Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Darthritis.

I spoke too soon in regards to Emma's arthritis. Things are not back to normal, though they sure looked that way for five of the past seven days.

Yesterday she woke up crying for me to carry her because she didn't think she could walk. She was stiff and painful, but not swollen. This morning she awoke and gently hobbled out of bed without a complaint, but I could see the stiffness in her slightly inflamed right knee.

Her rheumatologist referred to it as "Darthritis" today. How right she is. This stuff is evil. Doctor confirmed that there is active arthritis in that knee. Her left ankle may also be involved, but we can't be sure because it isn't painful or stiff. After her initial onset, that ankle has been thicker than the other, so that may be all we're seeing now.

So what do we do? We watch and wait. Emma will get her maximum dose of Naproxen, twice a day, for the next three weeks until we see her doctor again.

At that point, if it's still just the one joint involved, Dr. S. will recommend a joint injection. I'm not too thrilled about that idea. Emma would have to go under anesthesia to have cortisone injected into the knee joint. The benefits: localized treatment as opposed to systemic medication. The risks: anesthesia, the injection might not even work, and did I mention anesthesia?

If more joints are involved, we'll start back on the old regimen of methotrexate and Enbrel injections.  The benefits: we know she responds well. The risks: a suppressed immune system, and who knows what else.

I'm praying that Naproxen will take care of this entirely, and in three weeks, Emma will have no joints involved. Pray with me. Send your positive energy, thoughts, and vibes. Please.

That tongue! (Cutting with her left hand!)
When all of this started two years ago, it was horrible. Emma was so painful, so obviously stiff all day long, it broke my heart. Then, we were lulled into a deceptively peaceful time of no symptoms. I am beyond grateful for that year and a half of quiet joints, but I hate that I got so used to it. I hoped that life could stay like that forever.

This time is different. Emma is not experiencing the horrible symptoms of her initial flare. So far, it is only a brief time each morning that she is stiff or painful, but the rest of the day is fine. I don't know if I should feel angry that this is happening at all, or grateful that it is so mild this time around.

I am emotionally drained. I am saddened. I know that I will get to a place where I will hope again and believe in a pain-free forever for my child, but I am not in such a place today.

Here's a little Fiona Apple to get my point across:

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