Langley Advance View: Imagine childhood arthritis

Arthritis is a nasty disorder.

Just the thought of it brings to mind pictures of old people with grey hair and wrinkled faces, bent and shuffling slowly, with crippled, twisted hands barely able to hold on to the canes and walkers that are needed to allow any mobility at all.

But it’s worse than that. 

Much worse.

Imagine those same old people trying to butter a slice of bread.

Imagine them trying to sleep through a painful night, trying to find a way of laying abed that eases the excruciating pain, even if just a little bit, and experiencing worse pain every time they try to shift positions.

But it’s still worse than that. 

Much worse.

Read the labels on some of the medications that those old people with arthritis resort to because the pain of just getting through an ordinary day is so unbearable.

Check out the side-effects on some of the “most effective” medications, which include significantly increased risks of heart disease and the potential for sudden death.

Imagine being one of those elderly arthritis sufferers who feel that escaping the pain is worth taking such tremendous risks.

But it’s still worse than that. 

Much worse.

Because arthritis isn’t just about old people with grey hair and wrinkled faces. It’s also middle aged men and women who are disabled and unable to work anymore long before normal retirement age.

It’s young men and women disabled even before being able to establish a career.

But it’s still worse than that. 

Much worse.

Imagine all of the above – but now imagine that we’re talking about a child of 14… of 10… of six… of two.

March is Childhood Arthritis Month.

Imagine a childhood disease so terrible that a whole month is set aside to make us all aware of it.

– B.G.

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