Saturday, March 10, 2012


There are so many decisions in life that have to be made and when one has a chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis, the decisions begin to mount up all too quickly. And often these decisions can come with consequences that no matter how hard we try to determine them, they are like fleeting shadows that we just can't see or get a hold on.
I have two children. One is thirty and one is twenty. When I was in my twenties and thirties I was fortunate. I didn't have ra. I didn't even know that ra existed. We had no relatives that were infected with this disease. I had no clue.  I was first diagnosed when I was 42. My children were already born, I was well into parenthood and enjoying it immensely.
Recently both of my children are showing signs of a chronic inflammatory disease. It may not be ra but I know those sneaky relatives love to come in and take over lives. The genes have been put into place, the dna turned on somehow, their fate sealed. It breaks my heart just thinking of this possibility and it angers me too. I had no clue! I had no way of knowing I would pass on a set of possibilities if I didn't know I was carrying the detonator inside my DNA!
Decisions. Always decisions to be made. I often ask myself now if I would have allowed myself to conceive if I had known I was carrying this broken DNA. Would I have knowingly brought children into this world with the possibility of inflicting them with the pain and yes suffering I have endured. This is such a personal decision and I know of many ra patients that are actively seeking to get pregnant. I pass no judgement in this post as all decisions are personal ones and ones that we all contemplate long and hard. We search our souls deep, we question the medical knowledge out there, we turn over the decision like we are looking at a precious polished pebble. We make that decision carefully and toss the pebble. The ripples begin…
I love my children without question. I have had such a rich life, such a meaningful life because of them.  In my case the decision will always linger in my mind and often in my torn heart like a wisp of smoke. Something I was not given the choice to make, something that I can't quite grasp, something that slowly fills my soul with trepidation and sadness.