baby boy cutest blog on the block template

Being Chronically Mommy...

Welcome to the second in my chronic pain blog series. My first was my most well-known about my life struggle, balance, etc. with chronic pain and illness in "I Already Gave My Right Arm To Be Ambidextrous!" It is now titled "Now Read My HIPS!" and the focus has changed a bit to be more about how I am a woman with several joint diseases and conditions with a shoulder replacement and two hip replacements and am belly dancing! Visit Now Read My HIPS! to follow that entertaining, fun journey ( I also have a Blog Talk Radio Show with the same title about chronic pain and healing.

This blog is a little bit different. It has been focusing on my being a mommy and having a chronic illness. I have been and will continue to focus on health and pain info as well that I once wrote about in Now Read My HIPS! I think it is important to separate this from the rest of my life. It is not easy to have a chronic illness, but adding a child to the mix certainly has its share of trying times as well as beautiful, unforgettable moments.

I am so grateful for our little boy Mick. I can't believe that he is 6 years old as of December of 2016. Time has flown by! He is a dream come true. He has completed my confusing, complicated life. In a very huge way, he has made my life a lot more worth living. Although I have a wonderful husband, we always wanted a family, and I feel like we are now complete and happy. I have something to wake up to, and I have something to live for~Mick! It really is it's own microcosm of my life~Being Chronically Mommy!

...Being Chronically Mommy!

...Being Chronically Mommy!
...Being Chronically Mommy!

Baby Ticker

 Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these daya are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Families are Forever

Blog with Integrity
Powered By Blogger

Friday, July 13, 2012

What Do YOU Think of When You Hear The Word " ARTHRITIS"?--Ask Parker

What do YOU think of when you hear the word “ARTHRITIS”?

When I was younger, if I didn’t know the meaning of a word, my mom would say “look it up”…well, I decided to look up “arthritis” for the fun of it…
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines arthritis as: “inflammation of joints due to infectious, metabolic, or constitutional causes; also: a specific arthritic condition (as gouty arthritis or psoriatic arthritis)”
Let’s dive in a little deeper… Most of us hear the word arthritis and think of the form called “osteoarthritis” and yet we use the word “arthritis” as if it is interchangeable with the word “osteoarthritis”.   We all know someone, usually an older person, who has arthritis…in fact, it is so “accepted” as the norm that many elders will say something like “oh, it’s just my arthritis acting up” if you ask why they are moving with caution in some way.  Our culture/society expects this because it’s only natural as one ages.  But why do we accept pain as acceptable…it’s not something anyone should have to experience.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Osteoarthrtits (OA) as:  arthritis typically with onset during middle or old age that is characterized by degenerative and sometimes hypertrophic changes in the bone and cartilage of one or more joints and a progressive wearing down of apposing joint surfaces with consequent distortion of joint position and is marked symptomatically especially by pain, swelling, and stiffness—abbreviation OA; called also degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease, hypertrophic arthritis”
OA is NOT what children with juvenile arthritis have!  Juvenile arthritis is a form of rheumatoid arthritis and more specifically is differentiated from OA because it’s an autoimmune arthritis.  Juvenile arthritis is not NATURAL in any of its various forms.  Yet, many families experiencing JA have heard at one point or another, something to the effect of “Oh, I know about that (referring to JA), I get arthritis in my …” or “My grandma has arthritis…” or  “I had tennis elbow and that really hurts…”  All of these comments are very well-intended.  They are a way of showing compassion or an attempt to relate to a disease that many know very little about.  But as a parent or a child/teen dealing with the disease, these comments are incredibly frustrating to hear spoken aloud because we painfully know that osteoarthritis is not synonymous with Juvenile arthritis in any way shape or form; except that they share one commonality in that the diseases both affect joints.  Juvenile arthritis (also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) is an autoimmune disease.
Merriam-Webster defines rheumatoid arthritis as:  a usually chronic disease that is considered an autoimmune disease and is characterized especially by pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, and sometimes destruction of joints—abbreviation RA; called also atrophic arthritis”
and autoimmune is:  of, relating to, or caused by antibodies or T cells that attack molecules, cells, or tissues of the organism producing them”
and atrophy (verb: atrophic) is:  “decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue; also : arrested development or loss of a part or organ incidental to the normal development or life of an animal or plant”
Juvenile arthritis (JA) comes in many forms and severities range from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Just as the various 100 plus forms of JA differ, so does the treatment.  Researchers are still learning about JA; there is still so much that is unknown.  And even if one treatment plan works for one child with the very same form of JA as another, it doesn’t guarantee it will work for every child with that form.  Each child is an individual.  Thus the challenge for pediatric rheumatologists is great.
I know that families who read our blog, especially whose child is newly diagnosed, may worry even more after reading about Parker.  But I want to reassure families to remember that just because something doesn’t work (or does work) for our child, doesn’t mean the same will happen if the treatment is used for their child.  I have heard that some families get really scared after reading about Parker.  We never intended to scare anyone, but we do ALL desperately need a cure for our children no matter where we are at in this JA journey.  Parker does have a severe and progressive form of JA called systemic on-set juvenile arthritis (also known as still’s disease).  Recently, we have learned that even with systemic on-set there are some who have less than 5 joints involved (oligo) and some who have more than 5 joints involved (poly) and that it’s children who are poly in nature that seem to have a more progressive form of the disease and that children with systemic on-set seem to have more immunology issues. For readers who are not familiar with systemic on-set JA, these children not only have joint involvement but also can have issues with rashes, fevers, and inflammation in any organ in the entire body   (source:  
Our family has chosen to be vocal about our experiences because we feel it is one way we can raise awareness and advocate for what is needed for ALL CHILDREN with autoimmune diseases.  They ALL deserve equal attention and we really feel that if researchers could figure out one autoimmune disease, it would help with making progress on all autoimmune diseases.

