How One Little JIA Softball Dynamo Gives Us Hope

Growing pains usually occur in younger children and are equally common in girls and boys. They are characterized by aches and pains and often occur in the lower limbs, usually the calves. There is usually no swelling or bruising. The pains typically occur at night and can disturb the child and indeed, the whole household for nights on end. As a result, parents are usually at their wits ends by the time they go to see the doctor.

This is the dilemma with trying to diagnosis juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or systemic JIA.

This is exactly the plight with little Caitlin. Caitlin was only three years old when she began experiencing mysterious symptoms and was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Caitlin’s story informs us the details of a JIA journey, but it’s her hope for the future that resonates home.

Move That Rubber Tree Plant

It is most parents’ fantasy—especially in today’s achievement-oriented culture—that their child will move joyfully and effortlessly through life, leaping from success to success, from one mountaintop experience to the next.

As parents, it’s tempting to believe that if we simply improve on the parenting we received, our children will be protected from life’s pains and troubles—at least the kind of hurts and troubles we may have experienced as children. There’s a certain irresistible logic to this idea.

Because we love our children, we want to believe we somehow possess the power—through our parenting—to guarantee their happiness, wellness, and success in life.

And when I think about Caitlin and her parents as they work together to gain control of her JIA and manage her condition, hope for JIA patients is lifted even more with, “There is no cure for JIA but with prompt diagnosis and early aggressive treatment, remission is possible.”

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