Brittle Joints is a beautiful and harrowing graphic memoir about chronic pain

Originally published at:


There was a moment, years ago, when I realized that this might be how any “other” moved through the world. A friend, who is black, was describing how he navigates interactions with the police, shopkeepers, strangers who are not black… And it struck me how utterly exhausting (not to mention frustrating) this must be. It just wears on you.

I realize these experiences are not the same, and everyone experiences them differently, but this moment has stayed with me, and helped me (a guy who is white) understand and be patient in all sorts of different scenarios.

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I live in chronic pain. It sucks. Even when managed its like a constant weight dragging you down.

Fortunately it is rarely acute, so I am lucky in that respect.


I had never heard of Bruck Syndrome. It’s interesting. It’s actually a situation where someone has two rare disorders. One is osteogenesis imperfecta, and the other is arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. I have a mild form of osteogenesis imperfecta, and I deal with chronic pain. That’s the condition responsible for the author’s broken bones. The other is responsible for her joint issues, although OI can also impact joints. My hip, knees, and ankles are garbage. Anywho…yeah. Chronic pain sucks.


As I learned from the book — it’s also the condition that affects that journalist who Trump so infamously mocked on stage

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