Samantha was diagnosed when she was 2 1/2 years old. When she was learning how to walk she continually kept falling down. At that point we noticed that her knee was swollen. From there we did a bone scan, blood work and multiple trips to Children's Hospital.
When the doctor came in and said it was arthritis we just didn't know what to think. We, like many, thought that this was a disease that only affected the older generations. We were wrong. We tried a few different medications and are now finally on Humira which seems to be our wonder drug. Although with all medications you wonder when it may stop working and if we have to start all over again.
Samantha has a secondary condition from the arthritis which is the uveitis. This is usually what gives her the most trouble. Any time we start to try to ween off the biologics she gets eye inflammation.
Between the doctors appointments, the being aware of people being sick, the watching of others being sick and being around her, and her just plain being down and out keep our family busy. Do I wish she didn't have arthritis? Yes. But I'm glad that if she has to have it that she was diagnosed at such a young age and she knows no different. Doctor appointments, weekly shots, lab work are all just normal things to her. She is a super strong warrior. She rarely stops going. She won't let this disease beat her. She may be exhausted after keeping up with her friends but she will NOT be left behind. I applaud her for this. I can see when it is too much but sometimes you just have to let her go. Have we kept her out of some activities, yes. Should we maybe have let her try, yes. But sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
We are honored that Samantha has been selected as the child honoree this year for the walk to cure arthritis. We want to help educate, fundraise and hopefully help find better medicines or even better find a cure.