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Kids Get Arthritis Too!

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Alyssa

Living with Arthritis at just 11

My name is Alyssa, I’m 18 years old and I was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at 11 years old. My life since then has been a roller coaster. I’ve experimented with all kids of medications and natural remedies in an attempt to alleviate some of my pain.  

I began taking Methotrexate (mtx), Prednisone and Naprosyn when I was diagnosed, among other medications. 4 years into my diagnosis, I changed from mtx tablets to injections, and added Enbrel injections as well. This was due to complications I was having from the cocktail of medication that was going into my stomach - it was giving me really bad side effects. Together, these injections changed my quality of life. I have also had 3 seperate rounds of steroid injections into my joints which helped significantly.  

After 2 and a half years of two injections weekly, I decided that I couldn’t do it anymore. I was struggling with the severe side effects, the pain of the injections and the anticipation of them. At the beginning of this year, I had my final injections and began Sufasalzine tablets. This year I have tried many medications, however none have worked. I am currently working to receive new meds, most likely infusions. I also deal with debilitating migraines which can be really hard at times. However, just like my Arthritis, I do NOT let these control my life because I am MORE than my disease.  

Throughout the past 7 years, I have tried countless different tablets. I’ve been in hospital more times than I can count, and I’ve had more tests and appointments than most people will have in an ENTIRE lifetime. I’ve been close to the end, with my body losing the fight at one point. When I was 15, I was severely ill in hospital and my body could no longer keep up the fight. Thankfully, my doctors saved me and gave me another shot at life.   

I’m determined to make this second chance count. I am on a mission to spread awareness about JIA and shout it out to everyone that KIDS GET ARTHRITIS TOO! My account @chronicallylyss is dedicated to those battling this incurable disease, and details my life. It’s my dream to become a mentor for those who are just being diagnosed, or those who need guidance getting through life with a chronic illness so young. I consider myself quite the expert on this disease, so if you’re in need, give me a shout!   Stay strong, warriors! ❤️

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