Some Common Misconceptions About My Juvenile Arthritis
There are a number of big misconceptions that I encounter as a teen living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis; seropositive polyarthritis. That's the type that's most similar to rheumatoid arthritis.
One misconception is that kids don't get arthritis. Wrong! It's a different kind of arthritis, yes, but it is just as serious, if not more.
Another is that if I don't have visible inflammation, then I must be either faking or it's not that bad. This is so incorrect! My arthritis is thankfully not visible, but that doesn't mean it's not there. It means that I need to get it under control BEFORE it deforms my joints. Once they're deformed, it's too late. I even have erosions on my bones already, but the average person can't see that. It's only seen through a specialized scan. So the fact that my fingers don't look like sausages is not a reason to say that I'm "just lazy," especially when I'm trying my best under difficult circumstances.
Yet another is that my arthritis is limited to a very small specific area. It's not! I have it all over the place. It stems from a faulty immune system, so when my joints are attacked, my body doesn't discriminate. My jaw and neck are affected just as much as my wrists or knees or anywhere else that I have the arthritis active.
Now one that bugs me a lot: Occasionally, when long distance walking is needed (such as amusement parks), I use an electric wheelchair to get around. Otherwise I would be in excruciating pain from my hips, ankles or knees. What bothers me is that people get shocked when they see that I can walk. Needing to use a wheelchair doesn't mean that I can't walk at all! I can, just for distances, this is much more preferable. I do not have the option of just sucking it up and walking long distance or my joints will swell. So definitely a common misconception is that a person using a wheelchair can't walk at all, although many people use wheelchairs out of convenience though they can walk somewhat.
Comment down below if you also deal with these misconceptions or other ones! Would love to hear your stories. Lots of love to all!