I don't think I have gotten around to blogging about the results of my medical trip to Brisbane yet. So here goes.
Good news first: Crohns appears to be in borderline remission. Whilst that is fantastic, they have upped my meds to keep it that way. My recent gut problems seem to be a case of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), a much milder bowel problem. Of course, this now means I have 2 bowel problems at once which is frustrating to say the least.
I also had a full body scan done just before I went down to Brisbane to try and locate the source of the back/knee problems. This found sacroiliitis in my back, and mild arthritis in my knees. So, at the age of 22, I have arthritis.
Arthritis (in a number of forms) is a very familiar thing in my family. My mother, maternal grandmother and maternal great grandmother all had it. So I had expected to come at some stage, but not for at least another 10 to 15 years (which is when my mother got it). I should really stop assuming!!
Growing up, I saw the very real impact the disease had on my mother, and thus on the rest of the family. I was very young when she was diagnosed, but can still clearly remember helping look after my little brothers, and helping my mother actually walk and get around. None of this added responsibility was in any way my Mum's fault. She was diagnosed only a few years after she finished having children. She didn't plan to get so sick when we were so young.
That being said, I wonder what would she have chosen if she knew that she would get so sick when her children were so young (feel free to jump in here, Mum)? Would she have chosen to still have children? And if so, would she have chosen to have 3 in 3 years?
Justin and I desperately want children: no doubt about it. One of the many reasons I wanted to have children in my early 20's was to ensure that they would be older then I was, should I get arthritis. I wanted to be prepared for the possibility. But this possibility? I was not prepared for this possibility. I didn't even want to think about this possibility.
The sacroiliitis would most likely deteriorate with any pregnancy I would have: the fact we know about it now means that hopefully, it will be able to managed. The same goes for the arthritis.
That being said, do I want to be doped up on various painkillers and medications for my child/ren's pregnancy/life? Do I want my children to experience life with a sick/incapacitated mother? That is of course, if I ever manage to get pregnant in the first place. And if my crohns stays in remission. And if the arthritis/sacroiliitis progress the way I have been told.
There are a lot of "if's". A lot of questions. A lot of doubts, about something that I always thought I had neatly sewn up in a little box of certainty and careful planning. I wanted a child/ren with every fiber of my being. But now?
Now, it has dimmed just a little. I am being thankful for the fact we hadn't begun medical interventions yet. However, the urge, the desire lingers still, leading me to ask, "where to from here".
Here. The place I never wanted to be.
I am sure I will work it out. But it doesn't make the moment any easier.
I never knew until that moment how bad it could hurt to lose something you never really had.
~ The Wonder Years ~