By Kat, Juvenile Spondyloarthropathy Arthritis, Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome, United States, September 30, 2018
Hi! I'm Kat and I'm in my first year of high school at 14 years old. At three years old, my life kind of broke and I never knew because, well I was three. At this time I was diagnosed with Spondyloarthropathy Juvenile Arthritis. (Yes, kids get arthritis too.) My type of JA effects not only EVERY JOINT IN MY BODY, but all of my tendons, too. A lot of things get swollen in my body so that's exciting. I have been on countless medicines to try and get my arthritis under control, including A LOT of pills, shots, and now infusions. I currently take about one hundred pills a week, and for me that's just my normal. I live in a school district where people don't have crazy weird things about them, so when I came along they barely knew what to do with me. I have had the most amazing understanding and supportive teachers and school staff you could imagine, which I'm very grateful for. Now that I'm in high school though, things are getting harder when it comes to school. About a year ago now I went to a program called the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center through Boston's Childrens Hospital which had me stay down in Boston for six weeks (I live in Maine, so not too bad) to do intensive physical and occupational therapy as well as psychology for about eight hours a day which was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life, but I feel much better because of it. I am also a junior ambassador for the arthritis foundation which I love. I get to email and go talk to my states Senators and Congress members. being a junior ambassador is about sharing my story and raising awareness, so if you've read this, thank you!
If you have a rare disease, I believe in you; you can make it through :)