A Letter to My Juvenile Arthritis

Dear Arthritis,

You’ve taken so much from me. School, work, friends, hobbies. Every day I wake up in pain, and every night I go to sleep in pain (if I do get to sleep). You’re constantly trying so hard to make my body fail, to make my life so hard, to make me give up. But you know what? I won’t. I won’t lose this war. Maybe I’ll never win it either; maybe this fight will last my whole life, but I will never give up. There will be days when I feel like you’re beating me, but I will always come back. I will always continue fighting.

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This game is unfair. It’s like a soccer match without rules, breaks or an end. You’re the referee, the manager and the opposing team. It’s up to you when you’ll hit the ball, when you’ll try to score a goal. Sometimes you succeed; you’ve scored some goals during these years. But so has my team. The cortisone injections are like giving one of your players a dismissal; the pain killers are a free kick to me. Some of the other meds make your forwards play worse, some take players off the field. The happiness, hope, laughing and faith make the ground tilt a little so the ball rolls away from my goal. Together, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, researchers, friends, family and I do everything to help my body score goals.

In the last months, we haven’t done great; your team has been stronger than mine, but don’t get too happy about that. We will find a way to improve, and I will always continue fighting.

You don’t make it easy, and I might not win, but I will make the best of the time I’ve got.

I won’t give up.

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