Everyday parenting with autoimmune conditions.

Autoimmune conditions and many other conditions, including those linked with our fertility, can be severely debilitating.

An autoimmune condition, simply put, occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. Conditions include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves’ disease, Sjogrens, Sarcoidosis, Pernicious Anaemia, and many, many others. The list is long and varied and all can cause seriously problems to those afflicted from carrying out day-to-day activities.

Other diseases (not under the autoimmune category), such as endometriosis and fibromyalgia can also cause serious suffering and an inability to carry out daily tasks when symptoms strike.

What all of these conditions have in common (and I have only mentioned a tiny, tiny percentage of them); you cannot see them.

Those inflicted, usually on regular medication, can have lives riddles with severe pain, exhaustion, anxiety, inability to focus or concentrate… but you wouldn’t know this by looking at them.

These conditions have no cure and we have to manage our lifestyles. They are a part of our normal, everyday existence.

I would never have considered writing this as a blog post except I recently suffered from worse symptoms as I couldn’t get my usual medication from my GP.

Due to the recent situation with Covid-19, my injections were no longer deemed essential.

They are essential to me.

Although, I do greatly appreciate the situation so many people are in right now. Important appointments and treatments are being postponed, including cancer treatments and I cannot even imagine the stress and anxiety those people are going through.

It was during this time that I realised how those who suffer much worse than I have to try and parent everyday when all their body is telling them to do is stop and rest but they can’t.

They may be exhausted, stressed, in pain, their head filled with a fog which affects concentration and focus, lacking the energy to even start the day…

In April I struggled more than I usually would but eventually I was seen and treated by a private doctor and I am so fortunate to have been able to do so.

Ryan, on the other hand, is afflicted far greater than I. He suffers everyday from his condition with pain, exhaustion, fatigue and yet he soldiers on unwavering, never complaining.

Having a baby, where you sleep is greatly affected, worsened his condition and yet he carried on.

And the hardest part is, I cannot truly understand what he feels, like he cannot truly understand what I feel.

You cannot see these conditions and they can be very hard to explain.

It is almost the most frustrating part.

Obviously, like so much suffering, we don’t tend to talk about it.

We feel that by talking about our own medical conditions, firstly, it is private.

I haven’t given details of our conditions here for exactly that reason. Especially as it is not for me to break Ryan’s right to privacy.

Secondly, if we do talk about how we feel, we are concerned that we come across as “moaning” or “attention seeking”.

I am doing neither here.

I am simply drawing attention to the millions of Mums, Dads and carers who suffer in silence and carry on, with no one seeing their struggle.

We understand what you are going through and if you are anything like us, you probably spend a lot of your time worrying and hoping that your child won’t suffer the same.

We see you, you are not alone, you are absolute warriors.

This is for the masses of incredible parents where even though their condition, disease, syndrome is invisible, it does affect their every day lives.

We think you’re incredible and so do your kids.

Please remember to follow us on Instagram and Facebook @mumderstanding

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