Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Blip

Yes, we had a little "Blip" in Allison's progress.  We got a little less boring last night.  Allison went to Robotics after school, piano lessons and helped to wash the van.  Suddenly, she was complaining of her ankle hurting, that quickly changed to limping and then crawling on the floor because it hurt too much to put pressure on it.  When John looked at it her ankle was noticeably swollen and painful to touch.  So we put ice on it and gave her some Aleve.  At bedtime she was unable to put any weight at all it and John had to carry her up to bed.  We were very concerned because yesterday we had dropped her prednisone from 7 mg to 6 mg. Had this slight change pushed her into a flare???  

Luckily we have some wonderful jra angels (Moms with kids who have jra) who are so supportive and always there for us.  We were encouraged to wait it out and see if it might just be a slight reaction to the lowering of her prednisone.  Put our minds a little at ease. 

This morning it was still swollen but looked a little better and she was limping around the house.  We gave her more Aleve and tried moist heat this morning.  She went to school and when she came home in the afternoon said, "it was all good."  No pain, no issue!!  She actually said when she got to school and started walking on it more it was like her ankle loosened up and felt better.  Whew!!  

So, what does this mean?  Could be nothing or it could mean that as she weans off the prednisone more she may experience swelling and pain here and there in her joints.  Hopefully no fevers.  A friend on a web message board whose son is systemic like Allison said that when her son was weaning off he would have "little flares" with each drop in prednisone.  So, that is our little "Blip" that jumped onto the screen.  Keep Allison in your prayers and thoughts that those "Blips" stay to a minimum. 
Thanks for checking in,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Visit to Dr. Kingsbury

Boring, Boring, Boring!!  That is what Allison was at the doctors and we LOVE IT!!!!! Keep giving us boring and we will be very happy.    Dr. K checked her over and no issues with joints, movements, inflammation or anything.  What a blessing and answer to lots of prayer.  

Where do we go from here?
    Well, Dr. K said that we are to continue to taper ( wean) Allison off the prednisone.  We will drop her dose by 1 mg. each week until we are able to stop.  As we continue this process we will remain on alert for break through symptoms.  We hear often kids get right down close to being off and BOOM, they are hit with some break through symptoms.  So, we will see how it goes for the next 7-8 weeks.  

   After she is off the prednisone and symptom free we will probably wait a year keeping her on Methotrexate before we try to take her off that medication and see what happens.  So, we still have a road ahead of us but we continue to be encouraged by Allison's progress.

  Her blood work result were great by the way.  I am not sure I mentioned that previously.  
    Sed. rate 3 ( if you remember it was 0 but Dr. K assures us that is very normal) Sed. rate is 
    one we watch closely to see if she has inflammation going on in her body.  When Allison was 
    at her sickest she had a Sed. rate of 92.  Such a difference.  

Thanks again for all your positive thoughts and prayers they have helped us so much and continue to do so.  

The Bradner Family 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What's Going On?

Sorry we haven't posted in awhile.  Everyone is trying to get back into the school routine.  Allison is doing great in school and loves her teacher and class.  She was just selected to join the Lego Robotics club at school so she is very excited about this new activity.  

We go to see our local doctor today to check in and have blood work done.  We are anxious to see if her numbers are still looking good with us continuing to drop her prednisone.  Next Monday we go to Portland to see Dr. Kingbury ( Ped. Rheumy) so he can check her out.  We are praying for an uneventful and boring doctor's visit.  :) 

Allison has been fighting a bad cold for the last several weeks, a consequence of her low immune system and being back with all the kids at school.  Besides the cold she has been pretty healthy.

On Saturday Jacob had his first soccer game.  We all thoroughly enjoyed watching him out on the field.  We will be spending Saturdays on the soccer field for the next few months.  

Thanks for checking in.  I will post the results of Allison's blood work when we get the numbers. 


Friday, September 5, 2008

First Day of School

Allison started school on Tuesday September 2nd.  She is in fifth grade this year and was very excited to start school. 
Here you can see the huge backpack full of "essentials" she had to tote to school the first day.  How kids lug around those heavy backpacks I just don't know.  Cute polka-dots.
Mitch got an extra day off this year since he is a Sophmore this year.  So he didn't start until Wednesday.  He loved that.  
I think his backpack is actually smaller than Allison's for the first day of school.  That won't last long.  
What good lookin' kids.  I was lucky to get these outside the house.  They won't let me take pictures in the classrooms on the first day of school any longer.  Growing older.  

Medicine Update

Allison has made is successfully down to 10 mg of prednisone without any break through symptoms. We were to just leave her at that dose until we go to Portland to see her Pediatric Rheumatologist September 22nd.  John and I were talking and decided to call and check with Dr. Kingsbury and see if he might want us to continue the taper since she is doing so well.  When John spoke to the nurse she said the doctor was very happy with Allison's progress and to drop her down to 8 mg. and then if she is tolerating that in 10-14 days drop her to 6 mg.  This is huge.  We are doing the happy dance around here and hoping she just continues to hold steady as we slowly lower her dosage.  Keep her in your prayers!!!  We know they work. 

A few more

John protecting Jacob and Allison during the scary stories around the campfire that they all begged for to begin with.  
Our dog Banzai relaxing and enjoy the beach
Leslie and Kristi enjoying the fire and trying to ignore the kids the best we could.  Relaxing, but not quiet with 7 kids and 2 dogs.
Kenzie, Mayzie, Mitch and Grady enjoying the fire.  Looks like Mitch might be a little close to that fire.  Notice the fire beside Kenzie. (Strange what the fire will do in a photo)

More Beach Pictures

Allie and Duchess snuggling on the beach.  Duchess was "recovering from surgery but there was no stopping that little dog.  
Grady, Jacob and Mitch at the beach holding still for a moment.  Jacob spent most of the weekend soaking wet and covered with sand.  
Kids around the campfire, Allison, Kenzie, Mitch, Grady and Jacob walking away, who knows where he might be going???
Jamie and Jacob having a high level conversation about the "meaning of life" on the beach. 

Beach Trip

For the Labor Day weekend we went to the Oregon Beach with our friends the Smiths.  We rented a house for three nights.  The weather was sunny for the most part and beautiful which allowed us to spend a lot of our time relaxing and playing on the beach.  It was a nice end to summer before jumping back into the school schedule.  Below are a few pictures and we will add a few more to another post

Here is the view from the house we stayed in at the coast.  Just cross this little road and we were on the beach.  Easy access for us to spend lots of time at the beach while there. 
Here is a picture of the Smith and Bradner Kids.  Enjoying some rare sunshine at the Oregon Coast. 
John getting the campfire going and Kenzie relaxing on the beach.

**Oh, before leaving on Friday night we were delayed a bit because Jacob was attacked by a bee.  One angry bee stung him three times.  Once on the stomach, under his arm and then the worst was on his little ankle that swelled up huge.  The stinger and part of the bee was still in Jacob's ankle and we had to remove it.  Always a fun at the Bradner's house.  :)