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When Life Gives You Lemons | Personal

When Life Gives You Lemons; What’s Been Going On Lately | Personal

I have not been super active with blogging over the last month or so, but things have been really hectic around here. Just last week, we moved into our new home in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia! It’s been really exciting to move into this new area and our new home, but we all know how stressful moving and buying a home is, so I’ll leave it at that. We are slowly but surely settling in!

We actually have some more stuff going on that I haven’t really talked about online or with a ton of friends. I think I was taking my time digesting all of the information and what it could mean for our family.

Around Christmastime, we noticed that Aislynn’s right ankle was super swollen, and she was having some trouble with walking. She would whine to be picked up, and she wasn’t as active as she had been.

The day after Christmas, we took her to see a doctor, but it wasn’t all that helpful, as x-rays revealed no serious injury to her ankle. They suggested rest over the next two weeks as it might have just been a sprain. Well, three weeks passed, and there was no improvement in the swelling. Aislynn was still whining to be picked up all the time; she didn’t want to do a lot of walking, and we could just tell it was still really bothering her.

We took her to see another doctor; another x-ray was done. There was still no answer, but the doctor decided to refer us to a pediatric ortho specialist. That entire appointment seems like such a blur to me as the doctor used terms like JRA and rheumatological and MRI and mass and infection…I could barely keep up. The specialist suspects Aislynn may have JRA, which stands for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and is a disease, usually characterized by joint swelling, muscle stiffness, and pain. I avoided researching it more on the internet for days following that appointment, because I was still trying to take in the fact that something could be seriously wrong with my child. I think I wanted to keep telling myself that it couldn’t possibly be something like that. It’s not exactly something I was used to, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to whatever this is. The doctor ordered further testing to rule out things like an infection somewhere in her joints, among other things, and we are still awaiting all of the results on the blood work.

Today, I am headed to the hospital with Aislynn for her MRI. My baby girl, who has not even reached her second birthday, has to be sedated for the first, and hopefully only, time in her life in order for them to get a better look at what the heck is going on with her. I have to watch my child be put under, and it is so so so hard for me to even think about. I am praying that this MRI will reveal the issue behind all the swelling and pain that Aislynn has been experiencing. We want to know what’s going on so that we can get her the help that she needs to get better.

We ultimately want our baby to be the super active, joyful little girl she was been the past 20 months. We can see that there is something wrong. We can tell in the way she cries, in the way she is always reaching for me…and it just breaks my entire heart. I want so badly for my baby girl to feel better. I am desperate for an answer after today. I need to know if we are dealing with a diagnosis of JRA, or if it’s something else. I think situations like this can be 10 times harder because you don’t definitively know what the issue is.

I have faith that God is with us and is watching over my sweet girl. I have faith that we are going to figure out what’s been going on. And I have to have faith that she is going to be okay.

Aside from all of the business over the last month with packing up our tiny apartment in Northern Virginia, buying a home in another state, moving my business to another state, and moving into our new place in WV, we’ve had to deal with this personally and quietly. I have been so reserved about this huge, scary thing that’s been going in our lives, because we simply aren’t clear on what it is we are dealing with. I’ve held back my tears until I randomly burst, like in the car on the way home. Or in the kitchen making a snack. I’m trying to be strong for her and for our family, but it’s just. hard. y’all.

As her mom, I am just so terrified what this is all going to look like in the future, and it kills me that I can’t take all of the pain from her myself. If it is JRA, it can be different for everyone. People can be okay and live perfectly normal lives with medication and exercise, but it can greatly affect others as well. JRA can inhibit growth; it can confine people to wheelchairs. It’s the scariest thing for me to think about, and I have no idea what this next year looks like for us. I’m worried it’s going to get so much harder for her. I’m worried it’s going to be full of doctor’s appointments. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m so hopeful for a real answer and a kick-ass treatment plan!

When I think of the other things that have been going on, like our move getting delayed twice because of the winter storm…it all seems so trivial. It seems stupid to complain about things like that because we’ve got more important things to focus on. Right now, we just want Aislynn to get better and to feel more like herself again really soon.

Please keep her in your thoughts! We love our girl so much, and we are hopeful for better days real soon!

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Photos by Michael and Carina Photography


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  • Alicia

    Oh no, baby girl! Poor little Aislynn. I’m sure this is eating you up inside. Just remember to breathe, and ask for help if you need it. We’re all here for you! 😘ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    Sweet little one, I’m so sorry you’re facing this struggle! Sending you some warm thoughts and lots of hugs. No matter what happens you will both get through this, She’s sweet and strong just like her momma!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Pizzo

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sweet girl, Bethanne! My eyes welled up just reading this! Best of luck today!!ReplyCancel

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