Despite the severity of Bailey’s illness, Warren said that you would never know on some days that Bailey has this disease.
“You never know waking up when she’s going to have a good day and when she’s going to have a bad day,” said Warren.
“Sometimes she’s just a 110-percent pure little girl,” she said. “She’ll go days when you wouldn’t think anything is wrong. It’s unbelievable this is going on inside her body when she looks so healthy on the outside.”
At other times, Bailey and her family are all too aware of her illness.
There was a recent scare when Bailey had a high fever for two nights in a row. Tests showed that her white blood count was at 30,000. A normal count is 10,000.
That was scary because JRA is an autoimmune sickness.
“Normally, white blood cells go after a cold or flu,” said Warren. “With this type of disease, they don’t know when to shut off. It destroys joints and tissues in her body.”
Warren said she considers JRA a “kind of a silent, horrible disease” because it is very destructive if it goes undiagnosed and untreated.
“When a child’s knee or knuckle hurts, don’t assume it’s just a bug bite,” she said. “You have to know what to look for.”
Bailey’s family does not know how long she will suffer from JRA.
“We’ve heard that some kids can outgrow it,” said Warren. “But doctors don’t give us any kind of hope yet.”
She said that doctors do not consider children in remission until they have been symptom-free and off their medications for two years.
The Warrens moved to Fultondale four years ago when Steve was transferred with his job at Lowe’s.