How do you tell someone that you have a debilitating chronic disease?
Lots of people know I have JIA. I personally told everyone that’s close to me and the rest found out when I started this blog. I have absolutely no problem with people knowing. I’m not ashamed of having arthritis! It’s part of who I am so you can take it or leave it.
Of course, you are going to find some people who are not pleased with this and will walk away, say mean things and do untasteful jokes. Yes, you will find people that don’t like the fact that YOU have a chronic disease… In my opinion, this is the positive point of Arthur: you find out who’s worth keeping. But enough on other people’s reactions, I’ll speak about this in my next post.
You’re probably asking how did I approach the subject?
I believe the way you tell someone you have a chronic condition depends on your relationship with them. Here is a small description of how I told the people around me I have JIA:
• Family – I’m very close to my whole family, so I called them and went “Hey, I have arthritis!”. Simple and efficient.
• Best friends – These are basically family (be honest, they know more of your secrets than your family) so I didn’t have to wait for the right moment to tell them. I told some of them the first time we met after I was diagnosed and I texted the others. I don’t think texting is a good approach, but I was having a bad day and they always cheer me up so it just happened.
• Other friends – Tried to find the right moment. What’s the right moment? I think it is when you’re all in a situation where they will pay attention if you start speaking and when no one is talking about themselves. I told my friends in multiple situations/places, before exams and during lectures, lunch, etc.
You will have to tell some people multiple times… don’t be offended, it’s easy to forget when you are not the one going through it.
What I really want to point out is that there’s no correct way to tell others you have a chronic disease, just tell them when you feel comfortable and in whatever way you want. It isn’t always easy, but you’ll probably feel relieved when you are done. Good luck!
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(Any opinions expressed in Eduarda’s blog are not necessarily shared by Arthur’s Place. Nothing that you read in Eduarda’s blog constitutes medical advice.)