I can't count the amount of times I've had to tell people I have arthritis. I'm pretty open with it because I know it helps spread awareness of juvenile arthritis. Anyway, I don't think I'd want to be friends with a person who judges me because of my chronic illness anyway.
I've gotten a variety of reactions from people. Including, but not limited to:
"It probably keeps you from playing sports, right?" (Some kids with arthritis can play sports).
"Oh my gosh, you poor thing."
"My grandmother has that too."
"Oh yeah, I'm starting to get that from running too much."
"Oh wow, that stinks."
"I can only imagine that hurts: My back hurts from lifting boxes yesterday."
And my favourite:
Just as the teacher asks in class, 'so?' Why is it so important? What's the big deal?
I think we all know the answer to that. :)