Enbrel Trial: The Tale of Thirteen Injections

I have been wanting to write for many weeks, but this medication makes me so fatigued. It's difficult to make it out of a dark room once I have put one of the girls to bed. The three month trial of Enbrel is officially complete. Last week I met with my rheumatologist. Accompanying me to each doctor's appointment is a list of questions stored on my phone. This is a running list of questions compiled between each appointment. I have a separate running note for every doctor. My memory is worse than it used to be and I really try to...

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Thank You for Year Three

ece mom

Dear Friends, Three years have passed since we have started this journey of sharing stories together. It has been quite the rollercoaster compared to year one and year two. Thanks for sticking around and sharing your stories alongside mine. This past year I have shared about my journey through postpartum depression, some stories about parenting, and about my diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When I started this blog three years ago, my hope was it would be a place to share invitations to play that I did at home with my daughter. It has turned out to be quite the opposite....

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Chasing Light for the Invisible Mom

chasing light

It's May and there is a highlighted day on the calendar this month that may bring along many emotions, especially for those invisible moms. Mother's Day is a short ten days away and for many this is a difficult day to navigate. How can we honour those mothers who do not have a child in their arms, the mother who holds her child only with her heart, the mother who struggles to answer "how many children do you have?" It's easy to celebrate when we have visible children. The world accepts the visible, but what about the invisible? What about those...

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The Death of a Pet

death of a pet

When I went downstairs this morning I noticed that Goldie, our new golden gouramis fish was lifeless at the bottom of the tank. We had only brought her home last week. Naturally, my husband would've scooped her up and flushed her, but we remembered that our five-year-old daughter was not yet home. She had spent the night at my parents' house and I knew that coming home to the death of a pet would create more questions than understanding.  M, our five-year-old, has been faced with more death and grief than a typical child her age. She has had to say...

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The Gift of Spoons

spoon theory

Have you heard of the spoon theory? Soon after my diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis, I joined many online groups for support. I was confused when I read about people talking about spoons. In previous posts I have mentioned that I’m constantly calculating the cost of my day. Spoons is the analogy that those living with chronic illness use for energy, or the cost of each activity. Those of us living with chronic illness are known as Spoonies. After learning about this analogy it made me feel a little less insane. Some things I do to save spoons: - Load the...

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Battling Chronic Illness

chronic illness

I have known that this day was coming for the past five months. Treatment started today. Last October I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and at that first appointment with the rheumatologist, she let me know the recommended treatment is biologics. I was not keen on this treatment as it meant that I'd have to inject myself weekly. I had attributed my pain to being rear-ended three times and had hopes of it going away. While the motor vehicle accidents contributed to the pain and flares, a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease meant this pain was here to stay. As the...

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Repurposing Time to Repurpose My Marriage

stefanie tong

Time is subjective. We all crave more of it, and try to pack as much as we can into the 24 hours that we are given each day. The minutes quickly turn into hours, hours into days, and soon we are measuring in years. It has been eight years since I vowed that death would be the only thing that would separate me from my husband. When we met, it took me minutes to realize that I enjoyed talking to Brian. Minutes easily turned into hours on the phone when we were dating. It was three days of phone calls...

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Happy Birthday, My Dear Rainbow Baby

rainbow baby

Dearest Rainbow Baby, I cannot believe a year has passed since you have joined our family. Memories of carrying you are still fresh. When I close my eyes, I can still feel your kicks against my ribs, and your punches against my abdomen upon hearing your sister's voice. My dear Rainbow Baby, I have to admit it was a terrifying journey bringing you into this world. For thirty nine weeks while you were in my womb, I had a difficult time connecting with you. There was no doubt of my love for you, but I was so afraid of loving you...

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Five Parenting Lessons From My Five-Year-Old

five lessons from my five year old

It is true that the years pass quickly. Suddenly, I am the mother of an outspoken, creative, strong-willed little human being. Five years ago, little Boo made me Mommy. It has been quite the journey getting here. The journey has included a lot more grief than I ever could've imagined, but here we are, navigating the path together, and finding our way through this journey as a family. As a parent, I have always thought about the many lessons that I want to pass on to my daughter. All the disappointments I have faced, I want to spare her from. The tears...

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Diagnosis: Ankylosing Spondylitis

ankylosing spondylitis

I have been quiet here on the blog. I've been quiet everywhere, and I've been staring blankly at this screen for a while with a loss for words. A little ironic, I know. After 12 years of chronic pain, two years of tests, imaging, and waiting to see a rheumatologist, years of pain now has a name. I have officially been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). In short, my body is attacking itself, and over time, my spine may fuse. The diagnosis has dashed my hope a little. When I thought the pain was just from car accidents, I had the hope...

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