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Aches and pains in my joints? Who, me? Nah, I'm too young. At least that's
what I was told.  Too young to worry about it. Too young to be feeling what I
felt.  Now, three years later, I finally convinced someone to listen -- he
charted my complaints, ran some tests and told me the truth.  I do have

Arthritis: Greek: an inflamation of the joint. (Webster's Encyclopedic
Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, 1990)

Arthritis, no matter what type attacks the joints. A normal joint consists of
several things: bone, synovial membrane, synovial fluid, cartilage, and the
joint capsule. Arthritis is damage to one or more of these parts -- any of which can be painful.

Did you know there are over
100 kinds of arthritis? Some
of them are easily treated.
Some are not. Some hit
specific age groups. Some
hit specific types of people.
Some seem to hit at
random.  Some are curable.
Others have sporadic
remission. And a few are

So, do you have arthritis? Only the doctors can say. If you haven't spoken to
one, do so. Some forms of arthritis can be cured or at least controlled if
treated in time.

Questions about your diagnosis? There are a lot of good places to get
information. Just be very careful about the stuff you find on the 'Net.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of hoaxes and quacks who might 'accidently'
lead you away from healing or can actually worsen the disease.  Anything you
read, confirm with your doctor, check out the background of site builders.

Oh, you want physical books and references? Have you gone to the arthritis
foundation's site? They have a wonderful library from which you may order.

My library is still small, but it's growing. The most helpful book I've found is
Arthritis for Dummies by Barry Fox, Ph.D. and Nadine Taylor. It answers my
questions nicely, neatly, and without making me feel too confused. It also
has a very nice resource section -- holistic as well as western medicine.

The best place to get information though, is your doctor's office. Of course,
if that's too intimidating or not to your liking -- check out the Arthritis
Foundation -- there are local chapters in every state, and many cities too.
The people (yes, I called my local branch) are very nice, friendly, and
helpful. They even handle totally freaked people like me.

Arthritis Links and Resources:

Arthritis Foundation
1330 West Peachtree Street
Atlanta GA, 30309
Phone: 800 283 7800

American College of Rheumatology
1800 Century Place, Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30345
phone: 404 633 3777

American Juvenile Arthritis Organization
1330 West Peachtree St
Atlanta, GA USA 30309

Fibromyalgia Network
P.O. Box 31750
Tuscon, AZ, USA 85751-1750
phone: 1-800-853-2929

Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.
1300 Piccard Drive, Suite 200
Rockville, MD, USA 20850
phone: 1-800-558-0121

National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeltal & Skin Diseases
(NIAMS) Information Clearinghouse
1 AMS Circle.
Bethesda, MD, USA 20892-3675
phone: 1-877-226-4267 (tollfree)