There aren't many times people really get what arthritis is like. But there are a rare few who do. And I can't stress how much I appreciate people like them. And I'm very lucky to have come across a few.
When I was about twelve years old I had this one teacher who absolutely loved me. She was sweet one day but could be very harsh the next, so I was rather wary of her. Regardless of her mood, however, she always had a smile and word of encouragement for me. Toward January of that year, she went in for carpal tunnel surgery. It didn't sound pleasent. Whilst talking to her after the surgery when she came back to teach, she told me about how painful her wrists were. That's when I told her I have juvenile arthritis. Her reaction was that of pure "I Get It." She was so upset to hear of the arthritis. So much so that she nominated me for an international student trip! She told me "You have perfect grades and go through all that pain everyday- you deserve it." That was one of the nicest things someone had ever done for me. Even though I couldn't go (you had to be 13 at the time of travel, of which I was not) I'm still so honoured that someone wanted to give me that opportunity.
The next year when I was thirteen, I also had another amazing teacher. I was often absent due to medical appointments, and when I was in school I was really tired, sick and just run down. This teacher always made it easy for me to catch up, never minded if I didn't want to do participate because I was just too run down and often let me work alone instead of in a group, which was easier when I wasn't feeling good. Sometimes I would write my papers on experiences in the hospital when we had to write about our lives, and she always would write notes of encouragement on my papers before handing them back. But I think what was the best is that she made her classroom a safe haven for me- no need to worry, no having to stress, no one could pick on me whatsoever, I could relax, and there was always someone listening.
I can't get over the amazing people who come into my life. There have been many more than just two- some in my physical world, some on this blog but all great people I care about.