Parenting With RRMS
- by Dana B.
- April 23, 2018
Dana B. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
After being diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), I immediately thought about my young son. I wondered how I would be able to manage the disease and be a mom to my little boy. I also had to figure out how I would talk about my RRMS with him.
Every family needs to determine when it’s the right time to communicate about chronic illnesses to children. For us, my one-and-only son was six years old when I told him I was living with RRMS. It was important for me to tell him in a way that would not scare him. I explained to him that sometimes I might need to rest, I would have to take medicine, and we may have to make some changes to our daily activities. To my surprise, my son handled everything like a champ. In fact, I don’t think the news and changes even fazed him.
Despite living with RRMS, I’m still able to be present for my son as he grows up by being mindful of my needs as they relate to the disease. For example, instead of taking trips to the zoo when it’s really hot outside, we go when it’s cooler. Instead of standing on the sidelines to watch his sports practices, I bring a chair and sit. I also bring my portable water mister and cold water to drink to help me stay cool.
I try to take everyday situations and turn them into teachable moments for my son, and my RRMS sure does give me a lot of those moments. My son has attended several educational MS events with me. As a mom, I feel it’s important that he continues to learn about the disease so he understands the changes in our life.
I have always wanted to set a good example for my son. I want him to appreciate life and all that it has to offer. I want him to make the best of any given situation and learn to persevere. I want my son to grow up to be a man of character.
Looking back, the initial fear of being a good mom to my little boy drove me to become more patient and helped me to focus on making the most of every day we have together. For me, being a mom with RRMS has really meant just making a few modifications. Today, I am the mom I always wanted to be.
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Linda Grimm | April 26, 2018Dana, I love how you have incorporated your illness with activities with your son. I think it is very important for him to see that not everything is possible to do on certain days and you have been adaptive to other activities on extremely hot days that he enjoys.I try to attend as many of my grandson's soccer and football games as possible and I will never regret the time I have spent with him
Teva's Lift MS Team | April 27, 2018What a great way to think about things, Linda!
Jenny | May 01, 2018I also waited until my son was six to explain my diagnosis. It was definitely the right choice
Teva's Lift MS Team | May 02, 2018Thank you for sharing, Jenny. We wish you the best!
Sharon klug | May 23, 2018Would love to try
Teva's Lift MS Team | May 24, 2018Sharon, it’s great to hear you enjoy the community we’ve built here! We welcome your contributions to it.