Jerry

 


Jerry's History

My Name is Jerry. I'm a 39 year old male. My birth date is 11/30/58. I have JRA.

When I was about 6 yrs old I woke up with a very stiff neck. After about three-day's my mother became concerned because it didn't get better. She took me to the family pediatrician, he said my neck was dislocated, I ended up in children's hospital in Detroit with my neck in traction. After several days my knee swelled up then the other, I started to run a fever. It only took a few weeks until the doctors figured out what was going on. I was transferred to U of M Medical Center where I've been treated most of my life. After trying many different drugs it seems as if Prednisone was the only thing that worked. I probably took prednisone for about ten years until my disease burnt out, then large amounts of Aspirin. Now I alternate every few year from one Anti Inflammatory drug to another.

By the time I was 10 yrs old the disease had already did most of it's damage. I was confined to a wheelchair unable to walk. It had damaged every joint of my body. I've had one bad bought of paracarditis and probably many minor ongoing cases of it. I've had kidney stones probably because of the medication. And most of the symptoms I hear from other people in our group. You know those things that come and go that make you think your crazy and the doctors can't explain.

Around the age of 23 I had surgery on my knees and ankle's, Resectioner Orthoplasty, or Sand and Polish as Dr Herbert Kaufer (Professor and Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kentucky) referred to it as. It along with therapy has enabled me to walk again.
More recently I've had a total right hip replacement and I'm currently planning on having my right knee replaced. Because I'm older now they are more willing to do replacement surgery.

Today I work as a computer programmer for the State of Michigan and I'm also actively involved in running our family towing business, doing bookkeeping and keeping my brothers from killing each other.
Because of the disease I'm small in stature and I cannot walk very well but I'm able to drive without any special devices. I've been blessed with a large close family of 5 brothers and 4 sisters, who all, for the most part, still live close by.

I've never been married and have no children. Sometimes that depresses me. I've found that what works best for me mentally, is to structure my days as much as possible and to stay busy. I value my friends and I like to talk, but have to force myself to write. My e-mail address is jlyons@ili.net.

I have found more comfort and support from our Stills group then I ever have in my 33 years of having this disease. I hope to make the time to be more actively involved in the days to come.


Take care, Jerry.

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