Everybody has good times and bad times in middle and high school. Dissection day in biology. Asking someone out and being rejected. Getting a bad grade on an exam. But far worse that that – or even than getting slushied (a la William McKinley High on Glee) – are those days when JA gets you down.
You’re not alone. Here’s what some other teens with JA say about the good days and the bad.
“I can't play basketball anymore because I can't run or I'm in pain. I feel like I'm losing my friends because I'm never at school. It's hard … I miss lots of days of school because I can't sit on my bottom or my back hurts.” – Natasha C., 13
“I went from an average teenager to a 16-year-old girl who can’t go to school every day until later on, and am unable to be a normal teenager that goes out every night. Instead I stay at home and rest with my family.” – Tess R., 16
“I have gotten used to all the limitations, but the hardest is not being able to play sports. I love basketball and volleyball. I would really love to join a team. I still do a lot though. I've tried not to let my JA limit me. There are a lot of mottos I like to think of when I'm having problems with my arthritis. Some are: "No Boundaries" (a song by Kris Allen), "Things Are Gonna Get Better" and "Complain" (songs by David Archuleta). Sometimes I listen to those songs to make my emotional stress better.” – Marissa H.