What does awareness really do?
I don’t know about you but awareness gives me hope. It offers me a way of coping with what I’ve been given. If I can’t directly tackle a solution head on I reach out for help right? Isn’t awareness simply one person reaching out for help in the only way they can? If I could quietly remedy this situation I would but just isn’t possible. I need help. I need others standing up next to me saying we need to be heard! We deserve a voice!
Why does the public need to know about us?
I think that every person that assumes someone young appearing to be in good health that climbs out of a handicap parking spot is being rude and proceeds to tell us why we don’t belong there needs to know! Every person that passes judgment needs to have a basic understanding that there are many of us with chronic debilitating conditions at young ages and even though we look fine we are not. That we are suffering and their opinions need to remain their own until they fully understand what that other person is dealing with. I live in a delusional world where I think we can change this. We can make each person understand one by one. I know some don’t care and nothing I say or any one else says will change that but it will make me feel better to know I tried. It makes me feel like I have a purpose.
Besides attempting to shed light on the closed-minded people of this world it does much more.
Awareness to our disease can save our life. Not many know enough about A.S. and the fact that it is a full systemic condition so they don’t add us to the risk pools we should be in. I was in and out of the emergency room a couple of weeks ago and they assumed based off my age that this “event” could not have anything to do with my heart. THEY WERE WRONG! Had I not known I was at risk I could have not gotten the proper care I needed. A patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis should never be forced on their backs and their necks cranked back for incubation. Doing so can do permanent damage to our spinal column. This is something physicians (ALL PHYSICIANS) need to know!
Awareness shines a light on our invisible battles even if only for a day or a month. It will resonate with someone and that will lead to another and another. It will help those hurting and looking for answers find them and sooner rather than later. Why should it take ten years for a diagnosis when a handful of pamphlets and a few minutes to read them could cut that into months? More awareness to A.S. will lead to great things!
We can all make a difference one person at a time!