I say 21 today, but it’s more 21 today-ish. You see it was in October 1993 when I was diagnosed with systemic-onset JIA.
It seems a strange thing to celebrate, but when I turned 20 last year (in arthritis years, of course), it felt like such a significant event that I was a little disappointed when no one bought me a present. Now I’m 21 (in arthritis years, of course) I really feel that’s a much bigger deal and I definitely should get some kind of reward this time.
It’s not every day a girl turns 21, and though technically after this month (we’re not sure of the precise date of my diagnosis any more) I will have celebrated turning 21 twice – the first being my actual 21st birthday in 2011 – I don’t think that should lessen the significance of the occasion.
I’m not sure how I’m going to celebrate my 21st arthritis anniversary. For me, it’s not a weird thing to be happy about, because in some ways having arthritis has worked out pretty well for me.
It goes without saying that I have no idea what kind of person I would be if I hadn’t been diagnosed with arthritis when I was three years old, but I hope the life-changing diagnosis of my formative years has changed my life for the better. I certainly don’t know what I would have to blog about if I didn’t have arthritis, and I really enjoy blogging.
I’m going to endeavour to treat myself for the rest of the month, because we all know that no one else is going to do it. Maybe I will soak my feet in hot water at least once a week. Or see if I can get myself a cheapish wax bath so I can treat myself at home. Or a back-scratcher. I think a back-scratcher would come in handy.
I hope I can start the arthritis anniversary off as a thing that should be celebrated every year. Think of all the useful presents JIA warriors worldwide could be conning out of their friends and family… Just imagine it.
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(Any opinions expressed in Collette’s blog are not necessarily shared by Arthur’s Place. Nothing that you read in Collette’s blog constitutes medical advice.)