History of my JRA

I decided it was time for a brief history of my JRA journey to help readers understand a little bit of my past. I have had JRA for 27 years. I was diagnosed at 13  months old (yup, just over one year old). Supposedly my right wrist was swollen and they thought it was broken. My parents were relieved when it was not broken but unaware of the direction all of our lives had just turned. 27 years ago there was not much treatment besides aspirin or weekly gold injections and I often was in the first groups of children trying new treatments. Furthermore, I was diagnosed with Uveitis (or inflammation of the uvea in the eye) that has to be monitored closely. At 5 and 6 years the inflammation in my eyes led to cataract and I had both lenses in my eyes removed. I now correct with my vision with contacts and unless you see me stumbling for the bathroom at midnight, you would never know. Let’s fast forward to the present. My eye disease continues to require constant vigilance, compounded by my most recent development of glaucoma. Chronic eye inflammation and ironically the topical medications used to treat them, can cause increase in eye pressure. Unfortunately for me, it could not be controlled and I had to have a tube shunt in my eye allowing the pressure to be drained mechanically. And that’s about where we are now!

My intent is not to have this blog be about how my JRA has affected me, but rather what I have done to affect it. Although I have not known any life besides JRA, I would not ask for it any other way…

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