February 27, 2011

Maddie woke up limping this morning and sure enough she has a swollen knee. Her last flair was 2 months ago. Usually her flairs are further apart.  I hope this doesn't mean the disease is getting worse. I started her on Naproxen which I hope will be enough this time.

Maddie's arthritis developed about a month after getting mononucleosis as a 5-year-old. I didn't even know kids that young could get mono. We joke that it was from sharing lip gloss with her friends at recess. The arthritis started in one knee. She had been limping a few days and I assumed it was from a playground injury. One morning she was complaining a lot about her knee pain so I took a closer look. When I tried to straighten her leg she screamed out in pain and I knew something wasn't right. I was able to get her in to a doctor that morning, not our regular pediatrician though. That turned out to be a blessing as this doctor became our favorite and we haven't seen another pediatrician since.  Lots of tests were run and scary names of illnesses were thrown around like Leukemia. Maddie was put on anti-inflammatories and sent home. The doctor called every day to see how she was doing; I didn't even know doctors still made calls like that. When the pain and stiffness didn't go away Maddie underwent more tests including a bone scan. Then we were referred to the Pediatric Rheumatologists at Rady Children's Hospital. I never suspected arthritis. There wasn't a family history and I hadn't ever heard anything about JRA. Since then she has had several flairs affecting only one joint at a time, knees and ankles. She's gone as long as 8 months between flairs. Really it has been a best case scenario for this disease. I pray it stays that way.

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