A Letter to Arthritis

Dear Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis,

You have caused me so much pain, anxiety, depression, illness, isolation, and guilt.

Thank you. You've made me a better, stronger person than I ever would have been without you.

I lhave earnt to push past pain and function as normally as I can because people can't see you hurting me: They don't understand the chronic pain. You showed me not to have self pity because as bad as you are, I could have it much worse!  I've always felt guilty to ask for a break, as if I'm ruining the plans, so I simply don't say anything now. (Provided it is not extreme pain.)

My whole life you've made me feel odd, weird, like a cry baby for complaining sometimes when the pain got serious, and like I was alone. You isolated me from other children my age because I couldn't always participate, and when I tried you made me run awkwardly and slowly which made the children (to my horror) call me 'Limpy' and 'Faker' and other names. But thank you for that: I matured much faster and became accepting of all people. These experiences also gave me patience, compassion and a want to help.

As much as I thank though, it does not mean I'd like you to stay much longer. In fact, as you know we've been trying to get rid of your presence. I do not actually like you or your actions. We are all baffled why all the medications we have tried have not gotten you to go away! I don't think you understand that the treatments are not supposed to be a treat for you, as they're certainly no holidy for me. I don't ask for you to be punished, as you have punished me since I was a baby. I just ask that you go away nicely. Is that so much to ask?

Sincerly,
Elizabeth

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