I’m the proud mother of an 11-year-old son. I’m quick to boast, and tell you about Ryan’s curiosity (he asked me what the nurse does with his blood after a blood test. In all my years, I had never thought to wonder). I’m quick to brag about his kind heart (without prompting, the way Ryan holds Grandpa’s hand while walking through a museum, and slows his steps down to match Grandpa’s). I’ll smile and tell you how Ryan loves to dance and sing and is equally entertained by the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, and Prince.
But I’m not as quick to talk about myself. I don’t immediately tell people about my invisible disability, the rare autoimmune disease coursing through my body (and on bad days, I think it’s cursing my body). It’s called Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease and has overlapping symptoms of lupus, myositis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Those words begin an essay recently published at Mother’s Day Magazine. I have been living with my autoimmune disease for nine years. There are moments when I think I’ve figured things out, I’ve got a handle on things. And then there are the moments when I feel so confused, so sad, so frightened, so much pain that I just want to sink to the floor and cry.
But I can’t.
Because I have an 11-year-old son who needs to be fed; who needs to be taken to school, the library, and the dentist; who needs me.
So, I have developed a few “tricks and tips” that help me get through the day. Click here to read “10 Tips and Tricks for Moms Living with Invisible Disabilities.” (Here’s one I’ll share right now – Eggo Waffles count as dinner.)