Arianna was born with black, curly hair and the spirit of a warrior. The nurses told us she was a fighter. We thought, “How could they know this about our baby?!” Little did we know how right they were!
Arianna started life as an opinionated baby, knowing what she wanted from day one. Early on she was diagnosed with a milk protein intolerance. As life progressed, we found Arianna hitting her normal milestones: sitting up, crawling, and walking. Between 12-18 months, she started regressing and each morning she woke up crying, unable to bend her knees.
We took her to our pediatrician concerned about this regression, pain and her noticeable limp. We were referred to a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon. They took hip x-rays, with no results, we went home with no answers.
Arianna’s limp continued, but now her knees, ankles, wrists and fingers were visibly swollen. Again, we were sent for x-rays, with the same result. We now explored the possibility of a genetic disorder that runs in our family, Emery Dreyfuss Muscular Dystrophy. We were referred to Dr. Fernandez at Shiner’s Hospital. At this point, it was concluded that her pain was not connected to the MD and Dr. Fernandez suggested arthritis. We were flabbergasted by this suggestion. She was a baby; how could this be true?
We were referred to All Children’s Hospital and Dr. Santiago in rheumatology. At our first meeting we knew we were in great hands. Arianna was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis. It has been a hard road; Arianna has weekly shots and visits her doctor frequently. Arianna does have the spirit of a warrior. Our family moto is you can do whatever you want in life and Arianna wants to be She-Ra. She says she is strong like She-Ra, and she is 100% correct!
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