Friday, June 28, 2013

FLARE Numero Uno.

Last weekend my nightmares became a reality... Emma had an arthritis flare.
In case you are unaware, she has had no signs of active arthritis for a year and a half. We stopped all arthritis medications at the end of April and she has been in unmedicated remission.

Last week, on four separate mornings, Emma complained of her right knee hurting shortly after waking up. (Morning stiffness and pain are common symptoms of arthritis, and her right knee was involved previously.) I examined her closely, stretched her leg, watched for a limp, but everything was okay. I decided to keep an eye on things.

Last weekend we were with Barry's step-dad's family at Lake Tahoe. It was lovely. Emma had a blast playing with cousins, but nothing unusual happened. Then, at 12:30A.M. on Sunday, she woke and we walked down the hall to the bathroom. Correction: I walked. She limped. Her knee was swollen, hot, and painful. When we settled back into bed I didn't sleep for crap. At 6:30A.M. when we woke for the day, the knee was still a mess. I took this photo.
June 23, 2013
Emma's right knee (on the left in the picture) is obviously swollen. Poor baby. However, in true JA kid fashion, once she got moving and warmed up for the day, she was comfortable and pain-free. We drove home that night and the three and a half hours of sitting in the car made her stiff again, so she limped into the house. I cried. I gave her Naproxen (an oral, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, AKA Aleve) and tucked her into bed.

Monday was a new day! She woke up feeling much more comfortable with less swelling, thank heaven! Labs were drawn and her blood work came back relatively normal. Her ESR (which indicates inflammation) was up from 9 to 20mm/hr. Normal is anywhere from 0 to 20mm/hr so she's still in the normal range, though just barely.

I continued giving her Naproxen twice a day and things returned completely back to normal by Wednesday. Awesome, sweet, and fantastic! No more swelling, no complaints of pain, no stiffness, and no horrid limping.

I'm not sure what triggered this little flare, I'm just thankful that it was short-lived and relatively minor. Holy cow, it stressed me out.

An enormous THANK YOU to everyone who sent their love, prayers, well wishes, and moral support. You have no idea how much that means to me.

Stupid Juvenile Arthritis. We hate you.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's Juuuneeeeeee!

Life just keeps on moving on, doesn't it?

Liam is TEN MONTHS OLD today! Incredible! He is still adorable, happy, and drooling all the time. Many exciting "firsts" have happened in the past month.
I LOVE those eyes! (Photo by Katelyn West)
  • A tooth came through a couple of weeks ago. I do not detect any more, yet.
  • He participated in his first Arthritis Walk and wore pink because he is a stud. 
  • He rode in a grocery cart like a big boy.
  • He survived his first haircut. I used Barry's clippers, did it all myself, and am rather pleased with the results.
  • He figured out how to make the "M" sound. "Ma ma ma" is music to my ears, even though he has no idea what he's talking about.
  • Yesterday, he figured out how to go forward! It's a workout, pulling himself across the floor and dragging his belly along like a worm, but it's in the right direction! 
I love him, madly.

Emma had an appointment with her rheumatologist this week and everything checked out fabulously! Still no signs of arthritis and she has been off all medication for an entire month. Her blood work looks great, no signs of inflammation or other oddities. More exciting news: her doctor feels that lab work is not needed at Emma's recheck in three months. This will be the first time in two years that Em will go longer than three months between blood draws! That's a big deal for a little kid.
Now, if I could just figure out how to get her sassy attitude under control...
Sassy attitude? I wonder where she gets it!
Barry is as silly as usual. I'm trying to convince him to trim his hideously long goatee, but he claims that he needs it for his Halloween costume and can't shave it until November 1st. Seriously?!?

He cooks us breakfast for dinner every Sunday, has frequent living room dance parties with the kids, and recently crafted an oil lamp out of a canning jar, some copper wire, a cotton ball, and olive oil. Go figure.

Me, Myself, and I have been doing really well. I'm tired because I never sleep for more than a few hours at a time, but that's just part of my life these days. I've been going to Zumba twice a week since the beginning of the year and I'm really enjoying it. Exercise is good for the body, mind, and spirit. An added bonus? I've lost just about all the weight I gained with my pregnancies. Hooray!

I am enjoying gardening and haven't killed all my plants, so I must be doing something right. I can't wait to eat corn, cucumbers, peas, tomatoes, carrots, squash, broccoli, and watermelon from my own yard! Our plums will be ripe soon, too. I'm even growing our own pumpkins this year. We planted a peach tree and raspberry plants that will have fruit next year. I'm so excited! (I'm also drooling...)

What's new with you?!?