Newest Review: ... I basically demanded he was seen by a professional who dealt with joints and joint issues. We were duly sent to our local hospital to see... more
JIA..... My families story
Juvenille Arthritis in general
Member Name: Mummy_to_2
Juvenille Arthritis in general
Disadvantages: pain, illness, loss of childhood
***This review is based solely on my experiences of JIA from a parents view, I am not a medical professional, i will only say what we were told and how my son's arthritis was handled, whilst there are other forms of arthritis and treatments this is based on the ones used for my son***
In the latter stages of last year my 5 year old son started complaining off pains in his ankles and knees, although at first not sure of the reasons I took him to the local doctors only to be told that he was experiencing 'growing' pains, at first I agreed with this diagnosis and went about properly maintaining these 'pains' with calpol when needed etc.
It wasn't until the august/September of last year that I began to notice swelling and 'hot' patches on said sons knees and ankles, this drove me to the doctors surgery again looking for answers, this time I basically demanded he was seen by a professional who dealt with joints and joint issues. We were duly sent to our local hospital to seen a paediatrician.
During the initial consultation we were informed my son had Hypermobility and maybe Something else, it was not until a few months later when I arranged a semi emergency appointment with the said consultant, after having to help my son out of bed as his knees wouldn't work, that we found out my son had JIA (Juvenile idiopathic arthritis) although it is also referred to as JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis).
Sadly the cause for JIA is unknown but thankfully unlike the adults forms of arthritis it can be fully cured IF caught early enough. It is also the most common.
As with all types of arthritis (adult and juvenile) it is classed as an autoimmune disease.
Symptoms include lethargy, pain, swelling, lack of appetite, flu symptoms and limping, and more dangerous side effect is a form of eye inflammation called 'uveitis' that is quite common with some types of JIA, a simple eye and blood test will determine if it has occurred.
There are three types of JIA
Oligoarticular - 4 or less joints in 6 months
Polyarticular - 5 or more joints in 6 months and
Systemic - most joints, fever and rash.
***MY FAMILIES EXPERIENCE***
My son was diagnosed with Oligoarticular JIA in predominately his ankles and maybe his knee's ( follow up appt to confirm), and although changes were made at home (swimming more often, steps for baths etc) we were soon back as he now could not partipate in'PE' sessions in school.
This leads me on to treatments.........
Most commonly the child will have some sort of physical regime and sometimes hydrotherapy ( as in the case of my son) although some people choose to also use drug treatments such as non steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs and sometime betablockers of a sort.
Sadly my son had to have the most aggressive form of treatment(due to others not working and lenght of time since diagnosis) involving intra-articular corticosteroid injections administered under general anaesthetic into the affected joints. This being a day surgery and taking around 1 hour, which although not alot as a parent seemed like an eternity and the worst thing ever!!!!!
With this over the thing needed is strangely a good exercise and stretching regime to maintain 'bendiness' and make it easier to move etc.
Thankfully the injections seemed to have worked and with a strict regime of swimming (hydrotherapy) and exercise he seems to cope ok but only time will tell, we were lucky it could have been worse and not dealt with quickly.
I hope this has helped in a small way.
Summary: a family experience of JIA
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