Thursday, 5 August 2010
Obviously as I neared 21/22 years of age it was pretty clear I was not ready to start my family, I still felt a child myself to be fair! My priorities were shoes, alcohol and having a jolly good time not breast feeding and playschool. I wanted to live my own life a bit more and worry about myself for the time being. It just so happened that 22 was the year I really had to think of myself and nothing else. That was the year I was diagnosed.
Throughout the first few months of realising I had this condition, the constant tests, medication, being off work etc took pretty much all of my time and plans for any kind of future were firmly put on hold until I could figure out how this was going to affect me.
I was told that certain treatments were not considered safe if I was looking to have children in the near future, but as that was the furthest thing from my mind at the time I probably didn’t ask enough questions.
My treatments have obviously changed over the last year and as I am receiving more aggressive treatment, I have been informed of the consequences it has on “making babies”. To put it simply, the medications I am receiving will have devastating effects on a foetus, exactly what effects are still being researched I believe, however this means that if I wish to have children I must stop my treatment at least a year before conception is considered. Scary thought for any female, that now I actually have to carefully consider and plan when to have a family when for most people it is unplanned but welcomed nonetheless.
The thought of coming off medications for an entire year is daunting enough, how would my condition be controlled during this time? Would I be in agony for a whole year just waiting until I could get pregnant? Then obviously what if it takes a long time to conceive? All questions I think of now my head is a bit more screwed on but should have maybe asked before I agreed to have the treatment.
There is already so much to consider for the future that extra pressure is surely not needed, however that’s the way the cookie crumbles folks. In some ways I envy the people who have had children and sorted their families before they were diagnosed, however I know that it is not an easy ride for anyone and can’t imagine how tough it is if you’re feeling crappy and having to take care of your children as well as yourself. Phew, tough one.
One good thing I have heard on the grapevine though is that pregnancy often sends women with RA into short term remission (something to do with the hormones) so when actually pregnant, you may have less symptoms and pain. Maybe then, I should give up the drugs and continue to have babies for as long as possible?! It could be like the Von Trapp family (only without the singing).