But what do you say when a person WITH YOUR OWN DISEASE has a case of the sanctimonious-I-would-nevers?
Yes, you read that right. While discussing pregnancy with autoimmune disease and the treatment options, I got caught off guard with a "I WOULD NEVER take any of these drugs (biologics) during pregnancy."
First off lady. You have the privilege of being diagnosed in your older years, after you had children, so you were never really presented with the choice.
Secondly, since you have not had to be faced with that decision. Let me explain my situation. I was diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis at the age of 19. After years of pain and suffering, and me having to find the information on my own. My teen years were consumed with pain and fatigue and swelling and no one ever had an answer as to why. I was finally diagnosed, and I had to grabble with being a young adult and managing a disease that no one should have to deal with. I finally got married, got my head around the idea of having kids, and I had to consider what it would be like to be pregnant, have babies, and raise children all while having to find the confidence in my own self that I would be able to do that while dealing with chronic illness. The choice for many young women with autoimmune disease is "do I continue this medication or do I risk not being able to take my pregnancy to term or to even be able to hold my baby once their born." It's not an easy decision. And it's f-ing scary.
Finally, I would like to point out that THERE IS RESEARCH to help women with this decision. We know that the antibodies women have developed with autoimmune disease, DO PASS THROUGH THE PLACENTA and CAN cause harm to the unborn baby. So, an unmedicated pregnancy can be a dangerous pregnancy for many of us. But, there are biologic medications that we can take up until a certain point of the pregnancy to help prevent that from happening, and to help with our own disease activity in the process. There is even one biologic medication on the market that is approved for use during pregnancy. But even more than all of these things, there are doctors who are willing to help women through those decisions and help us to deliver healthy, happy babies.
The only thing I could say to this woman (as we were in polite company, and I have to continue working with her in the future) is: "We don't all have that luxury." I think I did mention the fact that we know that autoimmune antibodies can cause harm to the fetus, so doctors and patients need to work together to find a solution that works best for them. But she kept persisting. So I bit my tongue.
What would you have said?