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Totties Pretties on Etsy

Totties Pretties on Etsy
Tottie's Pretties are ribbon wrapped headbands adorned with flowers & gems or perfect boutique bows. Banding Girls Together to Find a Cure for Childhood Arthritis. Tottie's supports CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Is it Spring yet????


So I was I mentioned here in this post a couple of weeks ago, we somehow managed to get through Winter fairly unscathed. But, I figured, one ear infection is still really awesome considering all the crud going through her classroom. She started a 10 day course of Omnicef on Wednesday the 9th and finished on Saturday the 19th. On Sunday the 20th my Mother flew in with my 12 year old daughter from Maine, LONG story not for here, and I was really hoping we could all have a healthy visit for the upcoming week. Having JUST come off an antibiotic, what were the odds really of Bean coming down with anything?? HA! On Wednesday the 23rd Kailey, my Mom and I were having a "big girls" day out at a mall about 45ish minutes away while the small ones were at school and Daddy was sleeping (after working all night). Around 1:20 my phone rings and it's Beanz school on caller ID, CRUD. I answer, and it's her teacher, sounding very apprehensive on the other end, DOUBLE CRUD. She swears that Jenna was FINE all morning, then after lunch Jenna told her she was tired so she told her go ahead and lay your head on your desk and just rest. She said like *THAT* she was asleep. She went over and felt her and she was burning up. She took her temp, 103.7. She called me immediately but of course we were 45ish minutes away. I tried calling Daddy repeatedly, but his phone was silenced. Urgh. When I got to school she was asleep in the nurses office, Poor Bean. By this time of day I knew not to even bother with her peds office so we went straight to Urgent Care. Poor thing couldn't stay awake, her breathing and pulse were way too fast and temp still up. Same high temp as with the ear infection yet her body reacted totally different. Since her throat was red and pussy they swabbed her for strep, no brainer, it was positive. Back on antibiotics! She was off for less than a week! Considering all this, I made the executive decision to hold her MTX this week. This way her body can have a chance to fight off ALL the infection, regain some strength, and then we'll hit her with Humira and MTX next Friday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Bit Of He Said She Said

A good friend of mine has a great saying, it goes something like this, " I believe that there are two sides to every story, and that the truth lies somewhere in the middle." I love that saying and I believe that in most instances, it is applicable. However, there are some things that you just can't argue the facts on. You can't fight statistics that are backed by extensive scientific research. Those of you living with a chronic illness or parents to a child with a chronic illness, how many times have you been told that there are more natural, better ways to treat the disease? All of you right? Wouldn't it be great if that would work? I mean really, who wouldn't prefer to treat a disease with natural, from the earth products?? Sadly, those of us who are in this, know that can't be done, it won't work.
A couple of weeks ago an article started circulating on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately I can't find the link to the newspaper article, just the blog post. Doesn't matter, still the same rubbish. This piece of rubbish was written by a doctor of Oriental medicine practicing Korean Constitutional Medicine in California. Now, I admittedly know zilch about Oriental medicine. I had never even heard of it before reading this blog post/article. I do however know autoimmune disease and more specifically Juvenile Arthritis. Therefore I can easily say with the utmost confidence that what is written is total rubbish. Here are a few key points just to give you an idea.

"JRA is usually temporary and only in rare cases does it last a lifetime. Most commonly, it disappears as the child matures. This is due to the strengthening of the child’s immune system and energy over time."
FALSE! It WILL last a lifetime until a CURE is found! The strengthening of the immune system would only make it worse since the treatment of JA is suppressing the malfunctioning immune system!

"It is believed that pregnancy should be a planned process with both parents being in ideal health condition prior to conception. The proper weather on the day of conception also plays a part, as well as the energy of the parents, which also includes genetic influences."
Yes clearly an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy caused some kids autoimmune disease, of course. And please, parents, be sure to only conceive your child on optimum weather days okay?? SHEESH!

"The best treatment for these children is daily massage of the affected areas, better nutrition, reduced stress, light acupuncture and moxibustion treatments, herbs, and added love and affection. "
Yes obviously daily massage can help ease pain, better nutrition is ALWAYS key for ANY child, acupuncture sure, herbs, whatever, ADDED LOVE AND AFFECTION?! DUDE, if love and affection could cure my child, SHE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN STRICKEN WITH THIS!

Then yesterday a friend posted another article. This one, this one makes sense. There are no facts to be disputed, no fluff, just a simple four paragraph article written by a woman living with autoimmune disease since she was a young girl. She writes wondering what it's been like for her parents. Now she is a married woman and has children of her own. She says, "I would sail over the moon to do almost anything for my kids.". She also says, "I often think about the roles of my parents in my battle with chronic pain and illness. I had never considered their feelings before, or what they must feel about how I am doing, because quite honestly, my battle has been very overwhelming because of the level of pain I deal with every day. " AS the parent of a chronically ill child, I cannot begin to tell you how much her words mean to me. She goes on to say, " My Mom is my role model for motherhood." and "My parents are my heroes." I can only hope that Larry and I are doing even close to this well for our Jenna "Bean". I tell you this kills me, it KILLS me everyday that I can't take this from her. I feel it's my own personal failure. WOW....where did that come from??? Well there it is. I guess it's been inside me somewhere, my heart or my head. I feel as though I have failed her miserably, in the biggest way possible. I'm not protecting my child from the monsters in the closet so to speak. Her JRA is her monster in the closet and I can't make it go away with a hug and a kiss, with story book or a song sung at bedtime, with a prayer or a favored stuffy. Mommy can't fix this. I would give my HEART to her if it would fix her and make her well.

