Kailey lives with chronic pain due to Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). At age 14 Kailey suffered an injury involving a Segway which resulted in two bulging discs, and ultimately led to a diagnosis of JRA. Now 16, Kailey lives with constant, daily pain that can range from mild (“a dull throb”) to extreme, debilitating pain that can leave her bedridden. Often she is unable to sleep due to the pain in her back, and she takes daily medication for pain relief, and other medication to suppress the arthritis.
Most of Kailey’s pain is concentrated in her lower back, wrists, ankles and knees. She has tried multiple interventions to alleviate the pain, including acupuncture and laser therapy, and has visited chiropractors, physiotherapists, back specialists and rheumatologists.
Kailey’s experience of the health care system has been challenging and often slow. It took more than eight months for her to be properly diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, after visiting her GP, a back specialist, and finally a rheumatologist. Kailey has now started a rehabilitation program, and hopes to be able to get to a point where she is once again able to play her favourite sport, soccer.
With a strong support network consisting of her rheumatologist, an arthritis physiotherapist, her parents and school, Kailey looks forward to a future where she is able to control her pain and live and active and fulfilling life.
“My life has completely changed in the last two years since being diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I used to be a very active and healthy young girl, and now some days I can’t even walk. Living with chronic pain impacts every part of my life, from my school work, to my part time job, to my social life.”
“I really hope I can learn to manage my pain effectively when I’m older, and not be so limited in what I can do. I just hope I’m not always in so much pain. And I’d really love to be able to get back into playing sports, especially soccer.”