A photo of podcast guest Andrea, who discusses living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis refers to an onset of autoimmune arthritis at a young age, which happened to Andrea when she was just 10 years old. She had been experiencing severe TMJ, wrist and knee pain, but doctors did not realize she had juvenile RA throughout her childhood. She was finally diagnosed clinically with rheumatoid arthritis at 24 years old, even though her test results were all negative. Although she was relieved to finally have a diagnosis, there was a part of her that always doubted whether or not she actually had RA.

For years Andrea struggled with this doubt, until she realized that she didn’t need external validation to live life to the fullest. Since then she has devoted herself to finding creative ways to tackle her RA pain, and helping others to do so. Over the decades since Andrea was diagnosed, huge advancements have been made in RA testing. Now in her mid 40s, Andrea recently received new testing in which her RA was definitively proven.

In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Andrea talks us through her history with RA. She discusses some of the alternative forms of therapy that have transformed her life, including the use of essential oils and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. Although her RA journey started with pain and confusion, it has become a source of self-realization, empowerment and advocacy.

Connect with Andrea online at https://www.rawyldchyld.com/

Check out an amazing resource mentioned in this episode, teaching readers how to get on disability services: https://howtogeton.wordpress.com/

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This episode of Major Pain is supported by a creator grant from the Stimpunks Foundation. This is a nonprofit organization providing mutual aid and human-centered learning for neurodivergent and disabled people. Check them out online at https://stimpunks.org/


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