I had no idea that writing this post would bring any of this out of me. I thought I was just going to be sharing some recent articles, facts and opinions. I can't tell yet if this WAS therapy or if I NEED therapy. But, now I need to go find a tissue...

Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 JA Conference

The site is finally up!!! WOOT! The info that we have so desperately been waiting for is here! We are going into our third year on this journey but this will be our first year at the conference. Year 1 I don't think I knew anything about the conference, or if I did, I didn't think we needed it. HA! Year 2 we just had too much going on in our lives to even think about getting there. Year 3, this is our year! I am so excited to do this, I just can't even begin to describe it. Trying to figure out if we will go as a family since the rates are all the same anyway, or if just the Bean and I will go. If it's just the two of us we will take the train which will be way easier for her. If we all go we have to drive since 4 (or 5, another long story) train tickets will be too expensive. The drive will be painful for Bean, but then we aren't tied down to the train schedule which quite frankly, bites. So, lots of decisions to be made, but, bottom line is, at the very least, Mama and Bean WILL be there! And if Daddy and Bub have to stay home, they announced yesterday on their Facebook page that they will be doing webstreaming this year. SWEET! Not the same as being there but at least they can join in and learn with us. I cannot wait to meet all of these people that I have been blessed to come to know in a virtual world. I will finally be able to speak with them face to face, hug them, laugh with them, cry with them, SHARE with them, in person, in real life. SO very blessed. Thank you God.

We were SO close!!

We almost made it through the entire Winter without any major, fever producing bug of any kind. So close, but not quite. She certainly hasn't had a great Winter. She has had lots of fatigue and pain issues but she hadn't gotten sick. Considering all that has gone through her school and the fact that NC is having yet another crummy Winter, I felt really lucky. Last Saturday she was very clingy, didn't want me leaving her side for any reason, more emotional than usual and just generally out of sorts. I just figured she was more tired than usual. Then Sunday morning she awoke with ...um....we'll just say messy pants. She's 7 now, so....that's certainly not typical. She said her belly hurt pretty bad but that she felt okay otherwise and she really didn't want to miss church. *sigh* She loves church, she cried when I told her I didn't think she should go. She assured me she would be fine. So she went and indeed she did seem okay. She was very quiet the rest of the day though and said her belly still hurt. Monday morning I decided to keep her home given the belly pain, "messy pants", and she had Humira and MTX injections Sunday afternoon. I figured a day of rest was in order. She seemed just fine all day and night so Tuesday morning we sent her off to school. Well, she came home digging in her ear and crying that it hurt really bad. Oh she broke my heart. This is the kid that has pain EVERY day in her hands, legs, feet and God only knows where else. She rarely even mentions that pain never mind cry over it. This was open mouthed sobbing, for HOURS, like, all night long hours. I was giving her Motrin, warm washcloths, nothing soothed her. By morning she had a temp of 103. Aw crud. So I called her peds office first thing. They typically have plenty of "sick kid" appointments. This time they had sick doctors. Aw crud. So they had no appointments and suggested we go to Urgent Care which actually was fine with me since they are literally right up the road. The place was surprisingly deserted when we got there so she was seen very quickly. She saw a nurse practitioner , which again, was fine by me, since I think many times they are way more thorough and have a better bedside manner. She took one look in Jenna's ear and said, "OH YEAH! It's infected alright! It's red, inflammed and full of blisters!". EWWWW! Full of blisters?? OUCH. Poor thing no wonder she was sobbing so hard and long! They had also just done a strep swab. She asked if I cared about the results as treatment would be the same. Nope, doesn't matter. She said it's likely positive since her throat didn't look so hot either. Same end result anyway, antibiotics. I finally remembered to suggest Omnicef on the 1st try. It is the only antibiotic that works for my kids yet it is always the 2nd string med. So, a 10 day course for her to kick this infection in the tail. After 2 doses, plus Motrin and Tylenol piggy backed her fever, which had climbed to 104, finally broke, left and stayed gone! Her belly is still bothering her so she is being very cautious about what she eats and how much of it. She is still even more tired than she normally is. She is resting on her own without being told and is able to laydown through an entire feature length film. That is saying an awful lot for Miss Jenna Bean! So that was Wednesday that we started the Omnicef, it's now Friday and day 3 of no school. She is enjoying being home but she misses school too. I think she will be happy to go back on Monday. If we can finish off Winter with this being her only major illness, I'll call that a success!!
On a small side note, only 26 more days until her appointments at Duke Children's!! I am so happy, excited, eager to get her back in there!