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My Rheumatoid Arthritis Story

Angelina Smith, Reporter

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Rheumatoid Arthritis is a illness that makes the immune system mistake the joints in the body as a threat and attacks them causing physical pain and inflammation ( swelling ). This illness is genetic and has no known cure. You can go into remission, but there is no cure and it can last your whole life. One of the things that can and probably will happen is joint damage or joint deformity.

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis in the winter of my 6th grade year, I was 12 years old. Most people diagnosed are born with it. It started with feeling pain all of the time and my back would hurt so much that I couldn’t even sleep in my own bed. My dad took me to a doctor and we later found out that I had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. We found out that it was genetic, and my aunt and cousin had it too. I was started off with Naproxen Sodium which is a pain reliever and it did very little. I became very picky and would eat very little and my weight dropped to 55 pounds. My grandma showed me this special fundraiser called Art For Arthritis where kids with arthritis could work with artists and create works of art together to put in an auction. The money would go to the research to find a cure for arthritis. I participated for 3 years until it unfortunately had to end.  I did painting for the first two then in my last year I did photography. During that period of time when I was diagnosed, I was in band and learning how to play the clarinet and on doctors orders I had to stop for a while. I got so far behind that I couldn’t play all of the notes until my 8th grade year.

Over the years I switched doctors and started to take more medication. Today I take 7 different types of medication, with 1 being an injection. I have joint damage in my right wrist it can’t bend properly and it may be like that for the rest of my life. Even though I am 16 I do not have juvenile anymore. It has progressed into the adult stage and I will never go into remission; I will be stuck with my illness for the rest of my life. I don’t let my illness stop me from doing things. I am in marching band and I march instead of staying on the sidelines like I did in my freshman year. The only things that bother me now is my shoulders, my wrists, hands and my back. The inflammation in my knees has gone down and the only thing that I need to worry about is my wrist.

My final project that sold for $2400 because two different people bought it for the same price.

 

The first painting that I ever did it sold for$1350 and there was a dedication ceremony and I was interviewed by channel 12 news

 

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My Rheumatoid Arthritis Story