Thoughts on Chronic Illness

"Is your back hurting you, Mama?" a cool little hand slides up my shirt and rubs my back.

Most mornings, my room is her first stop after waking. She slips in quietly, reheats my heating pad, and returns to tuck it over a nagging shoulder, a back that feels broken, or a throbbing hip.

Heat quiets the pain and promises soothe my fear.

His promise to love in sickness or in health.
His promise never to leave or forsake me.

Chronic illness crept in and changed our lives. It doesn't affect just me. It changes our marriage, our family; the rhythms of everyday life.

Today I sit in pain, as if a cloak of discomfort has been settled over my shoulders and wraps around my entire body. I feel like a turtle that just can't get up to speed. But I sit assured by the love my family has for me, something chronic illness hasn't changed. I'm still his wife, still that girl he fell in love with over a decade ago. I'm still their mama, and despite the limping and fatigue and feeling decades older than I am, I'm still the one who bakes cookies, reads stories, and braids wet hair.

I'm still me, and I'm still loved. Chronic illness doesn't change that.


  1. I love the love and joy and contentment I can hear in your words and see in the pictures of your adorable family. Beautiful.

  2. Do you know that just today I heard an ad on the radio about your condition? Urging anyone with certain symptoms to get checked out because they might have Ankylosing Spondylitits. Other than you, I had never heard of it before. It's good that people are becoming more aware. =)

  3. Jennifer, our family has lived with chronic illness for much of our married life. My husband suffered a severe back injury and chronic health issues along with it. It is by God's grace we live and move and have our being. It has made us compassionate to others who suffer. And it helps us treasure the good days we have together. The vows we took on our wedding day, "in sickness and in health" are much more meaningful.

  4. Yes! You are still you, and you are always loved! I am sorry that you have pain and that so much of your life is changed, but I'm thankful those important constants remain. Love you!

  5. Hi Jennier, in reading your posts on here, I thought about asking you this, have all other autoimmune diseases been rule out? I mean as in having AS and other? My knowledge is limited to my own dx of 7 I think it is, chronic illnesses, 6 being definiately AI and one They aren't sure of. As you proably know, having on AI disease predisposes you and other family members to having AI disease in generaly, not specific to AS. So many of them can cause widespread joint pain. Do you have stiffness with your AS? I don't know if this is still the thinking of docs who treat it but one determine factor used to be morning stiffness and pain that gets better as the day goes by and a person moves around. Also that it gets better as a person gets older. I have noticed that as my severe attacks were when I was younger, although it has left it's mark on my left side and hip, can't lay on my left side and have some L hip and SI pain. Just wondered for you if you've been checked, tested, for other in addition to AS? I know too, though, that theories and beliefs about this and other CI are constantly changing as they learn more. I know the pain just from this is horrible. Also are you in any meds now they use, such as methotrexate and others? The med I take for MS, they are seeing helps with the AS, Tysabri, thought it' only approved for MS, it seems to help me with the AS and Ulcerative colitis. If you have eye problelms includ. pain, inflammation, temp blindness or blurry vision, seeing double, you may want to see a neuro to c heck for MS, not assume it's AS. The first attack I had of Optic Neuritis, a common symptom in MS, esp. initially, my doc and I both assumed it was due to the AS, but MRI showed differently. It was just a thought, I sometimes tell some of my experience if it will help others in anyway. God Bless you.

  6. Bee,
    That is a good tip on not assuming eye problems are always related to AS. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    My rheumatologist thought perhaps I have another autoimmune condition, yes. It is not clear yet what that might be. I also have some thyroid issues, and pelvic pain from my history of miscarriage and surgeries.

    Yes, I have stiffness with my AS.

    My condition is not under control at present and I will be pursuing a different treatment plan soon.

    Thank you for your comment!


I value your comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...