Sometimes I wonder how many people out there know what it’s like. I look around a crowded subway car or a restaurant and I think “except for the old people – who here knows what it’s like to fall out of bed in the mornings…or look at a stairwell sometimes like it’s Everest?”

When you live with arthritis you live with an undercurrent – a low frequency hum in the back of your head – that says (at least to me, anyway) “I really hope it doesn’t stay like this forever”. Because forever is a long time to live with chronic pain in your hands and in your hips and in your neck and in your knee. Or anywhere. It’s not exactly the happiest thought to have, which is why I prefer to use those noise-canceling headphones and block it out entirely, but it’s there nevertheless, ready to remind me that I’ve got some inflamed joints, at every turn, pivot or stairwell. Or every jar of apple sauce which is just shy of being way too difficult to open.

Arthritis makes applesauce child proof. That can totally suck.