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    Fatigue, Malaise and Children
    Steffi_Feffi posted:
    Hi everyone! Let me start by saying this is a great group and I appreciate everyone and their openness to share. I am a 36 year old mother of two my son is 11 and my daughter is 3. About a year and a half ago I started getting achy. I dismissed it to a bad mattress, stress, depression after losing my job and left over aches from a fall I had taken. Fast forward to about four months ago when I start getting these random low grade fevers and aches and pains like the flu was coming on but never showed. Now finally about 3 weeks ago I make an appointment with my PCP and find out I have rheumatoid in my blood. Although I haven't been "officially" been diagnosed by a Rheumatologist (apt pending mid-June) my Dr. along with the blood work, symptoms and family history is confident that it's true.
    My symptoms have become worse and worse; fatigue, malaise, aching in my shoulders, ankles, calves, shines, wrists, neck and elbows. The worst is the fatigue and I'm thinking depression. Yesterday and today I woke up in pain whereas before it was aching and all I want to do is sleep. I've had to resort to putting a gate up in front of my daughter's door so I can have an extra few minutes to get myself going and I'm safe in the knowledge she's contained in her room. She asked that we read and I could not even hold the book my wrists hurt so badly. She wants to go outside and play and I'm sitting here trying to get the energy to shower let alone chance after a 3 year old. I feel like the worst mother ever. Does anyone have any good tips on raising kids with these symtoms?
    I've read and understand these are all basically normal side effects of RA but my question is what do I do to manage until I can see my Rheumatologist and get the right medications etc. My husband although a great man and father just doesn't understand he has read that exercise is key and I'm not disputing that because when I do get up and moving I feel better but I crash so hard after. I tried to tell him I need to conserve my energy for things like housework and playing with the kids and doing my homework (I'm a full time online student). How do I get him to understand that as well? Or is he right do I just shake it off and push through the pain and fatigue?
    xperky responded:
    Steffi, sorry you are having this new diagnosis. Now is a good time for you and your husband to read all you can about autoimmune diseases/RA. We can have serious flares that make it difficult to push ourselves. Rest can become a priority in order to cope. Yes, exercise, sometimes very mild, is important, but "pushing through the pain" can be a mistake with RA. It's a learning process. We figure out how much we can do when we feel a certain way. It's tempting to overdo on our good days, and then we crash. This is something to avoid.

    I don't have children, but have heard others say their kids are more compassionate than adults! They can understand when you say you can't walk through the park today. I imagine you will come up with creative ways to interact with your child. Remember, RA won't take away from your ability to give unconditional love. You can be a terrific mom!
    Tami46 responded:
    I am so sorry that you are going thru this. You have been a big support for me, and I hope you know that we are all here for you also. You are not a bad mom and no matter what you are doing with your children they love you! My son is older, so I am sorry I can't help you out more with advice on little ones at home, but I do have little nephews and a grandson and I know that when I have been with them, I feel bad because they pain sometimes has been so bad that I can barely hold them, or play with them, and it makes me feel bad, but it doesn't make you or me bad parents, grandparents, or aunts, just means with have to learn different ways to do the things we love to do the most and things we have to do on a daily basis.
    I have also been trying to keep myself busy, but sometimes it is very hard, some days are better than others, but I don't think that others completely understand unless they are experiencing it, just like I don't understand some other illnesses and what people are going thru, I try to and I want to, but sometimes it is hard for the person on the outside to completely understand.
    I am sorry you are going thru this, and I hope you get a little relief soon!

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