I recently embarked on the terrifying and exciting journey to start a family. For a woman without JRA, after some planning with your husband or loved one, you decide to start trying and just go for it. You may change your diet or get a physical exam but not much more planning is involved. However, for someone with JRA there is a lot of planning. My husband and I started the initial conversation with my rheumatologist in December and decided to beigin the process of stopping my current medication treatment (which was contraindicated in pregnancy) to try to find a medicine regime that would keep my JRA under control, but not be contraindicated during pregnancy. I started Enbrel in January with the hopes that it would keep my disease under control until I tried to get pregnant and then as a back up if I needed it during pregnancy. Enbrel is an old buddy of mine from when I was younger, so I am cautiously optimistic.
I am currently in frequent communication with my specialists and am being followed monthly by ophthalmologist (to monitor my uveitis). However despite everything going as planned, I feel like I am living in constant fear that my JRA will not be able to be controlled on just Enbrel. Every twinge I feel in my knee or floater in my eye instills great panic about an upcoming flare and what that may mean to my future planning.
Fortunately, I have been busy at work and am trying to just think about it day by day. I find it hard to believe it is already March. I do wish that this journey was not so complicated but I know it will be worth it in the end.