Sometimes on television I find ads for miracle joint looseners or bone strengtheners or something to keep your muscles strong. They're meant for people older than fifty and they show fifty, sixty and seventy year olds do gymnastics, climbing mountains or carrying hundred pound sacks of flour on each shoulder. I can't do anything like that. I get angry (not jealous, angry) that these people who are older and have had so much experience be strong as a bull, versus my friends and I with arthritis who have no experience and are very weak, even with physical therapy and medications. Most of them have had arthritis since they were toddlers or young children: The oldest age to discover their pain was -I think- ten or so years. But you would think we were envious at that.
We really aren't. Or that I know of. Perhaps we all do but we just don't admit it. If anyone really wants to do something, they do it. No one goes and runs and puts themself in pain for nothing: Granted, for the most parrt we all keep fit but not over the top. If someone wants to join the tennis team, and not just for fun, I mean they really, really want to join for something worth wild, they work hard and suffer the pain in silence. A lot of us don't do sports though because it's just too extreme but one does horse back riding competitions and another does archery.
But no matter how much you practice, when you watch us dance or ride horses or anything else, you can tell we have arthritis. We limp, we stand in odd positions, we are awkward in movement, we make faces that read pain subtly, we have lips that are chewed from bitting the pain, we have bruises from the needles and medicines, and we always listen to 'thank goodness it's only arthritis.'