I’m going to start a blog about having arthritis. This is it, so welcome one and all.
Before I go any further, you should all know that this is an idea I stole from this girl.
This is Cat’s blog about living with arthritis. I’ve never met or even spoken to Cat, but it’s only fair you all know that she is my hero. A couple of months ago, Cat carried the Olympic Torch through my home town, Keighley. I didn’t see her, but everyone I know was talking about the girl with arthritis and a hip replacement who was taking the torch through town, and I couldn’t help but see the similarities with my own life – except I’ve not really done anything half as worthwhile as Cat has.
I found Cat’s blog because my mum (who works at a school) has been emailing her to ask her to go into school with the torch and show the students. My mum, being the cringe person she is, told Cat that we have the same condition, and Cat sent her a link to her blog. Then I read it. And then I cried. Lots. I then shared a link to it on my Facebook, and people I know liked it and then I cried some more… So, it’s been a pretty emotional week.
There are some major differences between Cat and me. She was diagnosed at 14, whereas I was diagnosed at three. I’ve never really had to make any adjustments to my life because I’d barely had one; she did. I think that makes her brave. Cat runs marathons. She’s studying to be doctor and is doing a research project on paediatric rheumatology. You should really read her blog.
Another thing Cat wants to do is raise awareness of arthritis in young people, which is something I can really get on board with. Cat spoke on her blog about being told she was a bit young to have arthritis. I’ve been there – the disbelief and confusion on some people’s faces is quite something to behold. It was most annoying when I was younger and people assumed I was lying or confused.
12,000 children in the UK have arthritis and 27,000 of all arthritis sufferers in the UK are under 25, according to Arthritis Care. Bet you didn’t know that.
An interesting thing I’ve found out, solely from Cat’s blog, is that if arthritis is diagnosed in a child within 12 weeks of the first symptoms they are more likely to go into remission and suffer less joint damage than those who aren’t. If that’s not a good reason for everyone to know that children get arthritis too, I don’t know what is.