I have had JRA all my life. It can be a very tough thing to live with, but with all the care and help that the nurses at Children's Hospital have given me, living with arthritis really isn't so bad. I have tried lots of different medicines. We have found some work and some don't. When my medicine is working, life is good!
One reason I do love having arthritis is that I get to go to Camp M.A.S.H in August! It is the best week of summer and my life! You make so many good friends and you all share something-the fact that you ALL have arthritis and are in pain. When I'm at camp I completely forget I have arthritis! All the counselors make sure you are having the absolute best time ever! And because everyone has arthritis we have this awesome rule of "no running". It sounds really weird but it actually is really helpful sometimes. Camp is AMAZING and I can't complain about anything! They always have super fun things planned for us to do. You get to do a lot of things that you may never have had a chance to do. We went zip lining one year. Scariest thing ever! You are so far off the ground, but I could never regret jumping off the deck and zipping through the woods! Takes a lot of courage but like I said it was tons of fun and you have all your friends that are just as scared as you are, cheering you on!
Another year we went horseback riding! We had tons of fun and laughs doing that. With swimming every day after rest time, to playing games in Smoothie Café, to solving a mystery in the castle, to eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with all your friends, to campfires at night to, sharing stories at bedtime, to sleeping under the stars one night, and being completely scared out of your mind when an animal jumps out of the trash can as you walk to the cafeteria for something to drink before bed, there is never a dull moment.
The fun that you have at camp you will never be able to have anywhere else! Oh my goodness words can't describe how much fun camp is. Camp MASH is a HUGE part of my life and I'm very sad that it is my last year this summer. The "graduation" campfire will be very hard to get through this year. Many tears will be shed. The friendships and memories that have been made there are irreplaceable!