Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 224

So, those of you who have Facebook (shame on all who don’t!) got that status where I mentioned some things that are going on with my niece, Emma. Emma’s had her share of health issues so far. Nothing has been really serious but several things that have been painful and/or required visits to Children’s Hospital. First there were the tubes in her ears, her adenoids and her tonsils. Those three things we got knocked in one day of surgery, miserable as that made her. Then, there was the issue with her kidneys/bladder and the multiple infections/doctor’s visits/meds for those. (And, let’s *not* even get into the dumbassery that she had to deal with in Marion due to a urologist who didn’t understand that kids are different from adults and require pain meds for certain tests…)

Now, she’s almost 7 and, imo, pretty scrawny. Her weight’s been between 46 and 48 lbs for about the last two years. She runs fevers a lot still and, during last month’s visit to the Magic House, she suddenly had a spike in temperature and got *very* tired and cranky within just a few minutes. Then, when her ankles started swelling about two weeks ago, her mom (my sister, Angie) took her in for testing. First set of blood tests, fairly inconclusive except for the presence of a hyperactive thyroid. That’s when the doctor started talking about the possibility of Lyme disease or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or some other variety of arthritic inflammation. The ankles, according to Em, aren’t painful unless they’re pressed on but, at least last time she and I talked, that made wearing even tennis shoes a problem. So, during this visit, she’s been running around in flip flops, climbing the monkey bars and playing fairly normally. I’d be more concerned if she seemed less Emma-like but, the uncertainty of this combined with the wait time required to get her to the specialists she needs to see is a pain in the ass to say the least. Right now, Lyme disease has been ruled out but a referral to a thyroid specialist is in the works. As for the possibility of some form of arthritis, there is obvious inflammation in the joints but the cause is still a question mark. The process of getting her referred to a Pediatric Rheumatologist, according to Angie and the insurance drones, will take around three weeks. Add that to the required six weeks they say Em has to display symptoms for and we’re looking at a significant wait unless they can somehow combine visits with the thyroid doc and the rheumatologist. That’s sort of what the hope is at this point. Either that or the much more pleasant possibility that the blood work will come back and tell something it’s not revealing now.

So. I’m trying not to spend too much time dwelling on the possibility that something else will be wrong that will require painful testing or surgery or an extended visit to Children’s Hospital. I’m concerned but taking some comfort in the fact that she *did* laugh and play and have a good time at the park during this visit. Generally, I try to find at least a few minutes alone with her (and Alex) during Munchkinland times. Alex, to switch gears, seems to be growing more introverted and shy as he gets older. We talk about school and his guitar lessons and what new Lego creations he’s come up with, mostly, but he’s still one to fling himself at me for a hug at random moments. Trying to connect with him takes more work than with Emma, sometimes, but he’s an Air sign, literal, future geek (hopefully). Emma, my fellow Scorpio, is much more emotional and goofy with me. As for Parker, at four months, I’m going to hold off on the labels just yet. He’s drooly and smiley and does just wonderfully as long as he gets to be naked at certain times and fed when he deems it’s time.

(Wow, this is a long damn blog. Maybe I should get down from the aunt podium for a while. More another day, I’m sure.)

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