RArainbow

A resource blog for young women living with (Juvenile) Rheumatoid Arthritis


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May is Arthritis Awareness Month!

Hi everyone! Many of you with arthritis will know that May is Arthritis Awareness Month in the USA! Arthritis can be thought of as an umbrella term which encompasses a range of arthritis-related conditions. In honour of the month, the American College of Rheumatology has put together some great resources on their site, which can be used to educate others about arthritis, as well as learn more about our own conditions ourselves.

Also, World Autoimmune Arthritis Day will be held on May 20th! To commemorate the day, a virtual event will be held from May 19th to May 21st at the official website. Make sure you check it out!

I recently discovered a very creative and funny campaign by Scope, which aims to “End the awkward” when it comes to interacting with persons with various abilities (click here to view it all). I absolutely love these ads – they break down the awkwardness and give tips on how to handle a range of situations. What I love about these ads is the fact that they show/teach the public that a person who is differently-abled is just like anyone else, and should be treated as such.

With arthritis, many of us have to deal with stares, isolation, pre-judgment and insensitive comments from persons who may not fully understand how to respectfully treat someone with a medical condition. The word “disease” is a scary word to many healthy persons, and often causes many persons to act awkwardly. This is why the campaign by Scope is so great – because overall it teaches us that we must be respectful and accepting of whatever “difference” someone may have.

And while campaigns like these are amazing in the grand scale, there is still a lot we can do on an individual basis to make our lives easier in this respect. If someone is being mean to you, or making uninformed assumptions about you, then take control of the situation and stand up for yourself. You don’t need to get overly worked up about it, but speak up for yourself. Let people know that young people, teens and little babies get arthritis. Arthritis is part of our lives and we should never have to feel bad about that. Even with arthritis we are trying hard and I respect and admire every single one of you so much.

Happy arthritis month guys!
❤ Ms. Rainbow

 

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The Fault In Our Stars (Spoiler Alert!)

Hi everyone! I know I’ve been gone for some time. Life, as well as arthritis, has been keeping me incredibly busy, but I am plodding along! Today I wanted to discuss a book which has become very popular lately due to the fact that it will be appearing in movie format next month – The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green.

I will try to write this post without giving away too much of the plot ;). The book is basically about two teenagers who are living with cancer and their experiences together. The ending is actually a little predictable, but I still really enjoyed this story.

Why? Because the story is so honest and there are no sugar-coatings. The blunt, honest questions of the main characters Hazel and Augustus are questions I’m willing to bet almost every chronically-ill youth has asked himself/herself at some point. When the characters become frustrated or feel pain, we can feel their pain too – because their stories are our stories too. Because the story is told from teen Hazel’s point of view, the tone is very much that of a young person, and I found myself laughing and smiling at so many of her observations, because I’ve had those same thoughts myself many a time.

There comes a point with illness when we get very used to our situations. We get used to the pain, the needles, the hours in waiting rooms, the stares from strangers, the well-intentioned but sometimes hurtful words from persons who don’t understand illness and the “sick” lifestyle. And eventually, many of us start making jokes about it – because laughing about it is more fun than crying about it, right? Our main characters have reached this point of comfort where they are able to poke fun at their respective situations. However, that doesn’t mean that they are invincible and we get honest insights into their thoughts and struggles and pains when life becomes too overwhelming.

One of the repeated lines in the book is that “The world is not a wish-granting factory.” If you are living with illness, I’m sure that’s a concept you’ve realized all too well. There are so many great themes in this book, and depending on our own experiences, we will all take away something different from it.

If you are a chronically-ill person, I definitely recommend taking the time to read this book. But do get the tissues ready, tears will be shed! Consider yourself warned! 😉 If you’re read “The Fault In Our Stars,” let me know what you thought about it in the comments below. Thanks!

Lots and lots of gentle hugs ❤ ,
Ms. Rainbow