September 14-20 marks National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and Lisa Copen, director of Rest Ministries, has invited me to be a guest on her Internet radio show to discuss the fact that symptoms of arthritis aren’t always “visible.”
If you have not yet read my book Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide, I encourage you to pick up a copy so you can read Amanda White’s story, which begins in Chapter One. Amanda was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 14; she is now a college sophomore. To look at her, you would never know that she lives in almost constant pain. It is because she looks like other girls her age that people are unaware of her limitations or choose to brush off the severity of her condition and push her to do things she is physically incapable of doing.
In her case and for many others with arthritis, the old saying holds true: “Looks can be deceiving.” For this reason, I continue to work to educate others of the fact that arthritis affects everyone differently and some days it may be worse than others. In my case, it has clearly taken a toll on my body and left me with many visible contractures or deformities. But for many others, while the disease is “invisible,” the pain it causes is just as real.
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