“Reflect on why you write about your health for 15-20 minutes without stopping.”
I started writing about my health as a way to tell the boyfriend what I was going through and the tough things I might go through in the future. I used it as a tool to communicate with him, to say the things through writing that I couldn’t bring myself to say to his face out of fear of rejection.
Then, I did it because it was nice to be able to get out my feelings and my anger especially, holy cow.
But then something amazing happened. I began to get emails and comments from others with rheumatic diseases. People not in my immediate family and circle of friends were actually reading my blog. I felt so amazing, knowing that I was being able to help people.
It just grew and grew. I began to get more emails from people, comments, likes on facebook. As I write this (like 2 weeks early I might add), I exchanged emails with a twitter friend today on a piece I wrote. Her response was tear-jerking – because I had tear-jerked her just with my story and a mirror of how other children with juvenile arthritis go through life.
For now, my main focus is to raise awareness about these diseases – and especially the fact that children suffer these horrible, horrible pains and complications. Arthritis is not osteoarthritis by default – it instead consists of many, many diseases. I’m tired of people looking at me like I’m a fraud when I park in my handicapped space (whatever old guy, keep walking!). I’m tired of not being able to get people to give up their seats on the bus for me. It’s time that people understand that these diseases happen, they’re not pretty, and they can maim and disable very very quickly.
I write so that the children I know with JA have someone to talk to, so that they don’t have to go through staring contests with cranky old people. I want people to know, to understand, and to help. One day, we can get a cure, but we’ve got to fight for it.