After restarting medication back in April, Emma got some relief from the arthritis symptoms in her jaw, but not for long. Morning stiffness and a weird squishy sensation started happening in her right jaw joint, so she ended up getting an MRI in August. She was an absolute rockstar during that MRI - she endured an IV catheter like a champ and held still for at least an hour inside that noisy tube while it took pictures of her head. The MRI confirmed the good news that she DOES indeed have a brain AND the bad news that she does indeed have active arthritis, despite weekly Enbrel injections.
So, we increased the dose of her medication by increasing the frequency of her injections! Try telling a ten year old that she gets to be poked in the arm every five days instead of every seven! It's so much fun!!!
Really though, Emma is a good sport. She is starting to participate more and more in her medical decisions. She wipes her arm clean and mixes her medication for me before every injection. I haven't been able to convince her to give herself a shot, but we'll get there with time.
She has been on the higher dose of meds for a couple weeks now. It's hard to tell if she is sensing any improvement. She *thinks* the squishy noise and stiffness are happening less often, but she also thinks that maybe she has acclimated to those symptoms so she isn't really noticing them as often. When the arthritis is in her knee it's REALLY easy for me to assess swelling, heat, and stiffness with my own eyes and hands, but her temporomandibular joint? Not so easy.
She'll get some lab work done in a couple of weeks to see how her body is handling the higher dose of Enbrel, to look for inflammatory markers, and to make sure she hasn't developed antibodies to her medication. Fingers crossed that those results come back favorably. I don't really want to have to switch her meds.
Juvenile Arthritis is dumb.
Also, my kid looks really cute in a hospital gown.