Thursday, September 6, 2012

Laughing Knees

*Written about one week ago*

   "Why do you think I roar?" I asked my eighth grade geometry class last year.
   "Why?" asked some skeptical friends. 
   "Because I'm a dinosaur!" This was my little catchphrase for a couple of weeks, and I still use it every once and awhile. It's stupid, but I was proud that I could think of something that rhymed on-the-spot like that. For those of you who don't already know this, I am a really terrible rhymer. Last year we had to make simple, basic-level rhyming poems to prove that we could rhyme and I had to redo mine because it was a "near rhyme" and not an "actual rhyme". 
    At least for me, I take pride in the things that I can do that don't come naturally to me. For example, social studies comes pretty easily for me. I'm just good at that type of thing. But I'm much more proud of my mini, on-the-spot rhyme than I am of an 'A' in social studies. That rhyme took some brain cells.
    I hope to improve upon things that I am not doing so well and stay consistent in the areas that I'm doing fine in. I hope not to get too caught up in goals in the process, and I hope not to slip through any cracks. I must have enough energy in reserve to be able to pick myself up when I fall. I mean this literally and metaphorically. 
    Speaking of meaning that literally, my knees have been giving out a lot lately. Sometimes I'll stand up and one of my knees practically laughs at me and I know that I must sit down again before things get worse. Oh, and apparently I've picked up some habits of when my arthritis is flaring up. My friend pointed these out to me when she declared to me that I was having a bad day with my pain. I was told that I rub my joints, rest my head on my chin, and mess with my eyes a lot. I am often astounded by how much my friends actually know about me. Even I didn't know that was true. 
    I'm not stupid when it comes to my JRA, and I know that the cause is my white blood cells attacking my joints, but I still feel like my joints are the evil ones in the situation. As crazy as it sounds, I get mad at my joints. A mix of mad and frustrated and disappointed. But where do I go with that? 
    School. Full of people who look at you like you're an alien when you say the words "polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis". People who ask you why your pencil grip is so huge. People who bump you in the hallway without realizing how much that will kill your hips. People who don't understand why you take stairs so slowly. People who ask you why you "get" to bring your laptop to class. People who think that only old people get arthritis. 
    About a year ago, I remember really considering whether I wanted to refer to my arthritis as "JRA" all of the time as opposed to "arthritis" so that people wouldn't associate me with an old person. Then I realized something crucial. The way I word my arthritis does not deserve that much of my time or thoughts, and I will call it whatever I want. 

Love,
Rachel

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Feel free to comment or shoot me an email - thekidwitharthritis@gmail.com I'll try to get back to you either way!