"Mom, your being ridiculous no one cares if your using a scooter and you can give us rides" said my then 11 and 13 yr old daughters when I did not want to rent a scooter at the zoo. I uncomfortably relented and rented the scooter. The girls thought it was the coolest thing ever. We raced, and I of course gave rides, and we laughed. A lot.
My husband and I chose to have kids even though I had been diagnosed with MS. Not everyone was supportive of our decision. What if you can't take care of them properly?" What if you have to go to the hospital a lot? Do you really think its fair to the child to bring them into this situation?"
The question for us was never should we have children, but when should we have children. As it turns out our first daughter was born about fours years into our marriage, and our second little girl came around 2 years later.
Both pregnancies were very normal. I actually felt pretty great being pregnant. I felt healthy and "normal". Once the girls were born I nursed each of them for a little over year. I think that helped me ease my body into a not pregnant state, and avoid a major relapse that my doctors warned about.
Of course I have had some wicked relapses over the years since the girls were born, but this being their "normal" they've been able to take them in stride. Both girls have gone through the stage when were around three or so when they wanted to "help" me walk with my cane. That never ended well,haha. Usually around ten they wanted to watch me give myself my injection, now the drama queen teens think it's gross.
My kids give me strength. I try harder to take care of myself for their sakes. I want to be a good example of a strong woman for them. They are also so wise in their honesty. When I'm tired and fighting a nap my now 15 year old usually says something like"go take a nap because if you don't you're just gonna be awful". Well alrighty then.
They take my limitations and little quirks in stride.
My husband and I are very open with them about my illness and treatments. Of course there have been bumps in the road. During one particularly bad relapse when my youngest was about nine years old I was hospitalized for IV steroids for 4 days. She was very upset and couldn't sleep or eat the entire time I was gone. That was one of the lowest points during my illness. I hated knowing that my being sick was causing such turmoil for my little girl. I spoke with my doctor at my followup and came up with a plan for outpatient treatments from that time on.
As a family we have had to make many concessions to this disease. I am not always sweet- suffer- in -silence- sally- sunshine, but that's ok to them because more often than not we have a lot of fun and tons of laughs.
I titled this blog Growing Up with MS, because not I had to grow up with this disease, but my children have had to also. They are growing into smart, sensitive, tolerant and very open hearted young women in spite of and dare I say because of MS.