Showing posts from 2013

Thanks to YOU

This year, 2013, has been a phenomenal year for The Girl With Arthritis! In 2012 I was lucky to get a few views a day but this year my views have gone above and beyond my expectation. Iwas even given some awesome opportunities. This is all because of you reading my posts! Thanks so much for sticking with me from the beginning or just reading for the first time. Not only has my blog been more successful, but greater things have come as well. I think my favourite is getting to 'meet' and talk with new people through this and other blogs. You've gotten me through the worst of times and helped me celebrate the best of times. And though 2013 was a great year for the blog, it was a very hard year for me. A lot happened over the course of the year in all parts of my life. Arthritis wise it was a tough year and I went through a lot between dealing with the disease itself and complications from it. I still am going through a hard time with it. Since the year is almost over, I want

A Child's Double Point of View

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I certainly did. I've had the pleasure of being surrounded by family for the past few days. Although sarcastic by nature, I don't mean it sarcastically: it was actually nice to see my family again. Mostly.    There was one event in particular that stands bright in my memory. It was towards the end of the night and only a few were left. My younger cousins were playing nicely when the inevitable happened- a crash and some crying. An object that wouldn't be heavy to an adult but very heavy to a very petite eight year old fell on said child's foot. Even though we're still questioning if it really "just fell" or "if he threw it at me," one thing I can't question is that the child was really hurting. What I thought was interesting was the reactions of three people. The first person had a wonderful time with the child, however it was quite miserable for the child. He really enjoyed jokingly telling

Rest is Magical

Oh, to be young and rested... Wait, that's a total contradiction. From what I'm told, young people usually live perfectly fine off borrowed energy, caffine and crashing at two in the morning until they're tweety five-ish. That seems about right to be honest. Except in the cases of if you have some sort of autoimmune pain disease: You still live off borrowed energy, caffine and falling asleep at two in the morning (and probably some medicines) but you tend to flare, be miserable and lots of other 'fun' things. Oh, to be young and chronically ill. I'm a jealous person. I'm jealous that a week of school and Christmas shopping takes a lot out of me. I'm jealous there are days I'm doing work in bed or on my couch because I can't muster the strength to sit up correctly. I'm jealous that although I can and will push myself to go and do things, I often end up very painful and tired after (but never regretful). For goodness sakes, I'm jealous I

Touch is Power

With all the wonders of science and technology, researchers have found a new therapy that is able to help with chronic pain, depression, and all sorts of diseases: Touch therapy. Different from massage therapy, touch therapy is simply a person touching certain points on the body to relax a person. Touch is also known to release chemicals in the brain that reduce pain and give joy. It's amazing what our bodies can do from touch, so why has it never been pleasant for me? I've had arthritis since I was extremely young. There was evidence since I began walking when I was one year old. My uncles were very... Playful. They loved to toss around their nieces and nephews but I never had much of that. I recall it being very painful, and to think that was only the beginning! I didn't like games in school very much either as they tended to involve touch that was often a slap as they ran by (I was always rubbish at running anyway). I was about eleven when my 'friends' thought

"It's Only Psoriatic Arthritis."

A lot of people have the notion that some kinds of arthritis are 'better' than others. Some people argue it's worst to have an autoimmune arthritis than an osteoarthritis, and it goes farther to which kind of autoimmune arthritis is the worst. I think what we don't understand is that it isn't which kind of arthritis is the worst, it's how each individual's disease progresses that judges how severe it is. Let's take a conversation from about a year ago. It was between my mum and the parents of a friend of mine. My friend's parents had run into my mum and they began to chat. My Friend's parents knew about my arthritis and asked about it. At that point I was not doing well in any sense: Not only were my joints a mess, my kidneys weren't so hot From the medication. Anyway, before my mum brought up that my Friend's dad asked what kind of arthritis it was. My mum told them juvenile psoriatic arthritis, to which he replied "Thank God it&#

Learning How to Hug

"If you didn’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or being prim and proper, what would ask for or want people to know?" The one thing I would ask is for people to learn how to properly hug a chronically ill body. I've had hundreds of hugs in my life, and I can count on one hand how many were 'just right. ' There are times I really just need a hug. Unfortunately it can often be very painful: People squeeze too tight or are very distant and cold. People tend to not want to touch me because they know it hurts sometimes, and it's horrible to know people are afraid. The ideal hug would be that given by gentle arms. Even though squeezes are painful, you can certainly wrap your arms around me. Don't be afraid of me; I promise I won't break or pass on my chronic illness. I might feel awkward and stiff, but I'm not trying to be cold: It's just how my body works. And please excuse my freezing hands! After all, don't they say cold h

