This morning I had the questionable pleasure to make the trip to the Children’s Hospital in Calgary for the first time with just my son and I. Early appointment booked, so an early morning for the both of us
I had emailed a picture of my son’s hand to the rheumatologist and that was enough for her to see things were not right.
Yes, he has arthritis.
After further examination it appeared he had about 10 joints affected. Not just his hands, she found some fluid in one of his knees as well and she is suspecting his feet too, since they were stiff. Her diagnosis is Polyarticular-Rheumatoid Factor negative Juvenile Arthritis (Poly articular : more than 5 joints affected when diagnosed, Rheumatoid factor Negative: No RF markings showing up in blood work). I’m not too interested in the particular label, just frustrated we have to travel this road again.
Blood work done, x-rays of ankles, hands and knees were made, MRI ordered, ophthalmology appointment in the planning, treatment started and a visit to the clinic booked 6 weeks from now. We started with the lovely mix of prednisone(steroid), methotrexate (chemo) and naproxen ( anti inflammatory), paired with folic acid and a stomach protector when needed.
I’m happy about the fact I followed my instinct.I'm happy about the fact we caught it early. I’m happy about the fact we have the same doctor treating both my children, I am happy about the fact we know what to expect ( somewhat) and I am happy about the fact my son can turn to his sister for advice and support.
I’m sad about the fact I now have two kids that have to struggle. More than ever I now realize Juvenile Arthritis truly IS a family affair.
June 9 there is a Walk to Fight Arthritis. Get out and walk, people, it’s important.
This is the link to a page where you can sponsor Claire, she is one of our little friends. Claire and her mom, dad, and brother are Walking for Arthritis.