I hope you laugh…

I spend time with a lot of kids.  In my work and in my life, I am surrounded by kids a lot. The other day, a kid came up to me and our conversation went something like this:

Kid: I feel so bad for you.

Me: Why?

Kid: I read your book.

Me: (thinking kid was upset about my dog’s health) Oh, don’t worry about Georgia. She is great!

Kid: Not Georgia, I feel sorry for you.

Me: Why?

Kid: Because you are so full of diseases. I had no idea.

Me:  (on the inside…BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) Oh sweetheart, I am just fine…..

I think this story is a riot.  This kiddo was genuinely concerned and of course I was reassuring with my “I’m just fine” reply.  I usually say I’m fine.  I usually smile.  Every once in a while I will respond with “Today is not a good day”, then try to shake it off. I’m often shocked when ask me if I am okay. I’ve learned that I am not as good as hiding pain from my face as I used to be.  Again, I always struggle with is it my disease getting worse/more painful OR am I just less tolerant of the pain as I get older.  I’m always tired and achy. I love bed time and naps. If I am being honest with myself. I’m sad…..but always trying to be happy or look happy.

I’m not happy, and that is why stories like the one above bring me joy.  I need those reminders that life doesn’t entirely suck.  I need to shift my focus from my pain to my

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

2 thoughts on “I hope you laugh…

  1. I read your book again this afternoon and was chocked up all over again. Your book rocks and I love Georgia and her talent. They made a good decision for certain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. An old friend was subbing in my building. She read my book and had no idea about Georgia’s chronic life. she said she picked up the book to read it while kids were taking a test….then she started crying. It was never my intention to make anyone cry, but I’m thrilled it touches people’s heart.


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