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What I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was Diagnosed With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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I was 15 years old, and I could barely walk. As I hobbled around school, it felt like knives being jabbed into my hip. Two months later, I sat in a room with my parents and a rheumatologist as he told me I had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

All I could see in my mind was my grandmother, who also dealt with RA, lying in bed, unable to do anything for herself. It was a terrifying mental picture for a young man just starting this journey, and one I was sure my future held.

In three short months, my hip had been destroyed, and we had to take drastic steps to try to slow things down. As I shoved dozens of pills down my throat each day (which eventually led to a hole in my stomach and emergency surgery), my future, many days did not seem bright –

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