My new friend Candace, who I met on Twitter is guest posting today about a cause close to her heart. As a sufferer of rheumatism myself, this is just heartbreaking to read about her daughter. I will let her take it away now...
What I would like to talk about is JIA or Juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
This medical auto immune Disease can be described as:
Juvenile - means that the arthritis began before the patient was 16 years old.
Idiopathic means that the cause is unknown.
Arthritis - means one or more joints are inflamed.
Arthritis is not an old persons disease. They type of arthritis people get as they are aging is called osteo arthritis this is where the bones are thinning and starting to wear against each other. There has bee some campaigning through out the world to rename one or the other as the cause of each illness really do not have any links to each other.
The Girl (now aged 10) has suffered from JIA for the past 3 years. She also has hypermobiliy (which used to be known as double jointed). It has a great effect on her everyday activities and cause much pain and frustration.
She has regular physio appointments and exercise that can take 30 to 45 minutes each day. Try explaining to a 10 year old why they can't go out and play with there friends because they need to do these unpleasant exercises.
It's so heart breaking seeing her in pain. It's hard to explain to someone that she gets up each morning and is so stiff she can't bend her legs but in order for the stiffness to go she must. There are tears most of the time.
There are lots of blood tests to be had.
Then there are constant meds, every day without fail and then treatments under general anesthetics:
JIA can also effect eyes as well as other organs so we have 3 monthly eye checks at the hospital.
As a sufferer of Rheumatoid Arthritis, I understand the pain and frustration encountered on a daily basis as a result of this incurable disease, A of of people just think arthritis
is wear and tear on joints due to old age and don't even realise children can
have this illness too. Rheumatoid arthritis is nothing to do with old
age. It is your own body fighting itself. You have done nothing wrong
to go it. Yo got dealt a different challenge in life. RA is
an invisible disease, sometime you can look like there is
nothing wrong, other times you are in absolute agony. This is what can
be different to explain to others who struggle with the fact you look
ok ad can do something one day then wake up and you can't. The Girl has
been at the end of a lot of remarks such as she is making it up or
putting it on to get out of doing something she doesn't want to do. Nobody should have to deal with such behaviour from others.
I would really appreciate it if you could spread the word about JIA and RA and if able donate on my Just Giving page where I am hoping to raise £100 for Arthritis Research UK.
More information can be found here.
Please share this to help raise awareness. Thank you for reading.