"Do something fun, even if you're in pain"
The support of friends and family is important. But time in the stable is what really makes Lova Blixth forget about the pain and focus on what she thinks is fun.
Who are you?
My name is Lova Blixth, I am 16 years old and am currently attending the first year of high school at Naturlära Ridgymnasium, where I am very happy. I remember how it was when I started to feel bad. The first problems arose when I was 12 years old and got pain in my hands and feet. I had a hard time going downstairs, I woke up at night because I was in pain and in the mornings I was in such a state that I barely wanted to get up. We went to the hospital and then I was diagnosed fairly quickly.
Something that was particularly hard in elementary school was that I felt that many of the people there did not understand that I was in pain, because it is invisible. I couldn't bear to have to try to explain all the time what it is like to have a rheumatic disease. They would say things like "Stop screwing up" and it made me obviously very sad.
I remember I had to stand in front of the class to tell them what rheumatism was, but I still didn't feel that everyone really understood. Now when I go to high school there is a big difference. I feel that both my teachers and classmates have a better understanding.
What makes you feel good?
I have always been interested in horses and even when I am in pain I forget about it because I feel so good about being in the stable. I think "it will be better once I get there". I focus on riding and not on my pain. Endorphins are probably my best medicine and I get a lot of that when I'm in the stable.
I have to move and be active in my everyday life in order to feel good. That is why I like the active schedule that we have in my school. I do not have to sit on a school bench for eight hours in a row but have mixed activities with more practical lessons.
If you have a really bad day what do you do?
I usually try to go to school and then decide if I can stay. I have to try to make it work before I decide what to do.
When I take my injection once a week I usually feel pretty bad. Then I can’t do anything. When I am feeling well I may need to be at home and rest. I can take homework and do the tasks at home. It’s sometimes a better workplace for me when I feel like that, and it works pretty well.
I also have nice friends and family who tell me that "today you feel bad but it is a new day tomorrow". Then it feels a little easier. Those around me take me as I am without judging me and that is very important.
What would you say to someone who just got their diagnosis and is in a similar situation to you?
Do things you think are fun even if you are in pain. For me it is riding and being in the stable, for you it could be something completely different. Do not choose what you feel good about without trying it first: you can try it and see if you feel better. For me it is also important to surround myself with different kinds of happy situations or environments where people feel good together.