Sunday, October 24, 2010


     Our family doctor referred us to a pediatrician. The pediatrician referred us to a pediatric rheumatologist. First blood work needed to be done, an MRI was ordered and off to the rheumatologist we went.  There are not too many pediatric rheumatologists out there, but we were lucky enough to find one “just” two hours away. Looking back on it, we were and still are very fortunate to have her as a doctor. My daughter and her seem to get  along great, there is a trust there and my girl certainly gets the feeling she is involved in her own treatment. 

     But , first things first, a diagnosis had to be made.  The verdict was Oligoarticular JRA, which affects four or fewer joints( Symptoms include pain, stiffness, or swelling in the joints. The knee and wrist joints are the most commonly affected.)  My daughter was started on Naproxen (a so called NSAID; non steroid anti inflammatory drug) and we were not too worried about it all. As I had mentioned earlier, my girl is a bit on the “shorter” side, and we learned that this may be caused by her condition. Slower growth.  Also, the joints affected may actually grow faster what sometimes may lead to one leg that is longer than the other. (As we continue on with our story, you will find out that that is also the case with my daughter. Almost everything that potentially could happen has happened with her!)

     Another scary element of arthritis can be inflammation of the iris (the colored area of the eye) This inflammation, called iridocyclitis, iritis, or uveitis. One can’t feel it, but it can lead to blindness so regular visits (twice a year) to an ophthalmologist are in order.
So, after we got our diagnosis and the guidelines we had to follow we went home in good spirits, pretty convinced that this was just a short term inconvenience and were very hopeful we were just going to deal with this episode and be done with it all.

Boy, were we ever wrong!  
To be continued!

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