I'm Such a Jerk

As we get older and our situations change, our groups of friends tend to change a lot. Before I was diagnosed with arthritis, I had a close group of friends. After I began treatment after diagnosis, I lost them. We were young and I don't think they could really handle having a sick friend at that point: I understand, I stopped being mad a few years ago after I realised that. I think chronic illness reasons for lost friendships are the easiest to understand but also the hardest wounds to heal. Awhile ago,  I had some friendships end. To sum it up, I was told repeatedly that "I'm such a jerk," and that these friends are "so much better [people] than [me]." They meant it. I know them well enough to know they meant it. I'm going to leave it at that: I don't want to be too much more of a jerk. I tried to think of all the things I've said that could be hurtful, but I really couldn't think of anything. I consulted a few friends to ask if I'm

Joyful Mother and Son

One place I can commonly be found is at the library, and that's not a surprise considering I volunteer there. I gets me up and moving, and I enjoy the work: Typically putting away books and tidying. The area I most commonly work in tends to be the children's room, which I love aside from the low shelves and the messes that appear as you're not looking. Regardless, I adore the library: Books are one of my favourite ways to learn. But I know too well it's usually people who teach us the most important lessons. In my first few weeks there, I met a woman and her young son. The children's room was filled with children of every age playing or doing homework, and many parents supervising. I was shelving DVDs when the woman came with the little boy, the both of them with a spring in their step. The woman spoke with an excited voice, pointing out paintings the children had done earlier and the different sections. The boy didn't speak but he smiled at everything. The tw

Thinking Away Pain

Waking up isn't so hard, it's the getting up part. In the morning my back is killing me and more recently it's extended to my ribs. They're just so achy in the morning, like I got punched there or something. It's odd and I don't like that. But it is a quite common symptom in autoimmune arthritis- of course bring it up with your rheumatologist if you are experiencing this. I think wake up pain and late night pain is the worst kind of pain because your focus tends to only be then pain, rather than other things. It hits you at a time when your most vulnerable, mentally and physically. I once read that although we may experience pain in a different body part, pain always comes from our brain. It is best to keep our minds busy when we're in pain. It also explains brain fog.  I try not to dwell on pain, but it's not always possible. So today I decorated my Chrismtas tree. It's a small, white little thing and it's all dressed up in red- it's warm

Gift Ideas for Arthur

As it is now December and officially time to start our Advent calendars, I think it's time for the dreaded C word. No, novt cortisone; Chrismtas! 'Tis the season for festivities and fun! I can't think of any time of year I love more, except perhaps the summer when I can actually move. Anyway, people are beginning to come up with present ideas for their friends and families. I can completely sympathise if you are struggling because there are quite a few people on my list giving me a run for my money (you know who you are). I am a firm believer in the thought being what counts the most- I'd rather recieve nothing but told how much they thought of me than something that was obviously bought in haste without a thought to who I am. That said, I think it's sometimes hard to come up gift ideas for those of us with chronic illnesses. Since most people aren't millionaires, my wish of a hot tub won't be on my list, but there are small things that are very appreciated.

Roller Coaster Lifestyle

When I first began treatment for juvenile arthritis, I was put on a roller coaster: Mentally, emotionally and physically. I would say the first two years were the most wild, but there have been plenty of loops, hills and spirals along the way. Chronic illnesses tend to put people on roller coaster journeys. Nothing is set in stone, which means whilst things could go wrong, things could also go well. We're all at different parts of the ride, of which is completely different for everyone. But I think there are about four types of coasters we've all been on at some time. The Wooden Coaster: The wooden coaster is generally predictably since you can see the front of the track. The thing about it is that it's not a smooth ride: Wooden tracks are rickety and although you know where you're going, it can feel like it can change at any moment. This track can instantly turn into one of the following. The Steel Coaster: Typically very fast and unpredictable. Sure, you're

