Louise lives on a farm with her mum, dad, her two big sisters and her big brother. She was diagnosed with JIA on 16 March 2018. We didn’t know JIA existed until then.
It all started one morning when Louise came limping into our bedroom. By the time she was diagnosed, things had gotten worse: she was in a good bit of pain, and we sometimes found her crawling. Her mood, energy, appetite were all quite low.
We were ‘lucky’ that she was diagnosed and treated really quickly. The joint injections have worked wonders so far. She has had injections in both knees, her right ankle, and her thumb and fourth finger. We’re on week 7 of methotrexate injections, and we have coped well with them so far.
We have never been prouder than when our little girl, who could barely walk, went skipping up to collect her graduation certificate and school tie.
Louise enjoys horse riding and swimming in her spare time; it is great physiotherapy. We’re overwhelmed with the support we have received from our rheumatology nurse Katrina, and from SNAC. We feel assured that whatever challenges face us in the future we’re not alone.
I was diagnosed with JIA 16 years ago, when I was just two. I love sport and have spent my whole life taking part when I can. I have focused on athletics and love going to training three to four times a week.
I always try to not let my JIA get in the way of my training or doing what I want, whether that’s meeting friends or participating in school games. This picture is of me taking part in the Scottish Schools’ Relay Championships – we came third. Often when I’m active, I do get sore and want to sit down, but I try to keep going because I would never like to feel like I can’t do something. If I need to slow down, I can take a step back and not push myself too hard. Sometimes it can be hard to find the energy to do the things that you enjoy, and it’s okay to take a break to relax and look after yourself.
I take methotrexate once a week—along with folic acid the day after, to help with the feeling of sickness. I’ve managed to find the best day to take my methotrexate, so that I can work around it and not let it ruin important days with how I feel.
I have always found it important to talk to people about how life is going and how I’m feeling. It can be hard to realise that there’s always someone to talk to, but there is; I speak to my parents and close friends, who are always there to listen. It’s nice to meet other children with JIA though, as they can relate to what’s going on.
Arthritis is the kind of illness that means I can never tell how each day will be when I get out of bed. I just have to get up and be positive because that’s all I can do.
Matthew is 12 and was diagnosed in September 2017. He has played his footy (as a goalkeeper) throughout. He plays for Dundee United youth academy U14’s. Week in, week out he has given his all. His fingers and ankles were so bad–yet he has pushed himself to be the best he can. He is on Infliximab IV on top of his steroids and his weekly methotrexate.
This is a photo of Kylan’s first rugby tournament: Second place and another medal to add to the collection! And Kylan’s football team were league cup winners in 2018!
Our weekends are football Saturday, rugby Sunday–for those parents out there who are new to JIA, know that this condition should not stop your kids from doing what they want!
Despite going through a tough time, Steph managed to sing and dance her way through three performances of her school show. Amazing achievement, Steph! Well done!
Liam’s football team played in a football festival at Giffnock Sports Club. Despite going 2-0 down in the first game and 3-0 in the second game, they came back both times and won. They then went on to win the tournament!
Less than two weeks ago, Sarah was having steroid injections for her active arthritis. And here she is with the two bronze medals–for sparring and for patterns–she brought home from the first meet of the year. Well done, Sarah! A true JIA warrior.
Here’s Caitlin getting her first set of bagpipes after rocking the chanter for the past few years. Even when she’s sore she perseveres!
An 80cm jump and a clear round. A good day despite JIA. Congratulations, Anna!