Juvenile Arthritis/ Ankylosing Spondilitis

Hello everybody, my name is James and I'm 17. At the age of 15 I was diagnosed with Juvenile RA and AS. I have gone through multiple Nsaids and auto-immune medications. I have made the decision to stay away from pain medications and as of now the only medication I take is Humira injections once a week. Humira seems to stop the swelling in my knees and feet but still does not help with pain. Nothing seems to help with my chronic pain and its draining. Somedays I just lay in bed because I do not have the power to get up, other days I'll kneel down to get something and won't be able to get up. The worst overall pain is when I have flare-ups. The worst flare-up I've ever had was last year and my knee was so swollen I couldn't bend it, and when we went into Kaiser to get it drained they said it was the most fluid they have ever seen.That's when I decided to start using cannabis. The first time I used it was a joint with about a gram inside. Immediately while I was smoking it I felt a overwhelming sense of relief, as if I was a normal kid again. I continued using cannabis as needed which for me, was a week straight. While using cannabis I notice my life was slowly coming back, the soreness and aches I'm normally used to waking up to and feeling with every movement, starts to go away. It starts to bring me a feeling of hope, that if I continue using cannabis it will help my RA and AS, and potentially slow the progression of the disease. I have used cannabis every day since then. It has been such a struggle for me and I can only imagine for my parents, I'm just thankful to have found a medication that works. I am currently going through the legalization process and already have a recommendation for medicinal cannabis use from my doctor. This is my story and battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis, let this post provide hope for RA/AS patients.

7 Replies

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  • Thanks for your post James and I'm glad you are trying to get medical help. Humira was great for me too especially the swelling.

    When my knees were really bad I got acupuncture from my Physio and it was great and helped for months.

    I would be interested to hear about the medical cannabis and how it is taken and what legal routes you had to take. Nice to see you on the site and thanks for sharing your story .

  • Hi James,

    Sorry to hear that you 'qualify' to join our ranks at such an early age. I am aware of the medical use of cannabis for MS but I had not considered it's use for RA or such like. I'm glad you are going the 'legal' route and as such will ,hopefully, be guaranteed the quality of you medication - keep posting and letting us know about you ups and downs with this route of medical treatment.

    All the best

    Ali

  • It was good of you to post, I do so wish the medical industry could separate the medicinal elements from the unhealthy elements. Please be careful as I'm sure you know prolonged use of cannabis can in some people end up with schizophrenia symptoms. I totally understand why you do it, oh to be pain free and feel normal. I agree medicinal cannabis should be available to you.Good luck for the future, I'm old now but not sure what I would have done at your age .

  • I'm glad you are finding relief. I'm in Texas where it's still illegal . I myself had to choose pain management . But if I had the choice. i'd smoke. So much less destructive than the poison they give us for pain.

  • Morning James from Canada. Thanks for telling your story. Juvenile RA must be very hard, I can't imagine what it is like to have that much pain so young and for so long. Hopefully you are able use a vaporizer for the cannibas.... Much less harmful to your respiratory system and easier to take.

    Have you heard of Clint Paddison? He has a program for RA that is very interesting as he started with severe RA as a very young man. Check it out.

    All the best and take care, Doreen

  • Great that you've found a medication that works for you. My heart goes out to you for getting this disease at your age. It's a real challenge to get pain relief while getting the DMARDS sorted out and I'm currently on MTX 15mg but am starting to think perhaps I need to move on to the biologicals, as my symptoms are getting worse, not better. Starting to hobble about the place now.

    I too use cannabis for pain relief. Only in the evening when I'm done for the day, mind. It helps to distance myself from the pain and allow me to get to sleep more easily. I've had stronger pain relief for the likes of renal colic (the miraculous combination there is morphine IV & nitrous oxide - the pain becomes so small it's not a problem, which would be overkill for RhA) but having a small portion of herbals of an evening appears to be suitable.

    I have looked at oil production which reduces the psychotropic effect but the processes require large volumes of highly inflammable liquids - so that's not really something to do in the kitchen after dinner. As mentioned, vaporizers are good and you can regulate the type of effect with the heat - if the model has one. One that looks like a ventolin inhaler gets good reports.

    Take care!

    MJ

  • I found a study recently proving not only does it relieve pain but successfully reduces inflammation! Enjoyed reading your post as I've been doing some research, found some tea bags on eBay of all places!! But no, they had all the 'good' stuff taken out, tasted nice though 😁 please keep us updated and I wish you continue to feel ok x

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