To My Dearest

This post, although seeming to be exclusive to a romantic partner, is meant for the people in life who make everything much better. It is meant for all the parents, partners, friends and children who are active in the lives of their chronically ill loved ones.  To My Dearest, I am sorry. I never meant to hurt you, but yet I watch everyday as you suffer. Sometimes it's easy to forget that chronic pain hurts more than one person, but I am able to see it hurt you often. I never wanted that for you- I can deal with my disease, but I don't want you to suffer it. And yet you do for me. I'm so sorry. My Dear, I am  sorry. As happy as you seem to help, I can see the sadness in your eyes. I never meant to need help to do basic things, and I never meant to make you help me. It just happened. I can see that it upsets you to see me like this, and it upsets me to see you putting on the brave mask that hides the sad in you. I'm so sorry. My Dear, I am sorry. I never want

Paper Cut Amputations

We all know that one person who can make anything sound a hundred times worse than it actually is. Unfortunately, I am constantly followed by one. A pimple on the arm? Yeah, that's a horrible painful rash that is simply incurable. A paper cut? Might need to be amputated. A very light bruise? "There's lots of blood flow there so it's like daggers and knives." Fell on the schoolyard as a child? "My knees are still torn! I have the scars! There's probably still pavement in there!" Listen, I've seen those knees: if there are scars, obviously I am blind.  You know, maybe I've just been sick long enough or injured enough times to see past the exaggerations. But really annoys me is everyone else gives into this person!! The sympathy is really... Pathetic. Yes, this is a jealousy story. But it isn't over someone else getting attention- that's the last thing I like. It's that people can care less over a person in twenty four hour pain

17 Things That Annoy Arthur and I

A List of 17 things that annoy us, in no particular order.There are many more than this, but I had to cut it down. By about seven hundred. 17. People who chew obnoxiously. Besides for the terrible annoyance, there's a bit of jealously in regards to my jaw: if I chewed like that, either Arthur or my mother would smack some sense into me. Not literally. Well, maybe Arthur. 16. When the bus driver doesn't pull up to the pavement close enough so you have to step down to the road then up. 15. Every pain reliever ad. They don't know what they're talking about. 14. When you're watching a medical drama on television and they get everything wrong. 13. When you make plans and it's seemed like a good idea... until you actually have to get up and get dressed. 12. When you have to explain to the doctor exactly what your disease is. "You're the doctor, shouldn't you be telling me?" 11. When someone says "It's just arthritis." &qu


Depending on where you live, it may or may not be bullying awareness week. Regardless of where you live, every week should be bullying awareness week. It's a huge issue that no longer is an issue within only schools but even in home with the increasing use of social media. Bullying within the work place is also becoming a huge issue too. Bully is an extremely common thing to be a victim of and/or witness. I know I have. When I was younger, I wasn't bullied horribly by other children. I had lots of times where I was miserable, but it could've been much worse. I do recall, however, being bullied by teachers an awful lot. I was a very quiet and sometimes sensitive child- I cried one time whilst reading a book about kittens. Alright, I was a really sensitive child. But it's not an excuse for a child to be afraid to speak because she liked the silence more than her ears being filled with insults from the mouths of her peers and instructors. I haven't dealt with bull

When Nurses Say It's 'Just' Arthritis

A few weeks ago I was talking with a student nurse. Our conversation somewhat ended coldly, but not the way you would expect. You see, this person happened to say, "I mean, it's just arthritis." I kind of smirked, gave a small laugh and said "You're lucky you said that to me and not a patient: I know what you meant, but a patient would think you just completely dismissed their pain." As I gave her the heads up, she proceeded to obviously lose attention and began to text and laugh at a message, not acknowledging I had spoken at all. I get it. Nursing is an extremely difficult career. Believe when I say I understand- not completely, of course, since I'm not a nurse- but I see a lot of things they put up with and lots of great things they do enough to see the passion behind it. I'm in hospitals enough to be reminded of this constantly. And I understand that there will be one patient with a slight fever who insists they are extremely ill and in agon

Getting Through Eye Exams

I have the worst time at the eye doctors. All things about the eyes just creep me out- I can barely think about contact lenses. Unfortunately, autoimmune arthritis has a tendency to affect the eyes, especially in children. Lots of us have to do full eye exams at least once a year, if not twice or possibly more. Yay. I've had a heck of a time through the years with my eye exams. I used to have to go twice a year but after switching to a new eye doctor last year, it was determined I could go once a year. But no matter how often I go, I never get used to it. Eye drops? Those are a struggle. Want me to look into the light? Yeah, we'll see about that. And don't even talk to me about glaucoma tests. I may not like them at all, but I do have ways of getting through them. If you can't seem to keep your eye open for drops, there is a way that could make it easier. Tilt your head back onto the head of the chair, that way you can push your head into the chair and you won'

