My name is Bobbie Jo Ridenhour and I am 17 years old. I have a few health issues, (Turners Syndrome and a minor heart arrhythmia.) Last week my knuckles started hurting terribly on both hands like I had punched a wall. Then the other day my knuckles started getting nodules and bumps on them like little BB's. I consulted my school nurse and she says that it looks like arthritis and stressed that I should get them checked out. My questions:
1) Am I too old to just now develop JRA or something similar at 17.
2) What treatment options do I have if it is indeed arthritis.
3) How do I reduce the size or take care of the awful, and painful, nodules that I have?
I'm Shanna. I have a niece who was diagnosed with JRA, she is 17 now and still has flare ups, but she was diagnosed at about 4yrs old. I'm not sure what the cut off age is for JRA. I obviously have RA running in my family. I was only diagnosed with RA about a year ago, but now that I think about some of the joint issues I had when I was younger, I wonder if it wasn't there all along. Obviously, it must have been much less severe when I was younger. I do remember always spraining my ankle on one foot and getting xrays on my other foot alot for undiagnosed pain at the time, but they didn't diagnose me with JRA. It doesn't mean I didn't have it then, but testing for RA and recognizing it period in children or adults has come a long way in the last 10yrs.
Last winter my RA flare up from he_ _ started with me waking up on Valentines day only to notice that my hands hurt unbearably, with swollen joints especially in the kuckle and pointer finger of both hands. The pain and swelling escalated untill all my joints in my hands and feet were affected. I too also got nodules on the some of the knuckles. It went on for months. This winter isn't as bad, but some of the swelling and stiffness is now permanent. I didn't have health insurance and was unable to get help from a rheumatologist in a timely manner, so now I have permanent damage. Therefore, get it checked out asap because this flare up can go on quite a while and you don't want permanent damage.
I found that heat helped my hands and feet with the pain. Others, like to ice it. So, you have to see what makes it feel better and helps the swelling for you. I couldn't handle ice because it already felt like my extremities were painfully cold. The heat allowed the stiffness to lessen too. If your not allergic, and antiflammatory medication may help with swelling and pain. Talk to you Dr. and pharmacist before adding any meds. And, since your under 18, talk to your parents or whoever your guardian is, unless you are emancipated and live alone.
Whatever you do, get it looked at by a DR asap for proper diagnosis and treatment. I don't want you to suffer as much as I have. It can become very debilitating if it is RA and not treated properly.
The main thing is that you get tested for RA if your DR agrees with the student nurse because RA is a degenerative, noncurable disease. The sooner it is diagnosed to sooner you can get on meds that will decrease the amount of damage being done to your joints during the flare ups.
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