My name is Jill Tague and at thirteen months old, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Pauciarticular Rheumatoid Arthritis.
RA is a chronic disease. It does not go away and affects every single aspect of your life. I am about to turn twenty-one and for the first time in my entire life, I am coming to terms with this disease’s longevity. It is forever a part of me, as it plays a major role in your life and all that you do. May this online journal help you gain further understanding of this disease and greater peace within.
I am fortunate, as I have been blessed with two wonderful parents. With desperation for knowledge and understanding, they have done countless amounts of research about my chronic illness over the last 20 years. I am thankful for their consistency in proper medical decisions for my overall well being. My parents always enforced the importance of balance in my life. It was much easier growing up, as they were strict and I had to obey their rules. My goal now, is to make as wise decisions as they have. But, I am coming to understand, that many of their decisions came with chance.
Now, I have left my parents nest and have spread my wings. With constant trial and error, I have had countless mistakes. My mom likes to call them- “learning opportunities”, which is wise. Having RA means that you have to take chances and learn everything you can to alter these for your overall good health. I believe everything happens for a reason and all paths lead to the grand plan.
I am here to tell you where I am now, and where I have been, exposing the most personal details. Perhaps if I had had someone to tell me what it was like to endure steroid injections, explain how birth controls inflict flare ups, and expose the long term dangers of weed and alcohol, I would not be writing this to you. This site will explain what it is like being a young woman trying to balance a job, school, and social life…with a major set back–RA. You will learn how to approach challenges with a different attitude and further knowledge to help overcome any obstacle. If there is a will, there is always a way.