15.8.12

Hidden Pain. {Series Intro}


I am writing this post today, mainly dedicating it to my beloved sister. My sister is probably the nicest person you'd ever meet. She is the most graceful girl in the world, always kind and considerate. She is fiercely loyal, has a wonderful sense of humor, is super smart, a talented writer, can always make me laugh...really I could just keep going on and on!  At first glance, she might seem just like any other teen. But if you look a little deeper and got to know her more, there is something that sets her apart from everyone else. 

My sister has arthritis. It runs in the family. In fact, I have been dealing with the disease myself since the age of 16, so what I write today is not only out of sympathy towards others, but from my own personal experience as well.  Didn't realize young people could have arthritis? According to statistics, nearly 300, 000 children under the age of 18 are currently diagnosed with some form of arthritis in the US alone. If you are over that age you are considered an adult, which latest statistics claim over 50 million people diagnosed in the US.

Life with arthritis is different for everyone. The symptoms and severity can change often, making it one of the harder diseases to treat and combat. There is no known cure, it simply must be managed. It can be confined to a single joint, or more often than not, affect many if not most joints. In case you don't know much about arthritis, here are some of the common symptoms that arthritis sufferers deal with day to day.

-Persistent joint pain.
-Inflammation.
-Pain or tenderness in joints, often aggravated by simple movements.
-Loss of range of motion or flexibility.
-Swelling.
-Extreme fatigue.
-Stiffness in joints.
-Depression, and/or anxiety.
-Food sensitivity that affects and worsens joint pain.

Ah, doesn't sound too rough, does it? 

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Imagine not having enough strength in your hands to hold a pencil.
Imagine having your knees give out on you without warning, any time, any place.  
Imagine not having enough flexibility + nimbleness to pick up change off a counter, or a single sheet of paper off the floor.
Imagine being kept awake until 6am every night due to the pain you constantly suffer from.
Imagine not being able to sit or lay down comfortably due to the stiffness in your hips. 
Imagine not having enough strength to open a bottle of water on your own.
Imagine walking down a flight of stairs, one stair at a time...and having to take a break at every landing.
Imagine not being able to fully extend your fingers, or barely able to move them at all.
Imagine not having the energy or strength to open a door.
Imagine giving up all your favorite pastimes.
Imagine having to omit the most common food from your diet, such as onions, citrus, gluten, or dairy.
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This is what their life is like every day. Some days are better than others, with pain levels low enough they can simply be ignored. Other days, are near crippling, barely being able to move and function.

I wanted to write a short series on this subject about those who suffer from chronic pain or more specifically from arthritis. It has been on my heart for a while and is something I am very passionate about. I find so often that people have no idea what arthritis really is. They have no clue how to relate or even handle those around them that are affected. Today is just an intro into the series. I will be back in the next few posts addressing different issues in more detail.

Hidden Pain {Series Intro}

I might add to it in the future, with an occasional post here and there on the subject. I'm not sure how many people will be interested in this series, but I pray that somehow this might reach out to someone and be a blessing. If you are someone living in chronic pain, know that you are never alone! And if someone close to you is dealing with chronic pain, know that there are still ways to show them your love and how much you care.

Please feel free to share this post with others and if you have questions, don't be shy!

Love,
Marie



8 comments:

  1. Wow, I never knew arthritis was that bad!!! That's so sad. :/ I will start to pray for your sister.

    Love,
    Manda
    http://meandjesus-amanda.blogspot.com

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  2. What an incredible post! I get arthritis in my hip joints in winter and in some of my finger joints which is very painful. My parents were really shocked when they found out I had arthritis because it is usually something expected of very old people (I'm 16). Those stats are very scary though!
    Thankfully I am not in constant pain and it only affects me at certain times. I will be praying for you sister, she sounds like a very special person.
    Thanks for an eye-opening post
    Much love,
    Sarah

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  3. Marie, when I was ten or twelve I read this book http://www.amazon.com/Jodies-Journey-Colin-Thiele/dp/0060261323 about a young girl with arthritis, written by a man who suffered from the disease. That gave me a whole new appreciation for those who suffer from it! As the Lord would have it, one boy in our church as well as a mother suffer from arthritis, and my mother has been dealing with different chronic pain for a while now. So I thank you for opening your heart to share and look forward to the rest of the series!

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  4. I will be praying for your sister. She sounds like such a strong person.

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  5. My mother has a form of arthritis and I'm afraid I may have a milder case of it. I will keep your sister and you in my prayers.

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  6. wow! Thank you so much for educating me on something I had no clue that young people could have...something so crippling and debilitating. I am so sorry both you and your sister must endure something like this, but it's so wonderful of you to help spread awareness and understanding. x

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  7. Thanks for sharing! I didn't know much about arthritis, but I feel like I can be more sympathetic and helpful to someone who has it now... thanks for educating me!:)

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  8. Praying for you and your dear sister. May the Lord give the both of you the strength, energy and courage to make it through this storm.

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Hey there! Thank's so much for taking the time to visit my blog. I love hearing feedback from my readers, your comments bring sunshine into my day! Please no anonymous commenters, sign your comment with your name or a nickname so I know who you are! :-) Wishing you a fabulous day, XO, Marie