Friday, September 12, 2008

JIA Update

JIA is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, the more recent name for what C-ling has as compared to JRA. There are different variations of JIA, the one C-ling has is called oligoarticular (affecting fewer than five joints).

We met with a very nice and cooperative rheumatologist yesterday who asked us a bunch of questions and then did an arthritis style physical on C-ling. Basically she inspected each and every joint on her body. C-lings knees are both swollen and have extra fluid in them and her right leg does not quite fully extend (lying down with C-ling's legs straight, the doctor pressed down on C-ling's leg with one hand just above the knee and one below to see how far down her leg would go, her right one did not quite go all the way down without C-ling wincing).

C-ling met with an opthamologist yesterday and was diagnosed with uveitis. With the uveitis, the swollen knees, the amount of time that C-ling has complained of the stiffness in her legs, it was a very clear-cut diagnosis for the doctor to make.

The docter prescribed C-ling on a different NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) called naproxen. The plan is to have C-ling using this new drug for one month to see if it reduces or eliminates the swelling in her knees. If it does, this is great news, she stays on the drug for another few months and then she is taken off and we check to see if her JIA flares up again. If it doesn't, a different drug will have to be investigated.

Basically the treatment is a month by month attempt to get the arthritis under control. The goal is to get the arthritis into remission which can last for an indeterminate amount of time. There is a risk that her oligoarticular athritis becomes polyarticular, but the same treatment methodology applies. Her treatment will also be made up of some physical therapy in order to keep the muscles around her joints in as good a condition as possible so that the arthritis does not debilitate her in the future. In about half of the cases of JIA at some point the arthritis goes into remission and stays in remission for extended periods, like many years, so this is obviously what we are hoping for.

So far the hardest part of all of this has been treating the uveitis. C-ling has been prescribed to take eye drops three times a day. It has been a nightmare trying to get her to cooperate in getting the eye drops in. After this morning we've decided to go about it in a different way. The tricky part about uveitis is that there are no visible signs of it to us as parents, and there is no feeling to it to C-ling, she can't tell she has anything wrong in her eyes, so it is hard for her to understand that something needs treatment.

I think that's about all as an update I have for now.

1 comment:

ghost said...

you are all in my prayers, buddy