Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Surviving Arthritis - Newly Diagnosed Part 2

Here is the Part 2! For this portion, I tried to focus more on the medical aspect of being newly diagnosed.
Stage One: Do your research. You'll feel much more in control and comfortable if you are knowledgable about your arthritis, specifically your individual type. There are plenty of good resources out there to help you. A lot of times, the pediatric rheumatologist who is treating you will provide information. Another great resource is the Internet, as long as you are finding reliable sources. Education is the first step to control.
Stage Two: Talk to your doctors. Every kid with arthritis has a medical team, often consisting of a pediatric rheumatologist, a physical therapist, a pediatrician, and even a psychologist in some cases. It is important that all of these people stay informed about how you are doing.
Stage Three: Think about your joints. I don't mean just lingering on the fact that they are kind of screwed up. I mean thinking about how different activities in tour everyday life will affect them. For example, we went bowling a few days ago. I have to think about the best way to bowl that will cause my wrists and knees the least amount of pain.
Stage Four: Make sure the people who need to know know. You don't have to share your diagnosis with everyone (though every situation is different), but it is important that your teachers at school and other adults who have responsibility over you for some period of time know. The worst time to be explaining that you have arthritis is when you are close to falling in the hallway or struggling to write on the board. Trust me, you do NOT want to go there. This is medically important because you need to be able to limit yourself and take your medications without being questioned or interrogated by adults.
Stage Five: Know your medications. You never know when you will need this information.
Good luck!


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