Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Emily was two and a half years old when learned of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. At first she just wouldn't do things that she enjoyed like climbing and sliding at playgrounds. She became more clumsy. The day after her third birthday she began to limp. What seemed to be out of the ordinary strange things for an active kid quickly changed to more significant symptoms such as waking up in agony at night. It was time to see a doctor, because Emily was losing her mobility.
Finally they were sent to Boston and was immediately diagnosed. By now, she could barely walk independently. Treatment began immediately with a daily NSAID, followed by cortisone injections in both knees, ankles, and index finger. These got her moving, but she would need more. Emily began methotrexate injections and was monitored monthly. Her arthritis was so bad at this point, she needed physical therapy twice a week for months to get her walking and back to normal physical movements that her peers could do like jump, bike, and run. As a result of her illness one of her legs is slightly shorter than the other.
For Emily, it has been a long journey with ups and downs. Their family is thankful for a fantastic Rheumatologist. Emily is a competitive dancer and many would never guess she has arthritis. Emily's parents say "she is one of the lucky ones that responds well to treatment." For Emily, she hates taking her medicine,needles, and monthly blood work. Emily was in a remission period, but this past May her arthritis became active once again and she is back on medication with regular follow-ups in Boston. We hope that one day there is a cure so no other children have to fight this fight!