So, today happens to be the one day a year dedicated to raising awareness of arthritis around the globe. I know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability in this country. 1 in 5 people have some form of arthritis. 300,000 children in America have Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. It's a crappy disease. Emma has had it for five months now. Just five little months of chronic inflammation, discomfort, and medication. Who knows how many more months she'll deal with this. It's likely that she'll never know life without arthritis... unless we find a cure.
Rather than dwell on the negative, today I tried to spend time thinking about the good in my life. Here are a few of my favorites:
- A wonderful house, family close by, and food in the pantry!
- Friends! Old friends, new friends, good friends!
- An early diagnosis and treatment for Emma's arthritis.
- Free PT/OT through California Children's Services! Em just qualified!
- A husband who loves me.
- An incredible daughter
We made a great dinner tonight, yummy breaded chicken, asparagus, and rice, followed by strawberries and grapes for dessert. It was delicious! Then I stuck the kidlette in the bath and got into bedtime mode when I noticed that she was starting to drink the bath water. GROSS! I got her a cup and some fresh water and she went to town practicing her drinking skills. Since she hasn't mastered the fine art of drinking out of a regular cup, I thought it was brilliant to let her practice in the tub. She can spill all over herself, choke and sputter, and it doesn't make a mess! So I gave her more water. She gulped down too much, coughed too many times, and before I knew it, the complete contents of her stomach made an appearance in the bathtub. Awesome.
While I worked on cleaning up the beauty that was the tub, Barry wrapped Miss Em in a towel and took her to the kitchen where he commenced dinner number two, because I do not want send her to bed with an empty stomach. While sitting on a chair in nothing but a towel, Emma starts saying, "My poo poo." Emma is amazing, but she doesn't know the difference between number one and number two. I ran, grabbed the potty, and stuck her on it. Usually she doesn't sit on the thing for more than a second, and she's never used it for it's purpose, but tonight, sitting on the potty on the chair at the kitchen table, Emma peed! Our first glimpse into potty training success! It was splendid! (Yes, I'm genuinely excited and actually blogging about this.)
I guess the point of this story is that you never know what's going to happen. Everyone is always learning. I'm still figuring out the do's and don'ts of motherhood. (Don't give your kid too much water on a full stomach. Got it now.) Sometimes yucky, unexpected things happen, but you just clean it up and move on. It helps to have someone to support you, to help during the difficult times. Then, when you're in the middle of the madness, you just might see a moment of success, a step in the right direction. Growth and development happen when you least expect, and those little moments of awesomeness are rays of light during a storm.
That's my message to raise awareness about arthritis. That's my message to remind me to hope.