Friday, September 28, 2007

Fluctuating in a GOOD way!
Anna had another appointment, and her uveitis has significantly improved! What good news! It seems like the more we travel this journey, the more information/understanding we learn. Dr. M explained that in order to gauge the amount of inflammation in Anna's eyes, he counts the white cells (which don't belong there!) within a beam of light. Three weeks ago, he counted 10 cells in Anna's left eye (in that measurement of light) and five cells in her right eye. This past Wednesday, he counted two in each eye. He was very happy! That is indeed good news, because the Intraocular pressure in Anna's left eye was up in the 20's, since she's been on the Pred Forte eye drops for that eye. So we're stopping the eye drops for now. (Pressures are very worrisome in the 30's, and she's not there, but 20's is "concern-worthy.") :o)

Anna celebrated her tenth birthday last Saturday! How the time flies!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fluctuating Uveitis
Many who deal with arthritis and uveitis describe the journey as a roller coaster ride, and how true that is. We spent the last six weeks being happy about Anna's eyes being totally clear of inflammation, and every now and then, I allowed myself to think that we could soon start lowering some medications. Not so. We had another eye appointment today, and the inflammation is back --- a trace in the right eye and 1+ cells in the left eye (for those unfamiliar with the rating system of eye inflammation, it can be anywhere from a "trace" up to a "four"). That's not really bad by any means, but the ophthalmologist doesn't want it to get out of control.

Part of the issue may be that Anna has grown lately. The ophthalmologist called the pediatric rheumatologist on call, and they decided to increase Anna's cyclosporine by 25 mg. Anna has gained weight since March (and grown taller)---although she's still pretty skinny! Her last labs showed that the cyclosporine "trough" (that's what the ophthalmologist called it) was the lowest part of "normal" range.

Even after taking Anna to specialists for over eight years, I sometimes still have to take a minute for my brain to interpret different terminology. But now I know what a question about "a standing order for trough" means---it really means "do I have a standing order for lab work". (Figured that out on my own, but it took me a minute.) Sometimes it may seem (to these doctors) like I'm spacing out for a minute while my brain is processing a question which I'm not sure I really understand!

It's been a long week already, and it's only Wednesday!!!! Car issues (the emissions light stays on, and we can't get an appointment until next week, but the dealership service guy assures me that it will be okay to drive it for the next week!), and this evening Scott (Anna's dad) found that a huge screw had penetrated the back tire of our van. Lovely (being sarcastic here!). I am SO glad that I chose to take the car to Hershey for Anna's appointment (even with that emissions light glaring at me) instead of the van, which would have ended up with a flat tire during evening rush hour!).

But the week has had some really good points, also! Anna's brother Joel had his best run of the season last evening. Anna loves to go to cross country meets and invitationals, and she's sometimes a very loud (and excitable!) cheerleader for her brother and the other runners!