Live Yes! Connect launched: 2018
Live Yes! Connect Facilitator: Abby Type of Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic, Spondylosis
About this Live Yes! Connect Group:
My vision for the Grand Forks Live Yes! Connect is to educate others about arthritis, be an encourager, be a good support for others, share resources as well as learn from each other as we live with our different forms of arthritis.
My medical story began when I developed meningitis and then encephalitis at four days old. It was three and a half months before my adoptive parents could take me home.
I was active as a kid in ballet, tap dance, gymnastics, cheerleader mascot, and piano but that soon changed. One morning I couldn't get out of bed. My right knee was swollen and it hurt a lot. For the next several weeks my parents had to carry me into a hot bath so my joints could limber up. I was tested for lupus, leukemia, and Lyme disease. Those tests came back negative. Next, I was tested for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis because other joints were also beginning to show flare ups like my knee. I was diagnosed with poly-articular JRA.
Weekly I went to the clinic to get liquid gold injections along with blood work. I was able to go into remission for about 9 months when I was eleven and get off all my medication. Then arthritis came back worse than when I was first diagnosed with it.
Over the next 30 years since my diagnosis I’ve been on numerous medication including DMARDS and Biologics. My body gets immune to the medication so I have to switch every 2 to 3 years.
Within the last seven years, I have developed three other forms of arthritis, uveitis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondylitis. Some days are painful to walk and the stiffness can be unbearable at times.
Since 2011 I have had three surgeries on my left eye and multiple injections in my retina which severely limited my eye sight in that eye. I've had a complete knee replacement in March of 2015.
My motto is, “Never give up!” I have a great support group of family and friends who have been by my side every step of the way. A strong faith with a positive attitude helps me get up, get going, and move forward every day. I don’t know why I have to deal with arthritis every second of every day but I do know who guides me and provides for me.
I am facilitating this group because The Grand Forks and surrounding areas need a good support system.
To join this Live Yes! Connect group, please click on the "Join this Group” button above and we will send you updates about upcoming events via email.
All group participants agree to adhere to the Participant Guidelines.