Wed, Nov 28
Today we had Zach’s 6 week check-up with Dr. Toth (Z’s Rheumatologist). It went very well! The basic purpose of this visit was to check to see how Z was handling the medications and see what kind of progress there was on the swelling and pain on the joint. She was happy to hear that Zach was tolerating the medicine with no problems. Although Zach reported no change with pain in general with his wrist, the doctor did notice that the swelling had gone done in the thumb. It is still swollen a bit in the wrist, but getting better. We are doing what we need to do and so far so good so that is a great report! We are to see her again in another 6 weeks (it usually takes 3 months for the medicine to take full effect) and then she will assess Z’s joints and determine what steps to take next. Yes, all good stuff.
Then she reviewed the blood test results. Basically good news there too. Both the RF (rheumatoid factor that can predict long-term prognosis) and the adult factor (risk of developing arthritis as an adult) were both negative so that is good! However, his ANA (antinuclear antibody) was positive so that means he is at a higher risk of developing chronic eye inflammation (uveitis). This just means that we have to be certain that Zach has regular eye exams (every 3-4 months) to monitor inflammation. We already had his initial eye appointment in mid October and so far no inflammation – just glasses! So right now the type of arthritis that Zach most fits with is Oligoarthritis JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis). He does not completely fit this, however, because even though the olio type affects four or fewer joints of the body (for Zach it is just his right wrist and thumb), it typically effects the larger joints of the body (knees, ankles or elbows). On the other hand, Polyarthritis affects five or more joints and usually affects the small joints of the fingers and hands or weight-bearing joins such as knees, hips, ankles and feet or wrists. However, kids with poly usually have a positive blood test for the RF factor. The type he has does not really affect treatment, but I just was curious to know where Zach fits into the spectrum.
We shared with the doctor that we were participating in the Jingle Bell Run on Dec 8 and that we had raised almost $2000 for the foundation and she was excited to hear that! She really loved our team name too – The Ram Fam! She told us about a cool summer camp for kids with medical diagnoses and gave us a brochure it – Flying Horse Farms. This place is awesome! Here is the description from the website: “Located on 200 acres of rolling hills just outside Mt. Gilead, Ohio, Flying Horse Farms is where children with serious illnesses come to experience the magic of camp. For a week at a time, being sick takes a backseat to simply being a kid. And fun is priority number one.” I mean how awesome is this. They plan the weeks so that children with the same type of illness are camping together in the same week. So, all the kids with rheumatology concerns would be at camp during the same week and they would be the only ones there. And the best part?! There is no cost for families to send kids for a week!! After checking out the website Zach is pumped to go and just wishes he doesn’t have to wait until the end of July to go! I already applied for Zach to attend so hopefully they will have room for him. I’m excited to get involved with the camp somehow…even if it is just making a donation. It looks like an amazing place!
So our post doctor’s appointment lunch at TGIFridays was a different experience than 6 weeks ago! It is amazing what time can do to help with acceptance. What a blessing. Oh, and I was finally ready to get an organizational system and, I must say – it ROCKS!!!