Wow…thank you so much to Healthline for including me on this year’s list of The 20 Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogs of 2013. It is weird for me to be included with a group of bloggers I look up to for information, strength and inspiration.
I started this blog years ago for myself. I needed a way to express what I was feeling and everything that was happening to me, and I was desperately trying to find other patients that I could relate to. I was newly diagnosed, very scared, and didn’t understand enough about this disease to know that I was the demographic. Yep, I thought only grandmas got this disease. I was embarrassed.
I had absolutely no idea that people would actually read this. And comment! And direct me to other blogs written by patients who I so completely identify with! And allow me to develop both close online and in real life friendships with people who support me and who I try my best to be there for. It was a shock and is still astonishing to me.
There are many important things that I have learned through this blog but the two takeaways I’d like to point out are:
-Healthline describes me as a Southern girl with spunk. And they are correct. I’ve always been that girl…except for when I was dealing with all of the emotions involved with wrapping my brain around a diagnosis. Blogging and connecting with other patients helped me to regain my confidence in myself that I AM STILL and will ALWAYS be that girl…thank you. Having two words permanently affixed to your medical record doesn’t change the core of your being. In fact, I have learned that our struggles with humanity are what makes each of us human and interesting. I *knew* that beforehand but didn’t truly feel it as a truth until I started connecting with others here…thank you.
-When I started blogging, I had a very hard time finding blogs that detailed what it’s like to live with RA as a twenty/thirty something. The literature simply didn’t exist. With each blogger on this list, with every blogger not on this list, and with each new blog started, we are ALL contributing to the body of work that shows it is possible to live a full life with this. It is possible to be happy. And every time we write about both our successes and our failures, we are helping each other and helping those just starting on this journey in desperate need of information…thank you.
So thank you Healthline but more importantly, thank YOU for reading. You’re all aces in my book.