The 'Next Level' Medicine

In autoimmune arthritis, there are tons of treatments you can try- from DMARDs to diets. Okay, there aren't tons,  but there are several treatments out there. You might be lucky and find that your first pick gives amazing results. But, more often than not you'll try a few. I did, and it took a few years to find what works best. To be honest, it should've happened earlier. My first rheumatologist liked to stay with one treatment, regardless of what happend. I remember one DMARD made me extremely ill for the month I took it, and I later learned that they were extremely serious side effects. Towards the end of my two years with my first rheumatologist, I wasn't feeling well at all with Methotrexate and we weren't seeing any improvements. That's when I asked my doctor "Isn't there anything else we can try?" He sighed and I remember his exact words: "We would be going to the next level after Methotrexate, and you don't want to get to that

Chronic Questioning

When I was little, there were a few children in my class who had allergies to peanuts. Obviously, at the age of nine I didn't know much about allergies since they never really affected me. We were informed that we needed to wash our hands after eating things with peanuts in them, and then the teacher allowed us to ask questions about the allergies. One of the children asked about if chocolates are okay, and one of the children with allergies said that it was okay only if they weren't made in the same place as peanuts were. That made me think about my favourite chocolate things so I asked, "Are chocolate biscuits okay?" And one of the children smiled and said, "yes, I love those." "It's not a chocolate  allergy, of course chocolate biscuits are acceptable," My teacher barked at me. Even though I still had more questions, I didn't ask anymore. I didn't like feeling dumb so I just sat quietly and hoped someone else asked the questions I

My Nude Figure Lesson

Someone once told me the best way to get better at drawing is to draw the body. I still agree it's probably the best way to become better at drawing. Most artists who went to school to study art- and even some who didn't- have taken at least one figure drawing class. A nude figure drawing class, specifically. I have takens loads of those and it made me a better artist. It also made me grossed out of old men for a whilst, but that's a different story. Anyway, the class taught me more than just drawing skills though. It showed me how different we all are. When we're little, we talk about how girls and boys are different. On blogs like this, We talk about people with disabilities and those without them having different bodies. But it seems like sometimes we forget that everyone is so different, and absolutely no one is perfect. We all have those imperfections we really hate about ourselves, and I've seen on other people: large surgical scars, wiry frames, a little e

Dreaming Stress

Stress is a huge part of what makes autoimmune diseases flare. I love how everytime I read something on controlling autoimmune arthritis, it tends to say something along the lines of 'learn to control stress.' I feel as if that should be more of an instruction for bosses, teachers, and anyone else who seems to cause more stress in our lives. It might be up to us how we deal with it, but I can only do so much. We always say our health should come before anything else, and though it should, it won't always. At least for me. Maybe I'm burning myself out, but I've been pushing past a lot of pain and fatigue to get work and projects done. I'm a young person: I'm working to pursue my dreams. Maybe it's my age, but achieving dreams triumphs a lot right now. My rooms a mess, my Enbrel is off schedule by a day (not a big deal: I don't let that become a problem), I'm tired beyond belief and sore. Right now, so much is taking my priority. It will for a fe

Ancient Eygptians had Arthritis

I had just spent the day in an art museum. I love art, obviously, and getting to see art from history and present day was wonderful. I think the historical art pieces are my favourite between the two, just because sometimes I like to just look at something pretty and not have to think about it's meaning. As I was looking around at the section on ancient Eygpt, I had a sudden realisation: Ancient Eygptians had arthritis. Seriously! Think about it. Look at any ancient Eygptian picture of people: They're very stiff looking. Even their statues were very stiff and rigid. They loved the heat, Wore linen pyjamas all day, and knew more about medicine than many cultures at the time, using myrtle leaves as a basic form of aspirin and lime stone as antacid. Need more proof? We even have a dance move like how they're pictured: The poor things! We've been picking on them this whole time not even realising it.    Well, maybe not all of them had it, but someone had to. :)

