns. I literally lost sleep worrying that she would miss out on what she deserved from her mommy. I didn’t want her to feel less love than other babies do because of my own health needs.
At the same time, I was also worried about the day-to-day practical challenge of lifting her and taking her around. Would I be able to carry her if I was tired? Would she just be trapped inside most of the winter because of neuropathies and arthritic pain?Continue reading here. She ends her well written post by sharing several strategies for others facing the same challenges. Check it out.