Jenna is still battling ear infections and is on her 4th course of antibiotics within an 8 week time frame. Yeah, that's just awesome. She no sooner comes off of them, she's back on. This time she didn't even have a fever, just complained of pain in her ears and she was deaf, again. So I really didn't even think they were infected. I thought maybe there was just too much fluid. I called her rheums office at Duke to run it all by them and see what they would want for if she did go to the ped. They are so awesome with communication that even on a "bad, crazy day in the office" in their words, they STILL called me back within a matter of a couple hours. The rheum said that 1) whether her ears are infected or not, it's time to call in an ENT to take a look. :( 2) Skip her MTX this Friday for SURE and possibly hold MTX and Humira next Friday. We'll wait and see what the ENT says about what's going on when we see him Wednesday next week and then call Duke. The rheums said that given how long she has been on MTX (Sept.08) and Humira ( Dec.09) she SHOULD be okay skipping these doses. Not entirely reassuring but I know we have no choice. Her ped said that the ENT will LIKELY suggest tubes. Not a big deal, right? Lots of kids have them, lots of kids have had many. Well not MY kid! Sure, it could be worse. Sure, I'm thankful it's not. But that doesn't always make the current struggle any easier. I read something this morning, "Without struggle, there is no progress.". I liked it, pretty profound.
When Jenna was last seen at Duke, just last month. Seems much longer ago! Anyway, we were given a script for PT for her. FINALLY. I really didn't know what to expect, I just wanted her to get some relief from the constant pain and fatigue. I found a place here in town that looked great and they said they could help her. At her 1st appointment we learned some new things, ALWAYS learning with this disease. Her hamstrings are SUPER tight! He thinks that this is what is causing her pain behind the knee. Also, she has significant weakness in her hips and upper legs. I had no clue. We thought she was strong. Her hamstrings are so tight that she struggled just getting into some of the positions to stretch. Her hip muscles so weak that she needs to contort her body to lift her leg. WOW. We went home with some "homework" and had our 3 week follow up this week. I'm not overly impressed. For one thing, Jenna is 7, not 77. So if you for the most part treat 77 yr olds, are you REALLY going to know how to handle a 7 yr old?? I don't know, things didn't feel right at this appointment. Jenna had really struggled over the last 3 weeks with these exercises and she didn't make any progress. When I told him this, he said that with kids it's tough to tell because maybe they just aren't trying. DUDE, wrong thing to say. I tried telling him how much the leg lifts hurt her hips, especially the left hip which we noticed is weaker. He kept mentioning the exercises hurting her behind her knee. HELLO?? Is this thing on? Her HIP, they hurt her HIP. Ugh, I don't know. I just had that "feeling", ya know? So I put it all out there to my AWESOME group of JA Moms on Facebook!! LOVE those ladies! They told me that she for sure needs a ped specific PT, I really should have known this. Also, they told me that I did the right thing by listening to my gut. It hasn't failed me yet. So, one of the Moms I just met and she's local AND she gave me the name and number of the ped PT that her daughter used AND she is right here in town! Trouble is she is out from knee surgery but all good things come to those who wait. :)
Okay, ONE last tidbit. Remember WAY back last Fall when I posted about requesting a 504 plan for Jenna at school? Remember the troubles we faced with that? Would you believe....we are STILL struggling to get this? Yep, still struggling. I had decided to let it ride and try again next year. After speaking with the folks at our local AF as well as some FIERCE JA Moms I was encouraged to pursue it. Things are moving along. I hate that I needed to make threats to get things moving, but they are none the less moving. Without the Arthritis Foundation....NONE of this would be possible. I told them in no uncertain terms that I can't do this without them! And you know what? They've got our backs. How...cool...is....THAT?