I’ve been quiet on here for a while, because I’ve only been in bloody Australia! Here I am in Taronga Zoo, realising that I am the same height as the world’s smallest bear:
Now I’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to revisit an event that happened to me at work a few months ago.
I work in a clothes store. This involves working on a till, which gives customers a pretty good view of my hands. One customer, on noticing my hands weren’t exactly the hands you would expect of a 22-year-old asked me if I had Cerebral Palsy. Naturally I replied saying that I didn’t, explaining that I had arthritis.
While I am always surprised when people ask me questions about noticeable aspects of my arthritis, this surprise isn’t because I am offended. Far from it – I think it’s better to ask and get an informative response from me, than to go away speculating about my massive knuckles and wonky fingers. I’m surprised because I would feel too conscious of potentially offending someone by asking them a question like that myself.
There’s a lot of noticeable oddities about my body caused by arthritis. My bum sticks out quite a lot and I’ve an arch in my spine, because my hips don’t completely straighten. My feet turn in and my knees knock together. My spine is S-shaped and my elbows don’t straighten. I’ve got a pretty obvious limp (well, it’s more of a wiggle) and my knuckles are swollen.
I’m not naïve enough to think that these things aren’t noticeable, and I really don’t mind being asked about them. As far as I’m concerned, if someone asks about it, that’s just one more person who can be made aware of childhood arthritis and that’s okay with me.
In the event that you have any burning questions, feel free to use the comments!