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Emily H., Age 17

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Emily H.

My name is Emily. I'm 17 years old. I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) at age 8. Before I found out, one morning I woke up and I couldn't move my feet and my mom thought I hurt myself or that someone hit me. She took me to the doctor and the doctor just said that I had flat feet and it will go away, but I kept getting worse.

After more than a year of going to the doctor trying to figure what was wrong with me my parents finally got tired and told the doctor to send me to a specialist. When I got to the JRA doctor’s office my doctor just touched my hands and feet and that's when he told us I had JRA; I didn't know what it was until the doctor explained.

I've been on all kinds of my medication. I started with Enbrel but it didn't seem to help me and now I’m on methotrexate and Humira. Getting the meds is very painful, but I got used to it. I got tired so fast I could only walk 10 to 15 minutes at the mall. My doctor is very nice to me; he wants me to be in good health. I had to get a lot of MRIs done; they weren't so fun.

I have homeschooling for two classes because my JRA is so bad that I can’t get up in the morning, especially during the winter when I get super sick.

On February 25, 2013 I had a surgery, which is called laparoscopic surgery. My hip was completely damaged; my bone was as big as an orange and my tissue was destroyed, too. I suffered a lot through that time; I couldn't walk for three months and I went through a really bad depression. I cried and ask, “Why did God have to punish me with this disease?” And there was a point at which I didn't want to live anymore. But then I realized, I should be happy, not sad, and when I walked again I was happy.

It’s not easy to have JRA – it’s hard ­– but I get to stand up and be strong and not let anything bring me down anymore. Now I can swim and go shopping without any pain in my bones.

Posted Aug. 22, 2014


Emily H.

My name is Emily. I'm 17 years old. I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) at age 8. Before I found out, one morning I woke up and I couldn't move my feet and my mom thought I hurt myself or that someone hit me. She took me to the doctor and the doctor just said that I had flat feet and it will go away, but I kept getting worse.

After more than a year of going to the doctor trying to figure what was wrong with me my parents finally got tired and told the doctor to send me to a specialist. When I got to the JRA doctor’s office my doctor just touched my hands and feet and that's when he told us I had JRA; I didn't know what it was until the doctor explained.

I've been on all kinds of my medication. I started with Enbrel but it didn't seem to help me and now I’m on methotrexate and Humira. Getting the meds is very painful, but I got used to it. I got tired so fast I could only walk 10 to 15 minutes at the mall. My doctor is very nice to me; he wants me to be in good health. I had to get a lot of MRIs done; they weren't so fun.

I have homeschooling for two classes because my JRA is so bad that I can’t get up in the morning, especially during the winter when I get super sick.

On February 25, 2013 I had a surgery, which is called laparoscopic surgery. My hip was completely damaged; my bone was as big as an orange and my tissue was destroyed, too. I suffered a lot through that time; I couldn't walk for three months and I went through a really bad depression. I cried and ask, “Why did God have to punish me with this disease?” And there was a point at which I didn't want to live anymore. But then I realized, I should be happy, not sad, and when I walked again I was happy.

It’s not easy to have JRA – it’s hard ­– but I get to stand up and be strong and not let anything bring me down anymore. Now I can swim and go shopping without any pain in my bones.

Posted Aug. 22, 2014

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