Elly has juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). She experiences flare ups in her hands, ankles, knees, wrists and elbows. She currently takes methotrexate and gives herself Enbrel (etanercept) injections. The medications keep her arthritis mostly under control.
Elly is a third year university student studying Spanish and Portuguese. She has juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and was diagnosed when she was 9 years old. She first had a painful finger which she could not bend. Over the years she experienced problems in her hands, ankles, knees, wrists and elbows. She has tried different medications with varying levels of success. She is currently takes methotrexate and gives herself Enbrel (etanercept) injections which keep her arthritis mostly under control.
Elly used to live in the United States of America. Her symptoms appeared to go into remission and she almost lived pain-free. When she returned to the UK her symptoms returned and she experienced more flare ups. As a university student she lived in Spain and Portugal as part of her languages degree. Her symptoms did not go into remission but she took the medications she required out with her. This helped prevent further flare ups in Portugal but she did struggle in Spain.
Elly finds that stress can act as a trigger for flare ups. She typically gets flare ups before exams and around coursework deadlines. The stress interferes with her sleep and this contributes to fatigue and flare ups. Elly is also prone to eye infections and mouth ulcers which she says are probably caused by the medications. She tries to say fit and healthy and used to be on the swim team in her American high school. Elly has found it harder to keep up the swimming as she has got older because her joints get tired very easily. She now goes to the gym and is careful not to exert too much pressure on her sensitive joints. In her spare time Elly participates in the University Royal Navy Unit. She would like to teach languages or help migrant workers whose first language is not English.