Rheumy Kid

I was diagnosed with JIA, better known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, in July of 2015. My family and I didn’t even know that kids could get arthritis. Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Rheumatology Clinic helped give clarity about my diagnosis and have treated not only me but my loved ones with kindness and understanding. Dr. Oberle listens to me and I can honestly say that I trust him which is saying a lot coming from a 17 year old.

RA is a autoimmune diseases, my white blood cells can’t tell the difference between my body’s own healthy cells and germs like bacteria and viruses. My immune system, which is supposed to protect my body from harmful invaders, instead attacks and damages my healthy tissues and causes inflammation and pain. It started with swelling and pain in my wrist and fingers and within 6 months spread to all the joints in both hands, both wrists, my right hip and my jaw. On the outside I look like a normal teenager but I have days that I can hardly get out of bed and managing my pain is a daily struggle. I take two weekly injections, one of them is a Cancer drug, that suppresses my immune system and can in return make me very sick. A common cold or the flu could mean a lengthy hospital visit. This is a disease that many children and their families have to deal with everyday but we don’t let it define us or our future. We are what I like to call Rheumy Kids because we have Rheumatoid arthritis but it doesn’t have us! Even though I have missed many days of school due to illness I am still on track to graduate this year. I also decided to push through the pain and join my schools track team again. I am a pretty good pole vaulter. This disease is just a part of my story. It is a chapter in an otherwise marvelous book.

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I was diagnosed with JIA, better known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, in July of 2015. My family and I didn’t even know that kids could get arthritis. Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Rheumatology Clinic helped give clarity about my diagnosis and have treated not only me but my loved ones with kindness and understanding. Dr. Oberle listens to me and I can honestly say that I trust him which is saying a lot coming from a 17 year old.

RA is a autoimmune diseases, my white blood cells can’t tell the difference between my body’s own healthy cells and germs like bacteria and viruses. My immune system, which is supposed to protect my body from harmful invaders, instead attacks and damages my healthy tissues and causes inflammation and pain. It started with swelling and pain in my wrist and fingers and within 6 months spread to all the joints in both hands, both wrists, my right hip and my jaw. On the outside I look like a normal teenager but I have days that I can hardly get out of bed and managing my pain is a daily struggle. I take two weekly injections, one of them is a Cancer drug, that suppresses my immune system and can in return make me very sick. A common cold or the flu could mean a lengthy hospital visit. This is a disease that many children and their families have to deal with everyday but we don’t let it define us or our future. We are what I like to call Rheumy Kids because we have Rheumatoid arthritis but it doesn’t have us! Even though I have missed many days of school due to illness I am still on track to graduate this year. I also decided to push through the pain and join my schools track team again. I am a pretty good pole vaulter. This disease is just a part of my story. It is a chapter in an otherwise marvelous book.

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