The Attitude of Gratitude

Today I am pleased to bring you another guest post, this time from another Juvenile Arthritis mom, who has her own great blog over at Scruggbug Corner. Its all about the “Attitude of Gratitude” even in an admittedly less-than-pleasant situation. I hope you find her post inspirational, and that it gives you another perspective in addition to challenging you to look at your own situation in a different light.

ScruggbugCornerLivingwithJuvenileArthritis

Silver Linings- By Herchel of Scruggbug Corner

My daughter won’t remember a time when she didn’t have JA and I am thankful for that.  No, I am not a sadist wishing pain on my baby girl.  Obviously I would prefer her to not have Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at all.

 

I am also thankful that we detected all of her food allergies before she was 18 months old.   Things started going haywire when she was weaned. Suddenly, she was always sick.  My previously “perfectly quiet” baby started screeching all the time (she reverts every now and then.)   Still I am glad that she doesn’t remember a time before JIA and that she’s never known any way of eating besides her “special” foods.  (It turns out they are tied to the same immune system malfunction.)

 

I came to the realization that this was a blessing the day my sister tasted Piper’s  “special” ice cream, “So Delicious” Coconut milk ice cream.  Though the coconut taste is mild and the treat is still yummy, it is clearly NOT the same as ice cream.  My sister said, “Yuck!” and Piper responded, “You mean YUMMY.”

 

She’s never known differently and is just stubborn enough not to believe anybody who tells her that her special food is not delicious and right.  She’s taken a sip of her brother’s milk by accident and spit it out, crying that it was bad and rotten.   She isn’t missing out on “good/real” food because she’s never enjoyed it.

 

Coming back to arthritis, though she has only recently been officially diagnosed, she’s been experiencing the flares and pain since she was under two years old.   She is now five and this year has brought the worst flares yet.  However, it doesn’t affect her psychologically…at least not yet.  She isn’t missing out on anything.  She doesn’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t have sporadic knee pain.  She feels the pain and when it ebbs, she doesn’t think about it anymore.

 

On the other hand, my mother suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis.  She was diagnosed as an adult after forty years of being the most efficient, hard-working woman I have known.   I don’t remember her ever sitting down and doing nothing.  She was always up cleaning something.  I once watched her mop the floor three times in one day.  ONE DAY.

 

JIA and RA are not the same, but the two diseases have similarities–notably, the pain.  RA affects my mother’s small joints and her large.   There are days when she just can’t move.   However, what breaks my heart is how the physical limitations affect her psychologically.  This was a woman who couldn’t stand to be idle; a woman who hates clutter and hates relying on others to clean.  (I think it’s because nobody can clean like she can.)

 

When she was a stay at home mom while I was young, our house was always spotless.  (ok—except my room)  I see her longing to go back in time to before RA.  I thank God that I don’t have to see that same look in my daughter’s eyes.

 

I pray for remission.   I pray that more people become informed about this invisible disease.  I pray for more silver linings along the way, and I am grateful for the silver linings I’ve already found.

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Comments:

  1. I have a friend with JA and she has always had it. She has good and bad days, but medication helps her. I pray they find a way to make it better for your daughter. Blessings. #SITSBlogging
    Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas recently posted…Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pumpkin MuffinsMy Profile

  2. It’s amazing what thoughts we can have as parents. My son has an egg allergy and I’ve always said that I was glad that he didn’t know what he was missing. We recognized his allergy before he turned 1, at the time his allergy was so was bad that he couldn’t even eat baked goods. We had to make a special cake for his first birthday, and for his second we skipped the cake and made dirt.
    Elizabeth (Rock-A-Bye Parents) recently posted…Giveaway Link-Up: February 8, 2014My Profile

    • I think you captured the very idea that Herchel was trying to convey- its a little harder if you’ve known about it and lost it, than if you were blissfully ignorant. When it comes to the pain and suffering parts of growing up, I think we all like for our children to be “blissfully ignorant.” I know it was very hard on my older son to go from star athlete to wheelchair and back. It did give him an amazing life perspective though.

  3. I’ve learned a lot about gratitude in the short time I have been a blogger. It’s amazing to learn about the struggles of others and the things we take for granted. I admire your attitude and pray for remission with you.
    Karen @TheMissingNiche recently posted…Because Larsen’s Been a Bad Boy, Wheelchair Sales are Up in New YorkMy Profile

  4. I truly believe that there are few things in the world more powerful than gratitude. It may not change the situation, but it helps give you something decent to hold on to in the meantime.
    Elizabeth recently posted…The MDA Saved My LifeMy Profile

  5. Sometimes it is a blessing when they know no other way, I agree. It is something for kids to be proud, strong and confident in who they are, even if their ways are different. ((hugs))
    Mindie recently posted…Quick and Easy Cheese DanishMy Profile

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