First Blog --- JRA History
It was Winter 1989, I was only 3.5 years old.... My mom took my sister and I down to Texas to visit family. One morning I woke up and my left knee was so swollen I couldn't move it at all. I cried and my mom carried me to the local walk-in clinic. The doctor there told my mom I had something called JRA, my mom thought I couldn't possibly have that, it's an "old person's disease", so she decided to take us home to our local doctor for a second opinion.
We got home and the doctor said I did not have JRA, and put me in a cast!! I was in the cast for 6 weeks or so. When the cast came off, I cried for 3 days straight and couldn't walk. A friend told my mom to take me to Children's Hospital... there I met with the best doctor ever, and he diagnosed me with JRA. I had to go through months and months of physical therapy and had to use a walker for a while, before I was able to fully walk again. I was laughed at by other children when I was in public with the walker, it was a long road, but I stayed strong. Some preschools turned me away, because of my condition, luckily my mom found one that accepted me, and I'm glad I went there.
Also at the time of being diagnosed with the JRA I was also diagnosed with Uveitis, arthritis in the left eye, and then later diagnosed with Glaucoma and a Cataract in my left eye. By the time I was 8 years old, the JRA spread to all of my joints, all over my body. It made everyday tasks hard to do, but again, I stayed strong. And my mom was always right there with me, through it all.
Over the years I have tried many different medicines; Remicade, Enbrel, Methotrexate, Gold Injections, Humira, Rituxan, Prednisone, Arava... to name a few. I've had weird reactions with some, some didn't work at all.
Currently I am on Humeria once a week, Methotrexate 10mg once a week, Prednisone 5mg daily. My doctor plans on taking me off the Prednisone, once the MTX has had time to get in my system. I've only had 2 doses of it, so here's hoping it will help. I still wake up everyday with stiff joints, and have a hard time moving around, but with this disease, patience is key.