Sometimes life don’t go the way you planned
And we all have days when we just don’t understand
Searching for meaning, it’s not always easy
But your story’s not over, it’s still being told
Your sunrise is coming brighter than gold
You were young, you were free
And you dared to believe
You could be the girl
Who could change the world
Then your life took a turn
And you fell, and it hurt
But you’re still that girl
And you’re gonna change this world.
Still that girl – Britt Nicole
July has been designated Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month so I want to dedicate this post especially to all the amazing young people who live with autoimmune arthritis all over the world. For more information on Juvenile Arthritis, click here. I, along with so many of the readers of this site, was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis/Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis as a child, at age 7. I am now 28.
Over twenty years have passed since I was diagnosed. The strange part is that even with so many advances in medicine and technology, most persons I meet are still completely unfamiliar with this condition and think I take Panadol. (How great it’d be if that’s all we needed, right?!)When you get a chronic illness as a child, it’s almost like you enter a secret world which few people know about and won’t know about until they get a lot older – that of living with pain and sickness and the accompanying twists and turns. But we do adapt and we learn how to live life as best as we can, and I salute all of us for it.
If you have had Juvenile Arthritis for some time, then you are a pro at handling pain, blood tests, injections, infusions, pills and the nasty side-effects. Some of us have had joint surgeries and know how draining and grueling that process can be, from the pain of surgery to the tedious, painful physical therapy afterward. Most of us have been half-naked/totally naked in front of our medical teams…that’s sure fun, right? Haha. 😛 It all takes a lot of guts. That’s something a lot of grown adults have never experienced, do you know that?
So if someone ever tries to put you down, I want you to realize how amazing you are. Truly. You are TOUGH. Despite the trials we have to endure with arthritis and in the world, I want us all to remember our strength and always know how much we’re worth. Don’t ever let anyone’s lack of awareness make you feel bad. There are going to be numerous times when we feel alone in this situation, but let’s keep our heads up, keep strong and keep doing whatever we have to do in our lives.
Illness does not define a person and I want to say that it’s OKAY to have arthritis or any illness. We are still beautiful ladies and young men and we are still strong and capable of doing anything we want in life. We just have to keep fighting for what we want. Even with arthritis, we are all trying our best and accomplishing amazing things. We are all fighting. On the days when I feel weak, I think about all of you out there who are fighting for your happiness despite this illness, and it makes me fight too. I think about the kindness and compassion that is shared among the arthritis community, especially by young persons who want to make sure other young persons never feel alone, and it warms my heart.
You are all SUPER TROOPER FIGHTERS. 🙂
To all the beautiful youths who fight illness, who work through pain and press on, keep fighting and know that you are all superheroes to me. ❤