As I hope everyone knows by now, May is Arthritis Awareness month. It’s a time for fundraising, education, advocacy, and most importantly friendship. Arthritis attacks to many people (especially kids) and leaves them permanently disabled; acknowledgment of this is the first step in the fight to find a cure. I want to add one more facet to Awareness that is often overlooked, the positives of a life with arthritis.
To begin with, arthritis takes one’s work ethic to the next level of awesomeness. Yes you read that right, arthritic patients are some of the hardest working people you are ever going to find! Most of us in order to remain functional in life spend an amazing amount of time in the gym, physical therapy, studying nutrition, and doctor’s offices for example. This is all before we even try to keep a full-time job, go to school, spend time with family and friends, or have any resemblance of a romantic life. The most successful of us are triathletes, mentors, educators, advocates, actors, doctors, bloggers, or fundraisers (all these professions require a special type of person in order to be successful, now imagine what type of person can become a professional triathlete while in pain-that’s a work ethic like no others!)
Another positive of having arthritis is the ability to realize what is truly important in life. For example, I am currently writing this post at Starbucks while enjoying a tasty Frappaccino with the sun out and a headache. Despite having a headache, I am finding the Frapp tastes even better than usual and the sun is almost like an I.V. full of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. I am relaxed, able to focus, and am just be in this moment because the more I write the more enjoyment I get out of it and I’m not letting pain take that away from me today. I could just as easily be out in traffic frantically running errands but I knew I needed a break, how many of you have ever realized that and more importantly took that break? Life is truly about enjoying every moment; lets not forget that even if you are in pain.
The final positive of a life of arthritis (and the most important) that I want to talk about today is the people! Arthritic patients are some of the nicest, kindest, smartest, friendliest people around. We will knock down doors, tanks, stupid people, or any other barrier that another patient might be facing at that moment without question. Any one of us will always be there with a shoulder to cry on, foot to kick some ass when needed, friendship in times of need, and a friend to celebrate success with. We rock as individuals and as a community!
Believe me, I could continue with the positives my battle with arthritis has brought me but its nice out and I want to go play now. 🙂 I will say that arthritis is a horrible condition that effects too many of our friends, family, and kids! There is hope however. Arthritic patients are inspiring others to continue research for a cure, exploration into alternative treatments, and helping other patients to get their life back. We won’t give up, pain talks but it will not win!
P.S. Since fundraising is apart of Arthritis Awareness month please, please consider spending $25 for an Arthritis Action Pak at www.curearthritis.org! The $25 helps pay for another hour of research for a cure! More importantly, it gives hope to my friends and I that a cure can be found (we all want to go to a beach some day to drink margaritas then climb Mt. Everest just because we now can without pain!)