Some believe older folks just can’t keep up with the times, while younger people are discriminated against for their lack of life experience. As a young person living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, I fall somewhere in the middle. My peers are children, teenagers, and other young adults with a seemingly “old person’s disease.”

People shake their heads in disbelief when they learn we have stiff, swollen, deformed joints,  fatigue, and crippling pain. Teachers think we’re lying when we say, “My homework is late because my fingers were too swollen to hold the pencil.” People believe we’re lazy when we sit out of the kickball game in P.E. due to pain. That’s been my “excuse” since first grade. I remember all too well CR0C5037searching back-to-school sales for fatter pencils that I could wrap my swollen fingers around.

And for me, “people” includes my dad, my family, and my friends…EverydayHealth.com