As told by her mom
One of the last things any parent wants to hear is that there is something wrong with their child. After six months of not knowing what was wrong with our daughter, Jordan, we finally had an answer and it wasn't anything we were expecting. We were told Jordan had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. We were in shock and I remember thinking, “she’s not even 3 ... kids don't get arthritis. There has to be another explanation. My daughter does not have arthritis.”
Finally I accepted that Jordan did indeed have arthritis. She had surgery a few weeks before she turned 3, which confirmed the JRA diagnosis. A month later we saw a pediatric rheumatologist. Jordan started her medication and we thought she was doing pretty well. Six months after her diagnosis we found out that she had uveitis, inflammation in her eyes. It's been a roller coaster ride ever since.
Here we are, four years later, Jordan is 7, and I know so much more about JRA. Thankfully she has more good days than bad. She's on weekly medications, sees her rheumatologist every eight weeks and if we're lucky she sees her eye doctor only every three months. Usually it's about every six to eight weeks.
A little over a year ago, Jordan had to have a joint injection, and taking her there was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Usually an injection will last about 6 months but Jordan's only worked for 6 weeks. Now, she actually looks forward to her injections because she knows they make her feel better.
Jordan has days that she’s miserable, but she is amazing. She takes all this as it comes. She's willing to try anything and if it hurts she stops. She does her best to keep up with the kids at school and for the most part she does pretty well. I'm so proud of her and hopefully, in time, she will beat this disease.
Copyright 2010, Arthritis Foundation. Adapted with permission from Let’s Move Together, 2010.