Someone close to me told me the other day they’d learned how to make tea. My first reaction was happy. This person is somewhat disabled, relying on a wheelchair to get around, and lives on their own. Any new thing that helps bring self-sufficiency and pleasure to them is a good thing in my eyes. My second thought (kept to myself until posted on this blog …) was, “We’re from the south, how can you not have known how to make tea until now?”

It’s odd how some seemingly simple things can cause you to start to think and this exchange was one of those. Tea is a remarkably simple drink made from two ingredients: water and tea leaves. But making tea is quite different. It can be easy as sun tea where you stick tea bags in a clear jug of water out in the sun. Conversely, it can be as complicated and exquisitely beautiful as Chanoyu,Japanese-green-tea the intricate and meaningful Japanese Tea Ceremony.

I think most of us walk around with the preconception that people similar to us have a similar background and knowledge of things. Like if you’re from the south you know how to make tea. But that’s not true and it’s certainly not true regarding something as complicated as rheumatoid arthritis.

We all reached our diagnosis from different backgrounds with different understanding of medical matters. Our doctors and their approaches are all different. How we assess and understand the information they give us is different. Importantly, how we each react to a treatment plan differs.

What is consistent is that through community we can share those experiences. We can find out things we didn’t know. We can help others through relaying personal knowledge. We can both learn and teach how to make tea.

While comforting by itself, people from London to the Orient will tell you that tea is a social drink. It’s best shared among friends. So is RA.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing this cup of tea with me.

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