Saturday, October 09, 2010

This plate is spinning along just fine! . . . .

After Anna's appointment with the pediatric rheumatologist yesterday, I was thinking that my life at this point in time seems like I'm one of those people up on a stage, keeping a row of plates spinning, trying to make sure that none fall and splinter into pieces. Since 1999, one of those proverbial plates has been Anna's arthritis and uveitis issues. Well, thank the Lord, "this plate is spinning along just fine." Since the spring, both knees have been injected (with steroids), and one side of the jaw has had an injection (for the second time). Anna had made two separate comments about her hips in the past week, so Dr. G. paid special attention in his examination of the hips, but he thinks that Anna's one comment was related to puberty and more of a tendon and hormone issue than a joint issue. That's a relief! We haven't had to deal with arthritis in the hips up to this point. As always, Dr. G. is thinking ahead and went over some other medication options (there aren't many options left for Anna) just in case the eyes don't settle down with the steroid drops and in the event that the joints flare again. But rheumatologists from all over the world will gather in November and discuss all of the medications "in the pipeline"---the ones that may offer hope which haven't yet been published in the medical journals yet. So more options may be available in the future.

We're staying with the status quo for medication: Humira (injection every ten days), Methotrexate (15 mg. once a week orally), Leucovorin (5 mg. 2x week), Claritin (on Humira shot days to prevent hives/itching at the injection site), Pred Forte eye drops (twice daily), and then the daily Calcium and multi-vitamin supplements.

So this is fine news for now (since I haven't noticed any major side effects with the current meds, I've become quite comfortable with where we are right now), and we don't need to go back until February. So I can now go back to keeping all of my other (many and various) "plates" spinning. (Just in case one or more of those "plates" fall and crash, though, I've had this one song playing in my head for several weeks---"You can come as you are, with all your broken pieces . . . . bring them all to Jesus; you can come as you are."--so working on "not worrying about anything but praying about everything"----there's a whole lot in our lives right now to be praying about!)

I will say, though---I attended a Beth Moore Bible Study right before picking up Anna from school and heading to Hershey. And Hershey was just my 2nd or third stop for the day before attending to my list of about five other things I needed to accomplish before evening. It was a GREAT morning for Bible Study, and I was thinking that one of the best ways to begin a very busy day (including an appointment with a specialist) is with a Beth Moore Bible Study (inspirational, thought provoking, deep, and encouraging) and great discussion with some authentic and wise women! Our next few appointments in Hershey (November for the eyes, February for the joints) are on Fridays---so maybe I can continue this trend (Bible Study, then appointments).


Amy Cunningham said...

I can't believe that her eyes STILL aren't clearing up! UGH. Praying right along with you guys. I love that 1st pic of Anna in this post!

Tammy Z said...

Oh, I know, Amy! It helps a little knowing that there have been some other JA kids who have lived with a trace of inflammation for a long time. I really think the Pred Forte drops will help. They usually do (although they make her pressures rise, as well). My husband took those pictures. I like that first one, too. (I cropped it quite a bit, and it wasn't really crisp, so I played around with Picnik to give it a different look.) :o)

Anonymous said...

Tammy, I supose that TRACE cell means 1-5 cells?
I red dr. Foster comments, and he doesn't treat cells under 1+, he said exactly this: "I do not treat cells less than 1+. It's a balance between treating inflammation that can be damage and over treating inflammation that can be tolerated with no consequence".
It is also intersting to know that some healthy people have 1 or 2 cells without any problem (without uveitis history).

Anyway, I hope Anna will have clear eyes!

Thank you very much for your blog again. I can't wait for your new post :-)

Tammy Z said...

Yes, I do believe that "Trace cells" means like 1-5 cells. THANK YOU for letting me know what Dr. Foster says about that (I know he's one of the foremost experts in this field). My mom's heart totally agrees with that philosophy! Anna has another appointment with the ophthalmologist next Thursday. If I don't post that day (BUSY time of year!), I will do so after Christmas (I have a week of vacation an no plans, so I should have time to post!) Thanks so much for your kind words.

Anonymous said...

Tammy, sorry I forgot to sign,I hate to be anonymous, it is Kate from Croatia :-)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011! I wish you all the BEST!

My thoughts are with you. I hope you will have great news for us after oft. app.

Please confirm in your posts that Anna didn't have any complications like cataracta, syncehiae...afer years of drops.. Hoy many max drops she had daily, like 4x or?