Blood Donation Blues

I have to admit, I've said "Having arthritis is so stupid" in a serious conversation. It's a very frustrating thing to have. Insulting it doesn't take arthritis away but it does make you feel a little better. I think the thing that's so frustrating is that much of what happens when you have arthritis is out of your control. You really don't get much choice in things you want to do when your body isn't well, especially with a disease that isn't always well controlled.People commonly have dreams, or rather nightmares, about losing control. But it's very hard to deal with something out of your control in real life, especially the way it so intimately is involved in your world.

A few months ago my school was advertising a blood drive, and I was very excited. I had always wanted to donate blood, and my friends and I were going to give together. But being the person I am, I did my homework before the day of the blood drive. I found out that people with autoimmune diseases which are not in remission are not able to give blood, nor are people who take biologics. It makes perfect sense, but I'm still really upset that a part of me can't be used to help someone else. I've been told the only thing that matters is I wanted to help, and that counts in a world where many don't, but it's no consolation. It also makes perfect sense people with autoimmune diseases can't donate blood marrow, but you can bet your buttons I was upset at that news too.

It always seems like arthritis keeps me from the cool things I want to do- blood donations, certain roller coasters, standing for three hour studio classes, dancing like a normal person, and being able to chew gum for longer than a minute. Of course, it almost never keeps me from doing what I don't want to do! I'm physically capable of doing home work, doing errands and chores, and sitting and watching while everyone else has fun. Sometimes I enjoy myself more when I'm with adults than when I'm with people around my own age who are so filled with energy and nothing stops them from doing what they please. Except the threat of being arrested, of course. Sometimes I can't tell if it's the lack of control of my body or if it's the jealousy that is more painful.


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