My best friend in the whole world has rheumatoid arthritis. She was 19 when she first was diagnosed. She looked perfectly fine to me, but she didn’t always want to do the activities we used to do together. I can remember skating and she decided she didn’t want to skate any more. I thought she was being a party pooper. I had no idea what was going on with her body. I can remember wanting her to ride a roller coaster and she said it would be too jarring. I just didn’t understand that.
Over the years I have been saddened by the physical changes I now notice. I know how difficult it is for her to open a jar or shift some cars. I see that she cannot walk like she used to and that her favorite sport of swimming is slowly being taken away from her. But I see a change that I admire. She remains positive and upbeat and is still there to support me in my down times. She keeps her sense of humor. She finds innovative ways to deal with RA and she keeps informed on her condition. And she had the courage to have two wonderful boys despite the arthritis and is raising them in a home full of fun, education, and love. She is a remarkable person. I always thought
so since we became friends in high school. But I think even more of her now and I admire her so much.