The Reality of Brittle Bones (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) – Guest Post by Gem

Gem’s guest post is the 21st post in the segment on my blog, called “The Reality Of…” which gives others the ability to share their story and raise awareness of the disabilities, illnesses, impairments and invisible illnesses that they have.

Meet Gem!

Hello! I’m Gem, I’m 26 and I’m from and still live in a little town in West Yorkshire.

My Condition

I have a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta which is also known as Brittle Bones.

Common Symptoms

This condition means a lot of things, to name a few it means I am a full time wheelchair user. Although it doesn’t mean that for everyone. There are many types within the condition, and I am type 3. I am 2”11’ and have small limbs. I have broken a lot of bones already, although I don’t keep count anymore – it’s probably around 300+. That number is not growing as fast now as I have got a little stronger as well as getting to know my body, what I can do or when I need to adapt things a little.

How It Affects Me

Having brittle bones doesn’t just mean breaking bones, this condition comes with a lot of other things to deal with too – such as managing daily pain, arthritis, I have a rod in my back due to scoliosis. However, I do try to manage these and listen to my body when I need to rest. The main things I have to deal with that’s harder sometimes is people’s’ attitudes. Whether that’s in public with people staring and making comments – or people asking personal questions and making assumptions. It can sometimes get tiring, and that’s when I sometimes need what I call a “people detox”!

Changing As A Person

I suppose because I was born with this condition, you don’t change as a person, you just grow with it in mind. I think it’s definitely made me the person I am. Although the symptoms sound quite negative, having brittle bones has brought me a lot of happiness in my life.

It’s brought opportunities, being able to meet other amazing disabled people and having a second family (the brittle bone community) that is so valuable to have. When you stop looking at Brittle Bones as just medical, but the idea that you are part of such a wide community of strong, funny and fabulous people – it really makes you proud to be a part of.

My Favourite Superhero

My favourite superhero is the Silver Surfer from Fantastic Four. Does that count? I’m not massively into action films but I always remember watching this in the cinema and thinking wow I’d love to glide through the sky like that!

Thanks Gem for sharing your story with my readers and me!

If you would like to keep up to date with Gem, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram and her blog, Gem Turner!

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