Arthritis This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   When you hear the word arthritis, what do you think of?When I first learned about it, I was told it was a problem people have whenthey're older, but it has changed my life. I am 17 years old and have had chronicarthritis that has affected my muscles and nerves for eight months.

Itall started when I had unexplainable pain in my shoulder and neck. My doctorthought it was because I was constantly carrying a 50-pound back pack and if Istopped carrying it, the pain would go away. Well, the pain only got worse - muchworse. It got to the point where I was almost in tears every day. It wasaffecting everything.

If it was rainy or cold, I was really miserable.It got to the point where I was taking heavy pain medication. After a month ofpure agony, my doctor finally figured out what was causing so much pain:arthritis.

Do I have to live with this pain for the rest of my life? Iwondered at first. No, my doctor assured me. Since it was caught early andbecause I am young, if I took care of myself, I could perhaps reverse it. So, nowI have a shot every four to six months, take daily medication to prevent pain,and take a mild dose of codeine if I have a really bad day.

The paindoesn't control me anymore, I control it. Every day I am in some sort of pain,but thanks to the treatment, it doesn't affect my life too much anymore. In thefuture I plan to have surgery to correct this, probably when I finish highschool.

Even though it's a daily fight, I know that I can face a futurewithout arthritis interfering. I can even play sports, thanks to modern medicine.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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