Wake Up Pain

Sleep: My favourite activity. I can't seem to get enough of it! But the couple hours of inactivity isn't great for those of us with arthritis and other pain disease: Morning stiffness is an extremely common symptom. But pain can also be a huge problem in the morning, as I have been personally experiencing: Lately I've needed a half hour just to get out of bed in the morning. Waking up and getting up are two completely different things. Waking up, you may experience anything, from pleasure of waking up to the sun shining, little pain and a day of relaxation  to a blaring alarm, lots of pain and a busy day ahead. Sometimes I wish the day starts when I say it can, having slept in enough to feel completely rested. But, that's not possible... Anyway, getting up is a process in and of itself. It's hard to try and move when you feel like you can't, and it's worse when you're in pain. Sometimes it seems like it would help the pain to just stay in pain, and I r

Knowledge Pros and Cons

Sometimes I'm not really sure if it is better to be a patient who is very knowledgable of their disease and similar diseases or if it's better to not know. It sounds odd but each end of the spectrum has it's pros and cons and I know each very well. Sometimes even a happy medium still has more problems than it's really worth, but you can't take back much knowledge. Being a bit of an expert of my disease has lots of pros. I actually know what my doctor is talking about and can catch onto a lot of things before he says it. For example, last time I saw him he checked a bunch of tender points on my back and chest asking if they hurt. When he finished, I said "Did you honestly   just check me for fibromyalgia?" "No- yeah, I did." And I'm aware of why he does certain things- for example, sending me for an EKG when my heart was beating too fast or why my kidney problems are such a concern. Knowing a lot about your disease also means you are aware o

Elizabeth, Please Burn Out

Dear Elizabeth, What are you doing?! You should be burning out any day now, and I'll make sure of that! Really? Volunteer work? I get it, it's good for others... But not so for me. Let's pay a little more attention to who controls if you have the stamina to, alright? School... I get it, you've got your priorities but I've got mine too. You can't neglect me so you can go to school . And now your doing Saturday classes... Really? You think you can handle that? Well, I'll make sure you've got your hands full between classes and me. Oh, and lets not forget those stupid art projects your always working on. I know your working on lots of things, especially for The Girl with Arthritis, but what about me?! Don't you ever sit down like I want you to? Elizabeth... I miss you. You're just so busy all the time... There just hasn't been enough time for me lately. You just don't pay attention to me anymore. I miss all the time we spent toge

Nursing Concerns

I've had this one thing on my chest for a long time. It's a bit of a touchy issue but right now seems like a good time to say it. It's hard to say it nicely so I'm just going to say it how I see it: I hate when people who don't have a drive to nurse become nurses. It honestly concerns me because I know so many people like that, one of them saying the other day '[Censored] this, I'm only in it for the money.' As a person who constantly receiving medical care, this is a bit horrifying. Many other people don't care about my thought. "We need more nurses." "It's a respectful job." "It's a steady job." And lots of other things will and have been said in protest to my thought. But most of these people don't realise what an affect it can have on the main goal: Patient care. I've been in and out of hospitals for years- both specifically for children and general hospitals for adults. I've met a whole var

'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green

One of my favourite books is called 'The Fault in Our Stars.' I've read it about five times this year, and I couldn't help but fall in love with it again and again. This book is different from any other books I've ever read; not only did I understand it, it understood me. That might be a little odd so I'll post the bit on the back: "Despite tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten." Other than "Fiction," it's hard to really describe this book. It's labeled 'young adult fiction,' but despite that being the target audience, it doesn't quite fit. It's a equal mix of teenagers and medicine- perhaps you could call it 'chronically ill young adult fiction.&#


Fatigue. It's a common side effect with just about any disease that is caused by your immune system. It can be constant and severe at times. It usually strikes when you really need energy. And the worst part is, lots of people won't believe you! It's- once again- one of those things people will think your using as an excuse to get out doing things. Again. There are lots of reasons we experience fatigue. From proteins in the blood to anaemia to simply being worn out from a flare, fatigue can come many ways. Lots of  people aren't able to fall asleep easily or simply don't reach a deep level of sleep, which can make fatigue even worse. So, what are we to do? There is no magic cure for fatigue- but if you happen to be a researcher, please take note! But anyways, there are some things take can help. Vitamin D and omega 3 are always good for you and can really help. Taking a quick nap when you need it is always a good idea. And eating heavy, rich foods at night may h

