Live Your Life Outside Your Blog: Guest Post on Cateepoo Blog
My friend Cathy issued a challenge for May's Arthritis Awareness Month in the US: live your life outside your blog. She tasked some people she knew, including me, to describe how we share our RA outside our blogs, without it taking over our lives. My guest post appears on The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo today:
Photo by David Govoni
"There are some distinct benefits to your juvenile arthritis causing you to use a power wheelchair since your teens. For one, no one doubts that I have a chronic illness.
The first symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (or, as it was known in the old days, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) arrived when I was four years old. It took another five years to get a diagnosis.
Initially, the JIA settled in only in two joints, but when puberty hit, so did the disease. And hard. Fast-forward through a bad systemic flare that almost killed me, fused hips, two years spent lying in a hospital bed waiting for hip replacements, and finally getting those hip replacements at sixteen. They enabled me to sit up and use a power wheelchair and I went home to live a pretty normal life. This involved going to school, moving to Canada (I am originally from Denmark), a couple of university degrees, some work, love, loss, friends, and fun. In other words: life.
But it is a life lived from a wheelchair with very visible signs of RA on my body and it has some interesting challenges. There are the looks and questions from the people I meet, and then there are accessibility issues."