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Table 4 Blog reflections upon arthritis, medication and public identity

From: “Sometimes I feel like a pharmacist”: identity and medication use among adolescents with juvenile arthritis

a. Societal Attitudes
People think that arthritis is for old people, which is not true quite sad to be honest when they compare you to old people [Female, 15 years old]
I often find that explaining to people what arthritis is and why you go to hospitals alot, it gets tiring and annoying especially when they end it with comments like ‘my nan has that’ or whatever. Yes your nan may have it but others can get it too! I am however lucky to have my boyfriend as he too is familiar with hospitals and i can totally rely on him to carry me when im in pain.. Result! :)[Female, 15 years old]
b. Normality through limiting disclosure
It doesn’t really affect me because i don’t really tell people about my illness because i don’t want them to treat me differently. I think that people do treat you differently when they find out because they don’t no about the illness. I don’t like that because i prefer it when people take no notice and they shouldn’t because i may have an illness but that doesn’t make me any different from everyone else. However my friends take no notice of my illness and are just glad that i am well now. [Female, 13 years old]
applied for college last night and there was a section about illnesses, had to describe my arthritis, sometimes school does not understand, like on Tuesday we had assembly and the chairs in the rows are really close together, it hurts my legs to keep them in that position for all that time, mom keeps on telling me to tell them but I feel awkard about it, hopefully college will be different. [Female, 15 years old]
c. Social Networks
Cannot talk to my friends about it [methotrexate] as they would not understand so me and mom discuss it and she assures me all will be ok. [Female, 15 years old]
I have a lot of caring friends who help with many things in and out of school. They all understand everything i have to put up with and i never have to worry about going out and not being able to walk after a period of time as i know that if i need to rest they will sit with me until i’m ready to get going again. My friends never hesitate to help me out when i’m struggling, e.g if i’m walking home from school and i have lots of bags to carry, they always offer to give me a hand and help me out. [Female, 15 years old]
ive got a confirmation meeting tonight and i think its lovely going to church and finish off my sacrament. Its lovely what ever youve got like arthritus, asma or anything else its lovely to know your apart of something and its lovely i cant wait! [Female, 13 years old]
I do get very fustrated with it all because of how active i used to be and now i struggle to do most things, and I know teachers and friends understand but i dont think they realise the constantness of it all, that when i wake up i need to check if i can move properly today and i dont think my parents realise either because its always there so theyve just learnt to ignore it because its constantly there and i do accept that ive got it [Female, 15 years old]