Arthritis is something old people get... right?


Today's post is something completely different to the normal content of this blog, so if you came here to read about beauty products then I am sorry, but there's a whole load of old posts for you to check out!
Today I would like to talk about arthritis. When people think about arthritis, they normally think about old people complaining about their joints hurting, but there's a lot more to it than you would think. I've recently had two people tell me that 'arthritis isn't a big deal', which has led me to write this post, because I want people to know that it is a big deal and it affects a lot of people, of all ages.
I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was around 18 months old. I was very young when I was diagnosed, so I don't remember many details about the worst of it. I remember having to cool my knee every morning and having to wear a leg brace at night, but that's pretty much it. However what I do remember is not being able to do what all the other kids did, jumping on trampolines, having to ask for special treatment in PE class because I couldn't jump like the other kids because of my knees, not being allowed to ice skate or ski, not being allowed to do gymnastics, etc. It's not the physical pain that I remember, it's the mental impact that it had on me and my development.
I was extremely lucky to recover quite well. I can walk normally, I can dance and I can do all those things that I used to not be allowed to do. I stopped taking medication quite a few years ago and I'm still fine, but I am still always scared that it will come back one day.
The main joints that were affected for me were my knees, and even now they still hurt quite often when I walk down stairs or when I run, and I can normally tell you if the weather is bad by the way my knees feel. However I can live a normal life, which I am extremely grateful for.
Unfortunately, not all children are that lucky. Arthritis can lead to problems with growth and doesn't just affect the joints but also sometimes the eyes, which can lead to cataracts and blindness. In some cases, JRA can even be fatal!
So next time someone talks about arthritis, don't brush it off as something that's not so important and that only old people get. A lot of children are suffering from it and it's considerably affecting their life.

If you want to know more about JRA or you want to donate then please visit http://www.childrensarthritistrust.org.uk/!

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