Monday, July 1, 2013

Children and Fibromyalgia

It's been only recent knowledge that it's possible to spread Fibromyalgia to your kids.  Scientists have not detected a gene, and they've barely scratched the surface of what causes our aliments.  However, the fact remains that we can spread this beast to our children and since we all didn't know this ahead of time, or we'd like to have children but we're still unsure, let's weigh the odds in this posting today.

First off, I'd like to give you a little background about myself and what I know my family has.  My Great Grandmother, Grandfather, Great Aunt, and Mother suffered from Alzheimer's.  My Mother contracted it at a very early age.  She was in her late 40's when I first thought something was wrong.  I was a very young adult at about 19 and I just thought she was having problems with me becoming a woman so I chalked it up to that.  As time passed, Alzheimer's reared it's ugly head with them all.  And we, as a family, have been dealing with what comes day-to-day.  We kept each one of our family members at home.  We thought it was best.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do otherwise.  My Great Aunt Mary who is now sick with Alzheimer's has a lovely home.  And my other Great Aunt Lucy was in another lovely home too for many, many years. 

Alzheimer's is a tough disease.  It's very hard on the living.  They have to mourn the person daily for sometimes decades.  It's not easy to do so when you're used to seeing a vivacious person before you.  It's just deadly to watch-- pardon the awful pun, but there is a point here...  There's another deadly issue with Alzheimer's, if your Mother gets it, and gets it at an early age, you have a 50-50 chance of getting it.  So, given those odds that my brother and I now know, either he or I will contract Alzheimer's. 

Is that something to worry about?  Sure.  But then there's my second cousin who's had to bury all of her sisters and mother from breast cancer.  And my cousin Nick has Parkinson's.  My Grandfather, the one who eventually died of Alzheimer's, also dealt with cancer in his lifetime too.

Should I worry about cancer as well?

Hmmm...

The thing is, you can't.  I don't want to get spiritual on you.  You all have your beliefs, but even if you don't believe in a higher power, you probably know, deep down, you were born for a reason.  EMBRACE that with all of your might.  Know that your life can AND WILL be different.

Having said all of this, I know some of you may wonder if having a baby is a good idea if you are ill.  My answer is a resounding YES!  We all as parents wish that we could make our kids' lives better.  I know my Mom wanted to. 

I had a conversation with her when my oldest, Brittanny, was very young.  She marveled me and how calm and attentive I was with her.  She felt she wasn't the same with me and worried that she scarred me for life with that.  I asked her what would make her think such a ridiculous thing-- now granted-- I'm not saying Mom was perfect, but at birth to 5-- I thought she was a Goddess.  Her reply took me aback. 

"Kim, I've had so many psychology courses to be a teacher that it often scared me to be a parent.  Sometimes breathing can be a detriment to a child."

I knew what she meant.  I completely understood it given the psychology and theology courses I took, but I came away with another experience, and that's this,

"Mom, maybe I'm calm, maybe I'm not.  I do what is right for the moment with my child.  And when I screw up, which I know I will because I am human, my child can hate me, go to counseling, and then realize that I loved her to the best of my ability.  At that point, everything will come full circle because she'll put that psychotherapists kids through college."

There is not a lot of information around about Fibromyalgia.  It's still a very scary disease and we would never want our kids to have it.  But now that we know what it's like and how we can help our children deal with it, is there a huge risk?  Yes, we have pain, and it's unbearable at times.  We get confused and it's hard to drive.  But is that the same as Cancer or Alzheimer's?

I feel this way, until I find out that Fibromyalgia is a far more worse a fate than Alzheimer's or Cancer, I'll stop having children.  Seriously.

Stay fabulous,
Love and friendship,

Kim
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