I'm the other mother - or Momma Deb. Our family is pretty much like every other family in suburbia. The girls go to school, one mom is on the PTA boards of elementary and middle school. The other mom goes to work, paints, writes, and tries to just have a good time raising kids with her partner. This is my third attempt at blogging...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Break in SF

This year the family Spring Break excursion will be limited to the Bay Area. Generally, we like to go somewhere new for fun, kick up our heals, and have a few laughs.

Instead, on Monday we will be taking our 12 year old, Katie, to UCSF Medical Center for her first check-in since late January after being diagnosed with a form of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Specifically, her type is called Pauciarticular (paw-see-articular), which is the name given when it affect 4 or fewer joints. It is treatable and could "go away" in time. A mother can only hope.

She has been taking twice a day doses of Naprosyn. But, the swelling in one of her knees has not decreased much. They will probably be giving her corticosteroid injection.

The catch is that children with this form of arthritis are at the highest risk for
getting a chronic eye inflammation called uveitis (u-vee-eye-tis). So, in addition to seeing the pediatric rheumatolgist, Katie needs to be seen by an ophthalmologist every 3-4 months to catch any sign of it early on. It can be treated early, and if it isn't the disease could lead to blindness. After 3 yrs if there is no sign of the disease, then she can be seen every 6 mos until she's 21 yrs old.

This was a lot for us all to take in.

Subsequent blood tests determined that she doesn't have some of the more serious forms of the disease. That was a relief.
It scary stuff in a way - kids used to be crippled by RA - but the doctors explained that that is rarely the case today. And in Katie's case, she has a very treatable form of the condition that she may grow out of completely.
We'll just have to wait and see.

On the positive side - once the her knees are normal again, she can resume the running that she loves so much in PE! No limitations there at all. I am so grateful that we have access to a wonderful Medical Center.

When we're done at the hospital, it time to have fun! We may drive down the coast, or maybe go to Ocean Beach and build some sand sculptures. Or, maybe we'll go for a horseback ride on the beach.

The weather is supposed to be wonderful.