Beth saw a rheumatologist today and she does have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in both knees (JRA). She has the least serious type, called oligoarticular. She may grow out of this (50 % do) in late childhood or earlier. She is ANA negative, so she is not at increased risk for eye involvement, though she will have eye tests every 3-4 months to be sure.
She will be on naproxen (an NSAID similar to ibuprofen) for a couple years (unfortunately), but it should treat the inflammation well enough to take away most of her pain and all of her limp, and prevent permanent joint disabilities. She should be able to get around normally in a few months, after the full therapeutic affect is seen. Blood tests to check for side affects will be done every 4-6 months. They do not see liver or kidney damage in young kids from these drugs. Ulcer is sometimes, but uncommonly, seen.
She will have regular physical therapy appointments as well.
One of my worst fears is that since autoimmune diseases tend to occur in twos, that she is at increased risk for another auto-immune disease. The doctor confirmed this and said they do see teens with JRA get Type 1 Diabetes, or sometimes, lupus. MS is not seen. These are not regular occurrences, but they do watch out for these other diseases. We will be praying hard that this is her only disease. I know carrying a baby to term is particularly hard on diabetes patients, so that really tugs at my heart. I want her to live a normal life, including being a mommy.
Please pray for an exceptionally early remission and no other diseases and no side affects from the meds. Thank you.
The doctor thinks the knees will be the only joints involved, but in the next five months if no more than four joints total become involved, she will still have a good prognosis.
We were able to cancel the MRI, thank goodness. My husband just read in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that young children with still developing brains ( 0-4 yrs old) are at risk for learning disabilities after going under anesthesia. Hearing that, we were even more concerned about the MRI with sedation. So happy to be avoiding that test!
The kids at greatest risk are those that undergo anesthesia more than once, before two years old.