“I don’t need no stinkin’ brochure”This term, I am taking a class on physiology and disease.  It’s our only really science-y class.

In preparation for next week’s class, our professor handed out a brochure on arthritis from the Arthritis Foundation (at least she’s getting her information from reputable sources).

The first thing I thought to myself was I don’t need no stinkin’ brochure.  This is my everyday life.

I’m not one of those people who normally gets squeamish anytime someone mentions lupus or RA – because in reality how often does that actually happen?  When it does, my ears definitely perk up, and something is usually said that really pisses me off.  People are simply misinformed.  But it’s hard not to be when you don’t have personal experience with an illness to really know the ins and outs of it. 

So in class, I had to suppress a nearly audible groan when the brochure came around.

Sometimes reality is just too real…

Obviously, in a class on disease, RA is an important one to cover.  And I totally get that. 

I kind of want to speak up and say, yeah, it kind of sucks! 

But that’s not very objective.  Although I’m not an objective observer, am I?

I guess, in some ways, I see this as an opportunity to educate my fellow students, and maybe even my professor, if just a little bit. 

While I’ve been open about being chronically ill, I’m not sure that most of my classmates know what my illnesses are. 

Because in reality, my illnesses and my negative experiences in the realm of higher education are what brought me to the Sarah Lawrence Health Advocacy Master’s Program in the first place.

And maybe I’m a bit worried that I’ll get schooled a little bit on the mechanisms of action and the physiology of my illnesses. 

I might not yet understand 100% the science behind my illnesses, but I don’t need a brochure to tell me what everyday life with a disease like RA is like.     

That much I do know.  So I’m a bit anxious about class because in everything we’ve done to this point in our other classes, nothing has put me front and center, face to face, with my particular situation.

And no one has examined my illnesses, both literally and figuratively, under a microscope.

So Wednesday’s class is going to be very interesting indeed…