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Sabrina W., Age 12

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Sabrina W.

My name is Sabrina. I am a 12-year-old girl living in Hawaii. I love to read and write, paint my nails and watch TV shows on Netflix.

I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was 7. I had wrist and finger pain since I was 4 or 5, but my family and I dismissed it. Eventually, my mom took me to a doctor who diagnosed me with JRA. He gave me different medications and told me what to do. I was sent to a physical therapist and was given yellow putty and a blue foam strip for hand exercises. I was also assigned some leg exercises like lunges and knee stretches.

Truthfully, I was really excited those first couple of days. I had a special disease! I soon learned that arthritis isn't exactly something that you should wish for.

Initially I had to take a lot of medications: I was put on naproxen sodium morning and night, folic acid at night and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Once a week I was given a methotrexate shot, and on that day, I didn't take folic acid. Getting the shot stunk, not so much because of the pain, but more because of the color of the medicine. It was a sickly yellow and the sight of it always made me nauseous.

My finger joints were swollen, creating very oddly shaped fingers. I guess my meds helped, because other than pain while making a fist, I cannot remember any other pain. After about two years I was taken off of the methotrexate shot and instead given pills. The pills were still sickly yellow and just as nauseating. I was taken off of methotrexate and folic acid entirely a year or so later. About a year-and-a-half ago, I was taken off of Plaquenil. I am still taking naproxen now, half a pill in the morning and half at night. If I have any discomfort or pain I take another half a pill.

The only pain I'm dealing with currently is morning stiffness in my hands and fingers, and nearly constant knee pain. I have to continuously stretch my legs, or else my legs cramp and click when I stretch. I have great difficulty squatting or sitting on my knees, due to all the pressure being focused there. Compared to most people with this disease, my symptoms are minor, but it still hurts.

Anyways, whenever you feel sad due to your pain or you are teased and bullied, just remember that God loves you and cares. Don't ever lose faith.

Posted Aug. 15, 2014


Sabrina W.

My name is Sabrina. I am a 12-year-old girl living in Hawaii. I love to read and write, paint my nails and watch TV shows on Netflix.

I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was 7. I had wrist and finger pain since I was 4 or 5, but my family and I dismissed it. Eventually, my mom took me to a doctor who diagnosed me with JRA. He gave me different medications and told me what to do. I was sent to a physical therapist and was given yellow putty and a blue foam strip for hand exercises. I was also assigned some leg exercises like lunges and knee stretches.

Truthfully, I was really excited those first couple of days. I had a special disease! I soon learned that arthritis isn't exactly something that you should wish for.

Initially I had to take a lot of medications: I was put on naproxen sodium morning and night, folic acid at night and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Once a week I was given a methotrexate shot, and on that day, I didn't take folic acid. Getting the shot stunk, not so much because of the pain, but more because of the color of the medicine. It was a sickly yellow and the sight of it always made me nauseous.

My finger joints were swollen, creating very oddly shaped fingers. I guess my meds helped, because other than pain while making a fist, I cannot remember any other pain. After about two years I was taken off of the methotrexate shot and instead given pills. The pills were still sickly yellow and just as nauseating. I was taken off of methotrexate and folic acid entirely a year or so later. About a year-and-a-half ago, I was taken off of Plaquenil. I am still taking naproxen now, half a pill in the morning and half at night. If I have any discomfort or pain I take another half a pill.

The only pain I'm dealing with currently is morning stiffness in my hands and fingers, and nearly constant knee pain. I have to continuously stretch my legs, or else my legs cramp and click when I stretch. I have great difficulty squatting or sitting on my knees, due to all the pressure being focused there. Compared to most people with this disease, my symptoms are minor, but it still hurts.

Anyways, whenever you feel sad due to your pain or you are teased and bullied, just remember that God loves you and cares. Don't ever lose faith.

Posted Aug. 15, 2014

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