When you’re feeling sore
- Exercise: Sometimes yoga, Pilates, or just a simple walk can make a big difference.
- Find a distraction: Watch a movie, read a book, play a game—anything to take your mind off the pain.
- Chill out or warm up : Cold packs and hot water bottles can ease sore muscles and swollen joints depending on how you are feeling.
- Stay loose: Try a massage if you are feeling stiff.
- Speak up: Tell people how you are feeling so they will know how they can help.
When you’re taking your medication
- Take your medication! The bottom line: Either you take your medication, or you will have sore joints. Everyone recognises that taking medication can be difficult; talk to your medical team if you’re struggling with side effects.
- Some oral medication (e.g., Prednisolone) can leave a funny taste in your mouth. Taking pills with water or juice can help mask the flavour.
- When you are having an injection:
- Use a Buzzy or numbing cream to minimise discomfort.
- Breathing exercises can help you focus and relax.
- Play music to keep your mind off the injection. Listening to your music in headphones will prevent you from hearing the ‘click’ of an injection pen.
- If a parent or carer is giving you an injection, don’t let them forget your reward!
When you’re having an infusion
- Stay warm, relaxed, and hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids before your appointment will help keep your veins full and make it easier to insert the needle.
- Be on time. Don’t make the doctors and nurses—or other patients—wait for you.
- Be prepared to stay a while. Sometimes it takes longer than expected to complete your treatment.
- Bring a favourite book or a new magazine to help pass the time.
- Consider bringing some homework along to your appointment.
- If you plan to watch videos or listen to music on your phone, remember to pack headphones and a charger.
- Pack something to eat and drink. Bring along gum or mints if you are having a steroid infusion.
- Bring a blanket or cuddly toy.
When you’re at school
- Talk regularly with your teachers about how you are feeling. Communication is key to getting the help you need.
- When you’re ready, tell your friends about your condition. And think about giving a presentation to your class about JIA.
- If you have a locker, be sure to use it store your books so you don’t have to carry a heavy bag with you all day.
- If your school has a lift, ask for permission to use it.
- Get a pass to leave class early if you need extra time to walk to your next class.
- Talk to your teachers if you need extra time to complete a homework assignment or an exam.
- If your condition makes it difficult to take notes in class, ask for a copy of the class notes from your teachers.
- Ask if you can use a computer to complete written assignments.
When you’re needing a hand
- Remember we are all different, and all good at different things, so try not to compare yourself to everyone else. You are not alone; don’t feel worried that you are.
- Keep positive and remember that there are lots of other JIA kids going through this too.
- Do as much as you want to and can do; but also know when you need a rest — and take that rest.
- Have your dream and work towards it. Remember that JIA is a part of you but it doesn’t stop you.
- Be honest when you don’t feel great.
- Find activities and people that make you happy.
- Hard as it may be, don’t let JIA consume your life.
- Don’t worry if you find yourself struggling sometimes — talk to friends, family and people you trust.
SNAC Committee Tips: Parents for Parents
- Empower your child: Involve them as much as possible in decisions about their JIA; teach them about their medication; keep them in the loop. This makes them feel a little bit more in control and encourages independence.
- Don’t look too far ahead. Deal with the here and now.
- Research the condition.
- Don’t try and deal with it yourself. Remember all the support out there: from your child’s GP, specialist nurses, school, and SNAC!
- Be honest and don’t lie. You’ll never get that trust back.
- Don’t forget the siblings!
- Give methotrexate at night to help with nausea. And find ways to distrat your child when giving injections.
- Keep your kids as active as possible.
- Try not to focus on the negatives, and don’t let the condition define your child as a person.
- Try not to feel guilty.
- Sometimes dads bottle up their emotions; they, too, need to talk.
- Remember the good times when things are bad.
- Keep talking to the health professionals involved in your child’s treatment. If you don’t know, just ask!