Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's Official

Reese has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, (JIA) formally called Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. They dropped the Rheumatoid because it "acts" differently in adults than children and because the word Idiopathic is another word for "We have no idea where it comes from and we don't know how long it will last and we are just going to treat the symptoms." Funny how the word is so close to the word, Idiot! Ok, I digress...
Seriously, JIA comes in many different subsets. The doctor says that what she has is the best kind. I guess because it has to do with the amount of joints and the other symptoms she has. It also has to do with her immune system. That blood test came back negative, which is a good thing. Her subset of JIA is called Oligoarticular JIA because it only affects four or fewer joints. She only has one that we know of, her left knee. This is more common in girls (??) and can trigger inflammation in the eye that can lead to other things.
So, what we can do to treat this is:
  • anti-inflammatory (non-steroid) meds twice daily,
  • more blood tests in about 2 weeks to test her liver and some other organ (not sure if this is related to the meds),
  • start physical therapy to keep her knee strong since she tends to use that less than the other knee,
  • and then we need to schedule an eye appointment.
In six weeks when we see the Rheumatologist again she will determine if the swelling has gone down and if the joint has improved. If not, she will recommend a steroid injection and removal of fluid around the joint. Let's hope the above works before that! She would need to be put down to do that.
What I'm thankful for is that this is all treatable. She can still walk, run, and jump around. I'm thankful for her attitude, she doesn't seem to let this get in the way of what she wants to do. I am thankful and hopeful that she will grow out of this which DOES happen in many cases. And I'm thankful for our pediatrician who steered us in the right direction. I'm thankful for a plan of action too! Hey, May happens to be National Arthritis Awareness Month. Go figure!


Tiffany Lockette said...

Well, it's bad news but at the same time good news. It's good news that her case isn't as severe as it could be and yes, hopefully she will out grow this. I will keep you guys in my prayers.