Arthritis

Jessica

Female
Age at interview: 20

Brief outline: Jessica has systemic juvenile chronic arthritis. She typically experiences pain all over her body. She takes Humira (adalimumab), azathioprine, Pentasa (mesalazine) and paracetamol to help manage her conditions. Jessica has improved lots since taking Humira and having hip and shoulder surgery.

Background: Jessica is a college student studying photography. She is white British.

Audio & video

Jessica has systemic juvenile chronic arthritis. She typically experiences pain all over her body. She takes Humira (adalimumab), azathioprine, Pentasa (mesalazine) and paracetamol to help manage her conditions. 
 
Jessica had lots of problems growing up. She had restricted mobility because of her pain and was a wheelchair user until she was nineteen. Jessica has a swollen heart but this does not affect her much. She also has Crohn’s disease. This means that her stomach is sensitive and she suffers from stomach cramps. When she was eighteen she spent 8 weeks in hospital with her Crohn’s. During Jessica’s first two weeks in hospital she was in intensive care and remembers very little. She used to take steroids to help manage her arthritis but this made her hungry and she put on lots of weight. When she was five years old she weighed five stone. The steroids also caused her bones to crumble. She has had her hips replaced and her metal caps placed on her shoulders so they do not rub together and hurt. She was lonely and suffered from depression. Jessica wanted to commit suicide.
 
Since being on Humira Jessica has improved lots. She has also benefited greatly from her hip replacements and her shoulder caps. She experiences less pain than she did before and no longer needs to use a wheelchair. Jessica is studying photography and enjoys travelling to college independently. She still finds it hard walking around the large campus but appreciates the freedom she now has and takes her time when she has to walk. Her social life has improved because she has made friends with people on her course and feels a lot happier. 
 
Jessica is a big Manchester City fan and holds a season ticket. She enjoys shopping, going to the gym, driving her car and going out with friends.
 
Jessica is one of four people who will contribute video diaries about living with arthritis.
 

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