The other day whilst going through some old notebooks and folders, I found my diary. I was eleven years old when I began to write in it, and it was a few months after I began seeing a rheumatologist. We didn't know what type of arthritis I had at that point, and we wouldn't for about two more years. Anyway, I couldn't help but share some of my eleven years old thoughts with you. I'm sure that little Elizabeth wouldn't mind.
"We played football today in gym. The teacher wouldn't let me sit out when I began getting really painful, so I started to think about Beatles songs and that made me feel better. I was able to finish the game this time too."
Aww. Good job little Elizabeth! If you want to read about that mean teacher, click here. By the way, that game only consisted of following behind a group of children who thought it was the Olympics.
"I don't know how I feel about having arthritis. I'm not in denial, I'm not happy, but I am happy that I have a name for [the pain]. It's hard. I just don't know how to feel. What's worse is [my friend] constantly brags that her ankle hurts to her friend with arthritis... I don't want to hear it; no one complains about every single pain they have, so why should she?"
Oh Elizabeth, you're going to come across a lot of people like that. And you're going to go from writing about it in your diary to smirking and saying "Yeah? I've got a pain in my bum too."
"I went to see the rheumatologist today. He said there was no improvement, but it hasn't gotten much worse so I guess I am okay. It's scary not knowing what's going to happen or if you're going to get worse. I don't like the insecurity. I'm afraid. I want the doctor to do something that will magically give us answers. Or take away the pain. Or something. But I think it's impossible."
The wise words of a kid who was in way over her head. And even many years after this was written, I can't help but still relate.
I suppose I'll leave you here. I think the little girl who wrote this may be embarrassed if I share too much.