Instructions for a Bad Day

We all have them. We all have ways of getting past them. Listening to this is one way I do. Instructions for a Bad Day By Shane Koyczan "There will be bad days. Be calm. Loosen your grip, opening each palm slowly now. Let go. Be confident. Know that now is only a moment, and that if today is as bad as it gets, understand that by tomorrow, today will have ended. Be gracious. Accept each extended hand offered, to pull you back from the somewhere you cannot escape. Be diligent. Scrape the gray sky clean. Realize every dark cloud is a smoke screen meant to blind us from the truth, and the truth is whether we see them or not - the sun and moon are still there and always there is light. Be forthright. Despite your instinct to say "it's alright, I'm okay" - be honest. Say how you feel without fear or guilt, without remorse or complexity. Be lucid in your explanation, be sterling in your oppose. If you think for one second no one knows what you've been

"Kids Always Outgrow Arthritis"

For children and teenagers with arthritis, there is one thing we hear very often. "You'll grow out of your arthritis." And no, it's not [usually] paediatric rheumatologists who tell kids this. It's other adults. It's the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours, teachers, and sometimes even parents and other doctors. They don't know better and believe it is true, and may give them comfort to believe. They've heard it before: You can't possibly come up with that idea yourself. So who was that person who spread the idea? Lot's of people, actually. It is said that about seventy five per cent of children with arthritis in four or fewer joints will 'outgrow' arthritis without the need of drugs. It is extremely common for children to only have four or fewer joints affected, so it's very probable that the story of someone's child outgrowing arthritis would spread. Another problem is that many people don't understa

Frustrating Arthritis

I think one of the hardest things about chronic pain to deal with is the frustration. Frustration and anger are the results of many things. "Why isn't the treatment working?" "Why can't they understand?"  "Why does the world have to go at such a fast pace?" "Why can't everything go back to the way it was before?" "Why did this happen to me?" I wish with all my heart that I had all the answers, but I don't. I'm sorry. I really am, because I know having the answers could help a lot. It's very common to get frustrated or even angry about these things. It's hard to always look towards the positives when negatives are thrown in your way all the time. It's okay. It's okay to feel upset because the pain is everywhere or because you're tired all the time. You're body isn't feeling well and your brain is aware. It's so aware that it makes you worried about if something is wrong, and sad whe

My Biggest Fear

Recently one YouTube, a very well known Youtuber did a video talking about what he is most afraid of. He said that since he is an atheist, death is the scariest thing for him. Imagining nothingness for eternity scares him a lot. Many people agreed, saying that death is their fear because of it. How I see it, they probably don't actually fear death itself, they fear nothingness. Every fear we have tends to be for a bigger reason, and some of them come for bigger reasons. For example, I don't like the dark. It's not that I fear the darkness itself, it's that I fear there is danger I can't see. But that's not my 'biggest fear.' I suppose you could say fear is pain. It sounds funny from a person who's had arthritis since before they could remember but it's true. I am actually afraid of actual pain, but there is more to it. I'm afraid of what's happening to cause the pain. I'm afraid something is wrong. I'm horribly afraid of suffe

Arthritis Acne

As a teenager, there is one topic that is extremely unavoidable: Acne. It was bound to come up sooner or later. I thought it might as well be now. I may be in my late teens, but I still have acne. I know it's fairly common to have it into your twenties or even older, but still. And it's no fault of my own that I can't get rid of it all: I've done my research and gave evey wash or medicine a fair chance of at least three months. I don't eat excessively greasy or sugary foods and when I do, I don't go overboard. And I'm one of the cleanest people you will ever meet. So why do I still have acne? Arthur. Yes, once again Arthur is responsible for yet another unpleasant thing. Whilst I'm unsure how rheumatoid arthritis affects acne, it has been said that psoriatic arthritis can cause acne break outs. It makes a lot of sense because I've gone without an acne wash for a month to see how my skin is, and there's little change. Well, that's a lie. D


