Wife 42 reactive arthritis - struggles looking after baby

paulfoel Member Posts: 2
edited 3. Mar 2014, 07:08 in Living with Arthritis archive
Wife was really ill with asthma during pregnancy. Hospitalised 3 times.

Baby was born 8 months ago. Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with reactive arthritis which they think has been brought on by all the infections she had whilst pregnant.

She was on steroids for a lot of her pregnancy (because of the asthma) and for short time afterwards. 8 months later and things are not great.

Hard enough looking after a baby but she struggles to get up and down the stairs even. Any sort of walking means her joints swell up and shes in pain for days.

Got an appointment to see a specialist again next week so we're hoping for some answers.

One thing that strikes us is that the health profession don't seem to care about your personal situation. They just expect you to get on with it.

Family support is limited. Both our parents are old. Her mother does come to stay once a week (but she doesnt drive and lives 45 mins away) but shes in her 70s so we can't expect too much.

My problem is I'm self-employed. No work = no pay. Sometimes I have to spend long days away at work which becomes a problem.

Just wondering - is there any sort of care service that I can get (or pay for?) to help out? Even if its just cleaning the house....

We've started putting baby into childcare once a week now to give mum a rest also.


  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So sorry to hear how your wife is struggling. New motherhood is tough even when you feel well, and arthritis is simply pants to live with.

    I don't know of any help, but I did wonder whether your health visitor might be able to point you and your wife towards some extra support? Sometimes it's hard to ask for help, but health visitors are there to support families with children under 5. Your health visitor can be contacted via your doctors surgery or at the local health centre baby clinic. Alternatively try trawling the internet for under 5 services in your local area- here in the midlands we have a network of Children's Centres staffed by a range of professionals who work alongside families with under 5's who have specific needs or issues.

    Sorry I can't help more, and I really hope you and your lovely family gat some much needed support very soon.

    Deb x
  • Sharon2960
    Sharon2960 Member Posts: 329
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So sorry to hear of your situation. In our locality, people who are doing child are courses at the local college help new mums on a fairly regular basis - maybe it's worth contacting any colleges in your area? Or speak to your health visitor, who might be able to put you in touch with someone like Surestart. Please keep us posted with your progress
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's tough struggling with babies and arthritis. You do adapt (ie find odd ways of lifting etc) but it's hard graft.

    You could try your local government and get a referral to an Occupational Therapist who might suggest adaptions to the home.

    I used to have someone come in once a week to do the hardest of the cleaning jobs but I arranged it privately for myself. There may be some organisation in your area which would arrange this. It's just a matter of googling the right words.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am sorry your wife is having health problems which in turn are making an already difficult and tiring job looking after a baby, very difficult.

    I wondered if your wife may like to have a chat with the helplines, number at the top of the page. Many people have been helped by them and even just sharing problems/troubles can help a little. They may also have some ideas for you both.

    I appreciate you cannot really have time off being self employed. Life can be so tough at times.

    I would love to pop round and help out and give cuddles to an 8 month old baby.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If you can make a claim for PIP then if successful the money can be used to pay for childcare or a home help or sending the ironing to a special shop. That is what they tell you the money is for.

    Trouble is there can be a very long wait for a claim to be looked at.

    I'd like to say that a few of us sufferers first got symptoms after a birth (mine included) so it is possible that it wasn't her ill health during pregnancy that triggered it. Pregnancy can take a toll in itself.

    I hope she will be able to get her symptoms under control so she will be more able to care for babe herself. I've been through this myself,

    Elizabeth xx
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein