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Jessica

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.

More about me...

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.
 
 

Jessica had x-rays on her hips and shoulders before surgery. She saw the damage to the bones and...

Jessica had x-rays on her hips and shoulders before surgery. She saw the damage to the bones and...

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I just, as soon as I tried to get up one time and it I just screamed in pain. So I think that’s when we went to the hospital and got x-rayed and checked out and they saw that the hip bone was, it’s supposed to be round, the ball of course, but it was all jagged. 
 
When it came down to a reason why you had the shoulder surgery, can you explain what that was?
 
That was again because of the avascular necrosis.
 
Okay.
 
My shoulder bones were crumbling like my hips. It was the ball again. It was all jagged like my hips. As soon as, when I got the pain in my shoulder, I was scared because it felt like my hip pain and as soon as we had an x-ray, we looked at it and me and my mum said, “That looks like what my hips, what my hips did before.” So I’ve had they didn’t want to do a shoulder replacement because it wasn’t at that stage. It was a lot better. So basically, they’ve shaved a little bit of the bone off and put a metal cap on top of the bone. So nothing rubs together and that’s both shoulders. 
 
Has that made a difference?
 
Yes. It’s my left one, left one, yeah, my left one is so much better than it was. I could I can move. Sometimes I have a little bit of pain but I think that’s just waking up and being stiff. My right shoulder is I think taking a while to heal. I can’t do as much with like the left arm. 
So it’s a little bit frustrating but I know it’s going to get there eventually. 
 
 

Jessica’s school wasn’t wheelchair friendly so she moved to a better school. Her new school had a...

Jessica’s school wasn’t wheelchair friendly so she moved to a better school. Her new school had a...

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Yeah, I had I had that much trouble in two high schools I changed in year nine. The first high school, that was, most of my classes were upstairs and it wasn’t very wheelchair friendly. So I would, if say, science class was upstairs, I would be taken out because I couldn’t get up the stairs at the time and I’d be taken out with another teacher. I’d go into this one room and I’d just learn the science with that teacher. So I wasn’t with any other people. So in year nine, I moved to another secondary school and that was that was because it was wheelchair friendly. That was a great school, actually. They had this buddy system, where if you were in a wheelchair or you couldn’t get around, someone in your class would take you out, so you can talk to their friends. They’d push you or take you wherever you wanted. So it was kind of a rota each day, so someone, you’d get someone different, which that was really good.
 
Ah, that’s interesting and I have heard of buddy systems before, did you get on with people, nominated buddies?
 
Yeah, yeah, because it was it was your floor so as soon as I went in, it was it was kind of weird, because I was in a wheelchair, everyone knew me straight away in the form they’re like, “Oh Jess, you all right?” So that was kind of a good thing. So yeah, everyone in my form I got along with, they were just, they were really nice.
 
 

Jessica's video diary - Holiday & friends

Jessica's video diary - Holiday & friends

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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.

 

Jessica's video diary - Weather & physio

Jessica's video diary - Weather & physio

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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.

 

Jessica's video diary - Operations

Jessica's video diary - Operations

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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.

 

Jessica's video diary - London & work

Jessica's video diary - London & work

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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.

 

Jessica's video diary - Introduction

Jessica's video diary - Introduction

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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.

 

Jessica's video diary - London & work

Jessica's video diary - London & work

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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.

 

Jessica's video diary - Consultant

Jessica's video diary - Consultant

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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.

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