I've always had arthritis. Okay, since I was about two years old I have had it. The odd thing about not having a proper diagnosis until a few years ago is still puzzling. Especially because of what my mum went through for years trying to get someone to take her child's medical condition seriously. You see, there were quite a few things that weren't exactly 'right' in my medical life for a number of years. Being diagnosed with tendinitis is one of them. I've had the privilege of being able to have access to some great hospitals. One in particular was called the 'best paediatric hospital ever' or some rubbish like that. I'd been there with disappointing results in the past, but we hoped I would be different this time. I was about ten years old, with no diagnosis and a flare that required hospitalisation for a week just two years prior. All signs pointed to juvenile arthritis. Tendinitis. The world class doctor walked in, sat down, scanned my cha

Rheumatologist Dating

Your hearts racing, palms sweating. They'll be here any minute, and you're very nervous: After all, They could be the one. It's the first time you two will meet, and you hope sparks fly. This could be the perfect match, or the worst. It's remarkable how choosing a rheumatologist is like dating. No two are alike, you get to know each other after time, you'll always remember your first, there might be lots of break ups, and somewhere out there is "the one." Seeing a new rheumatologist is almost always overwhelming, especially if it's the first time you're seeing them. Unlike your GP (primary doctor), you will (probably) see them more often than once a year and ocasionally when you're sick and need help. You will get to know your doctor, just give it some time and don't be discouraged. What matters at the very start is that they get on the right track of diagnosis or treatment if you already have a diagnosis. The first visit will probably

"What's a Flare?"

I've only really considered myself to have one flare in my life. I was eight years old and hospitalised for severe hip pain, high fever and dehydration. You literally couldn't touch me I was in so much pain. I know how bad my arthritis can get- that bad- and thankfully it's never happened again. I've always thought that it was only when my pain got to that point that I'd be in a flare up. Otherwise, its been bad days, bad weeks, horrible nights and fighting tears back when in public. But reading stories and following fellow arthritis warriors who have flares occasionally or often  got me thinking 'what defines a flare up anyway?' A flare up is simply defined as an increase in symptoms from a patients usual symptoms. It may sound straight forward, but I don't feel like it is. Things with arthritis tend to be vague. The definition of flare is very vague. "How much pain do I have to have to be in a flare?" "Do I have to have extreme swellin

Autumn Arthritis Help

Autumn is here! It's that lovely time of year full of beautiful foliage, warm drinks and for some cosy fashions. It's also when it begins to get quite chilly, which can be a real problem for a person with joint problems. Those with autoimmune arthritis definitely can feel the effects of the changing weather more than others. Whether it's stiffness from the cold or trouble keeping warm, I know I can relate. So, I've put together a bit of help for the fall. 1. It may be very cold at night, and our human reaction is to curl up our body whilst we sleep to keep warm. This position may cause a lot of pain in the morning (I would know from experience). Try to layer your bed so you won't be tempted to sleep curled up: it's better to sleep as of standing up, or legs bent loosely. You'll stay warm and mornings may not be as stiff and painful. 2. Drink plenty of warm fluids! It will help your body keep warm, will soothe you and the hot cup might help sore hands. Tr

"Courage is Not the Absence of Fear"

  "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." -Nelson Mandela I know so many people who are chronically ill: Through this blog and in person. It is through them that I've seen more courage than some will see in a lifetime. Most people think a child wouldn't need courage through illness and in hospitals because treatment isn't optional when your parents consent and hold you down. But it's true, especially when your disease is ongoing. Children, teenagers and adults show a lot of gumption in times of illness. Often times we develop many fears because of the uncertain nature of these illnesses. They battle this fear because living scared is no way to live at all. They face the fear of pain and scars and go through procedures because it might be better later. They face the fear of needles and side effects and take strong medication and immunosuppress

Exercise to Help Manage Juvenile Arthritis

This is part two of two connecting posts for a reader. The first section was all about diet changes to manage inflammation ( Diet to Manage Juvenile Arthritis ). This part is about exercise. When you have arthritis, it's easy to fall into the trap of not exercising. It's not purposeful, it just hurts to move around sometimes. Though pushing your limits is not recommended at all, it's important to try and keep active. Keeping active will help you keep your joints from becoming too stiff and keeping them strong. You may be sent to physiotherapy (physical therapy) to assist, and this is the person who should help you the most in your work out planning. Your doctor would be another good person to consult with. And most importantly, listen to your body. Stretching is good. Some people have found good results in yoga. Yoga can be very good for a person with arthritis but it can be hard to tell what our bodies can handle. As a person who couldn't handle yoga, I recommend t