Dear Mom with an autoimmune disease during COVID-19,

I see you. I am here with you during Covid-19 battling your autoimmune disease. I have the same racing fears you do. I was sharing your same shoes the day you were diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I was there with you when you worried if it would get under control. I am here with you now as we go have to choose between going every 6 weeks for blood work or waiting it out. I am here now staring down all the possible outcomes and the fear that tags along with it. An unfriendly and uneasy companion.
Covid-19 wielded such a punch that it knocked our whole world off it’s axis. They have given us tips to remain healthy but to the groups that are more vulnerable, you wonder if it’s enough? Stress is at an all time high. We are now the mothers, teachers, coaches, therapists, maids, cooks and entertainers for the foreseeable future. No stress? Mmmm…. ok.
But, like most parents, I push forward. With all the pressure, I am scared. Scared of delayed labs, changes in medication via telehealth, an inability to keep stress down and of exposure.
Yes, I worry about coronavirus and it’s implications for me and my family and my autoimmune disease. But, also, the potential exposure that has come along with all of this. What if someone sees what I’m doing and it’s deemed “not enough?” The school work we diligently do every day doesn’t ever compete with what is sent home from the school. The extreme fatigue that comes without getting a break. How can I choose between their education and a nap?
Asking for help during this time doesn’t do you a bit of good. There is no one to tag in. No medicine that could make you feel better, no stress release and the restrictions are just squeezing you even tighter.
So, now I’m with you. I’m skipping labs ( under my doctor’s supervision), I’ve had the scans for cancer. I’m hoping this goes away soon. I’ve had the doctors say that they’ve never seen levels like mine in their practices. And, worried that I’ll hear that once again. I am with you worrying that the autoimmune disease will be something that will never be settled. And, that this delay in care could have big meaning later

I am hopeful that a flare up doesn’t happen in quarantine due to my autoimmune disease. What do we do if it does?

  1. Ask your doctor for telehealth options.
  2. Motherhood is a gift. It is easy to fall into it and all at once. You say goodbye to parts of yourself that don’t serve your new role. Bit by bit, it chips away and remakes you into the mom you see before you in the mirror. It’s hard for us as moms to ask for help, say something isn’t right and to stop and address concerns. You have to make time. You have to put yourself first sometimes. Ask for help!!!
  3. Make sure you are writing down any new or exacerbated symptoms. Stress can impact your immune system so these could be little warning signs.
  4. Laugh with your friends or have some wine via FaceTime.
  5. Date your husband. Send him your funniest memes, play a game together or dive into a series on Netflix.
  6. Go see Jesus on Sundays. Many churches are offering online services.
  7. Have fun with your kids and sprinkle a little education wherever you go. I found it is less stressful if we are outside learning than in. Plus, vitamin D y’all!!
  8. When you fee your stress level rising, change direction. My mom always said “ if it’s grumpy, put it in dirt or water.” And, that still rings true. A little nature hike to find a mud puddle or a bath can change the day around. For anyone. No matter the age.
  9. Go ahead and schedule an appointment in the summer. Even if it gets cancelled, it’ll bump you up on the call the reschedule list.
  10. Make sure you are eating what you’re supposed to and exercising.

Little eyes are watching and absorbing all of your lessons. They look to you to calibrate their world. Give them honest answers. You don’t have to be superwoman. You can have a hard day, time, week or month. What you can’t do is quit. You have to stay up with your health however you can, protect yourself however you can.

Shower your children with love because that’s what they will remember from this time. It isn’t the worksheets and math facts, it’s everything in between.

Take care of yourselves.

Photo Credit :: Jessica Rockowitz Photography


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