Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hello, It's Me

      "Hello....it's me....I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet..."

      Adele references aside, my name is Rachel and I have no idea whether or not I will regret creating this blog a week from now, but I am just going to go for it because I really don't have much to lose. I am the author of the blog "The Kid With Arthritis," which has been inactive for a little over two years now. It feels like a good time to start fresh.

     Many of you will know me from my former blog or from my "real life," but introductions still feel appropriate. I am a sixteen-year old high school senior living in the beautiful but often frustrating state of North Carolina. Accordingly, I am finishing up high school and applying to college, which is not my favorite process. I like theology, music, politics, Grey's Anatomy, social justice and history. I really don't like arthritis, but I do like the people I've met through the chronic illness community. I think I want to major in public health, but I am also very interested in environmental studies and women's studies. I identify as a Christian and an intersectional feminist.

     I was diagnosed with acute polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was 11 years old, so I've been dealing with it for about 5 years now, and it is definitely not something I have enjoyed. My arthritis affects almost all of my joints (though somehow my shoulders have been spared), and currently it is flaring the most in my knees and hips.

     That brings us to "Rachel + Rheum" (spoken, "Rachel Plus Rheum"). It took me a ridiculous amount of time to think of this title, so I hope you are satisfied with it.

    Why am I writing this blog? Part of it is that I've realized that people like to be informed, and somehow writing everything out seems easier than discussing my rheumatically complicated life with every single person who asks. Part of it is an urge to write. I miss my blog, and while I am overwhelmed with college essay writing, I crave writing that is free and that lacks a thesis. I also want to be more connected in the chronic illness community, and I've finally recognized that this requires a degree of vulnerability that I have shied away from over the past few years.

     Wish me luck. I'll be posting actual content sometime in the next few days!

Sending love and spoons,

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