Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Its Been A Year!

Wow, I can't believe it's already been a year since we found out about Alex's arthritis!  I'm sorry I don't update this blog more often but there hasn't been much to update......until today.  

Alex had a check up with her rheum doctor today.  As of her last appointment things seemed to be moving in a good direction.  Her swelling looked much better and we were told to just continue with her meds.  I didn't attend her last appointment (which will never happen again) and apparently the last MRI that she had had was not in her file when Ben met with her. when I took her,  the doctor was sad to see how swollen her hand had become again.  I mentioned that it was especially disappointing since her last MRI was showing improvement and that's when things got a little crazy. I guess she thought that I had never taken her in for that MRI. The doctor seemed to know nothing about this last MRI and went scrambling to find the results. She eventually did find it and seemed so confused why she didn't have it at the last appointment. 
So she begins to read the findings to me and not only was there an increase in inflammation in the joints we already knew about but now there was a problem in her seems to be moving up her hand. 

So based on these new findings the doctor now wants her to start Enbrel (the dreaded shots).  She seemed very confident that this medication will stop the progression of her arthritis and hopefully even get her into remission.  For now she is to continue the Methotrexate as well. She said that once we see that the Enbrel is working we can start tapering off the MTX.  

My next step is finding out how much the meds will cost (apparently it can be up to $2000 a month without insurance).  Luckily we do have health insurance but it could still be pretty pricey.  The doctor did mention some sort of  offset that Enbrel will provide you with if you are a new patient so she is working on getting info on that for me.  Once we actually have the meds in hand Ben and I will have to go attend training on how to give the shot to her.  I have read and heard that it's not that hard and is probably more difficult for the parent than the child.  Still this was my worst case scenario so I am not too happy about any of it.  I know things could be much worse so I am just trying to be thankful for that. 

Other than that life is pretty good.  We are in full school mode and the kids are already looking forward to the holidays ahead.  It was funny....when leaving the docs office today she said "Have a nice Thanksgiving" and I looked at her like she was crazy.  She then pointed out that our next appt would be in December.....yikes!!  
Alex and a friend at a Halloween church event. 
So, just in case it is another few months before I post again....Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!