Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Shifting Gears, Transitions, and Distractions . . . .

We are truly shifting gears in this JA Journey, which we have been traveling now for 17+ years.  I've mentioned before that Anna has been taking the reins lately.  She is decisive, and one of her decisions was to say good-bye (along with a huge "thank you" and a hug) to her pediatric ophthalmologist.  We saw him two weeks ago, and she told him then that she has decided to pare down to just one eye specialist, and she has chosen the retina specialist. Makes good sense, since the retina specialist has all the instruments she needs at the medical center to do what needs to be done as issues arise with Anna's eye.  The pediatric ophthalmologist does not, as he is in private practice and has to send us to see someone at the medical center when the macular edema recurs.  Anna thought this was also the perfect time, since she has aged out of pediatric rheumatology and will be meeting her adult rheumatologist in about two weeks.

Anna has also begun to keep her own calendar of appointments.  This is especially important since she will be moving to her college campus in less than one month, and since she will be keeping better track of her class and activities schedule than I will.  It's time for me to step back (believe me, this is not easy, especially since Anna is our last child to leave home!), but I feel like I'm making progress as a mom.  (If some of you are praying about this for me, THANK YOU!!!  I can feel your prayers as the Lord is shifting my emotions and attitudes and my worry as I continue to let go.)

Does this mean the end of the this blog?  I don't think so.  I know many who continue to search for stories to see what the future may hold for their child with Juvenile Arthritis and uveitis and TMJ issues.  Since this is what I was searching for 17 years ago, I want to provide this for others who need it.  I will continue to share as Anna moves forward.   I don't yet know how we will fit college classes, doctor's appointments, Remicade infusions, etc. all together, but we won't know until we try it.  Anna has scheduled her classes so that she has three mornings free.  She worked with the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic to reschedule her team appointment (that's tricky---they only schedule team appointments two Tuesdays per month), so that she won't miss class.  It will help that her college is just six miles from home, so she can still get to the local appointments and not necessarily have to wait for fall break or Thanksgiving or winter break.

As for an update:  We believe that the Periocular injection (steroid into the back of the eye to treat macular edema which Anna received a month ago) is working.  Two weeks ago, Anna had just a haze of protein, but no cells of inflammation in her left eye.  "Yay!  And finally!!!"  Although her vision is not quite back to 20/20, the vision test results were much better than last month.  So we believe that the swelling in the back of the eye (the macular edema) is receding.  They decided to reduce the frequency of the Pred Forte drops, and she will see the retina specialist in about three weeks for another exam (and an OCT, which will show us a picture of the back of Anna's eye).

We did have a little distraction.  Anna always has blood taken for labs prior to her Remicade infusion.  The results showed some abnormalities, and I probably should not have researched what "smudge cells" indicate before hearing from her doctor.  (Sometimes I check the results of her labs on the Health Portal system, especially when she's had some abnormalities in the past.)  That was new, and the search results were worrisome to say the least!  (Practice for me in calming myself down!)  But her pediatric rheumatologist (he's still monitoring her until she sees the adult rheumatologist) ordered more labs, had them sent to pathology, and the results today showed that they are back to normal.  What a relief, and thank the Lord!  He thought that would be the case, since her other numbers were not way off base, but he wanted to be cautious and double check.


BJC Health - Australia said...

Hey Tammy,

Thanks for sharing this article with us. Your smile is so cute. I have seen your pictures. You are looking so beautiful.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Physiotherapy Chatswood


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