Michael, Logan, Parker, and Jesse (Logan's best bud) watch the sunset

 So tonight the rain clouds drifted away as we watch the sunset on another glorious day.  We send out love to all families dealing with Juvenile Arthritis in any size, shape, or form.  May we all see a CURE become reality for our future children!

IAAM's JA Awareness MOVEMENT....

Thank you for being the next Guest Blogger on both of my blogs. You are so wonderful for sharing your Personal JA Story. If you have any questions
for mom, dad, big brother, or this little warrior Parker, please go to their blog, Parker's Purple Playa Power..Pounding JA. "A mom, dad, big brother, and warrior sharing our perspectives of Juvenile Arthritis, a painful autoimmune illness affecting joints and internal organs…JA affects over 300,000 children in the US and many also have other autoimmune illnesses. There are multiple forms of JA; some less severe than others. Parker has system onset JA with overlap syndrome, along with severe allergies and asthma. Although there isn't a cure yet; we proudly pound at JA together with HOPE for a cure!" 

Whether you have JA, are a parent of someone with JA, or care for someone with JA, I am looking for Guest Bloggers all month long!!!! If you have a JA Personal Story you would like to share, please email your story to Dana at with your title, blog name and URL, your name as you would like it published on my two blogs and on IAAM's Facebook Public Pages. If you do not have a blog, that is OK, you can still share your story, simply send me your story in a Word Document with your picture attached and I will put it into my blog for you. It is that simple. ;-)
I also want to let all the JA parents out there (and JA supporters and advocates) that IAAM initially launched our Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Movement Monday, July 9th, dedicated to set a new standard in JA awareness :). We started the campaign by hosting a Video Contest unlike anything seen or done before--but until now awareness has not reached an acceptable level so we are going to change all of that! 

This initial campaign, a 60 secondish video commercial competition for YOU to help blast dozens of short messages to the world so others can understand. The subject? JA and OA: Differentiating Arthritis. These short segments should simply show WHY JA is different than OA.
Because people are not always comfortable with new things, our video idea is a totally new idea, we want to make sure everyone has a chance do a good job, and we want to make sure we have enough time to make it fun for everyone, IAAM CEO Tiffany Westrich is using her time to host her "training sessions." Tiffany is extremely talented at her training sessions, and they should run long enough so that everyone gets enough help to understand how to do the videos and turn brainstorming concept into imagery.  She will also tape the training sessions like a course on brainstorming concept to imagery, which she taught in college. We will launch a new call for videos from the 16th through the 30th of August.
Voting will take place in September. 3 Finalists will be selected,  resulting from IAAM voting and 20% PUBLIC voting so you can blast that sucker everywhere! One Grand Prize winner (selected in October) will receive a complimentary rental house7 night stay, 4 bedroom, 3 bath property in Orlando Florida just a few miles from Disney and Universal Studios. Prize donated by FloridaHolidayHomes4U. Restrictions apply.

We KNOW you can say what the differences are, but if you aren't sure how to put those words into an effective video HAVE NO FEAR! As part of this initiative, remember that Tiffany, IAAM CEO and Founder, happened to also teach advanced design at a college level, which included how to take concepts into imagery. She is the one who designs all of our posters and videos, and she is donating her time to personally teach you how to do it too!

Interested in learning more?! Awesome! Email for more details!!!

IAAM's Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Movement has begun!

Time to put your thinking caps on and decide how YOU would like to see JA differentiated from OA in short, impactful video form...and IAAM will TEACH you how to make your visions a reality! Sign up today to participate at!


In the meantime, I am hosting a Blog Carnival on my 2 Blogs and facebook Public Pages. Please send your blog posts to Dana at The Blog Carnival should help with your brainstorming of ideas for the making of your video for the JA Video Contest. The Topic for the Blog Carnival is also JA and OA: Differentiating Arthritis. WHY  is JA different than OA? All Blog Carnival submissions are due July 27th and will go live on August 4th.

No comments:

Watch live streaming video from arthritisfoundation at