We just received the word today from a Pediatric Rheumatologist that J most likely has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (formerly known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis). She has been complaining on and off of her knees bothering her since soccer in September and October, more regularly for the past couple of weeks.
J is the kind of child that does NOT want her boo-boos examined...never has. It took a long time for me to be able to actually touch her knees (I actually had to threaten) in order to discover that they were both quite swollen.
She is not disabled by any means. She continues to run and jump and play like always, just has trouble getting up and down the ladder to her bed on the top bunk, and is stiff and sore after sitting for a while.
I am feeling overwhelming guilt at this point. Primarily because I didn't push her to let me check her out months ago. I also have this nagging feeling that I might have done something wrong to make her more susceptible to this. Was it our vacation in Mexico 8 years ago? After trying to conceive for 3 years, we went scuba diving and couldn't drink the water, so drank other beverages, then returned home to find that I was several weeks pregnant at the time. Was it because of my irresponsibility in her early weeks?
Where to go from here? The Doctor tells us that it is good that only 2 of J's joints are involved. She will start with daily anti-inflammatory medication, then return for a follow-up in a couple of weeks. I am researching JIA...something I wasn't completely familiar with, although I had a sinking feeling since examining her knees that this might be the diagnosis. I am trying to find kid-friendly information to present to J as well. In the meantime, we are readying ourselves for some time in the sun down South.
Gotta escape this never ending blowing snow somehow!
5 months ago