Monday, 11 March 2013

Boys Get Arthritis Too!

I few years ago I had the opportunity to meet a group of sixty or so other children with arthritis. Of the about sixty, ten were boys. Research shows that women and girls get arthritis more often than men or boys. So whilst it's tempting to say that "men have it easier... again!," let us remember that even though three in four of us are most likely female, there is still a boy or man there.

Of course, both women and men have a hard time! And girls and boys have it very difficult too. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a boy with arthritis. Of course, this is just my point of view and I could be completely wrong, but I do like trying to see things from another point of view. And what I see, shows that boys have their own set of struggles. Boys are expected to be tough and just bare pain. Also, people just expect boys like to play sports so they're probably more likely picked on when they can't play or preform poorly. And, like the sports, people expect boys to be strong so it might be embarrassing to have to ask for help sometimes. Plus, it's hard to be a minority in a minority. I don't mean at school, I mean in their disease. Whilst there are tons of girls with arthritis who communicate regularly on the Internet, I rarely find boys. Of course the girls would open their arms to a boy, but I bet it would be awkward for him. Even if it wasn't awkward, it is nice to be able to relate to a person of the same gender (that's a fact for boys and girls, women and men).

And of course it's very hard on girls! You worry no one will accept you, will tease you for swollen joints and that sort of thing, people think you're just faking it to get attention, people don't take your pain seriously at all, other girls are judging and will pick on you for every little imperfection, and a whole ton of other things. But today, I just wanted to look at it from a boy's point of view. However, I've come to the conclusion the the root of a lot of the challenges teens with arthritis face are other people. Or rather, other judging, cruel teenagers.

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