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Megan, Age 2

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Megan

Megan was a typical 18-month-old girl with one exception ... she was not walking. Our pediatrician sent us to PT and Megan screamed and cried at every session, not willing to stand independently or take any steps. She "walked" upright, but on her knees for months and months. 

One weekend, we noticed some swelling, heat and bruising in her left ankle and rushed her to her pediatrician the next morning. He sent us right to our local children's hospital here for labs and X-rays. The X-rays came back normal, but some of her blood work indicated autoimmune issues and inflammation. 

We were referred to a pediatric rheumatologist at children's within two weeks. This doctor diagnosed Megan with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis on October 11, 2012, when she was just 20 months old. One week later, we took Megan to interventional radiology for steroid injections in her ankle, left knee and both wrists. It took about a month, but the injections really seemed to work. We added methotrexate injections at home weekly, and were giving her naproxen (Aleve) twice a day at home for pain. 

Just before Christmas 2012, Megan FINALLY started walking!!!  We were elated and confident in our treatment plan. But in January 2013, swelling returned to Megan's left ankle and knee and she had new swelling in her right ankle and a few fingers. 

We then began the process of convincing the prescription insurance company that she needed to try Enbrel, a biologic drug. After just two Enbrel injections, the swelling was gone again and Megan was back on track.  

In May, once the weather was nice and we were playing outside daily, Megan had a joint flare. We also had lab work come back with significantly elevated liver values so we had to take Megan off of her pain medicine ... right in the middle of a very tough time for her. It was a rough few weeks for Megan (and Mommy), but she took steroids for two weeks to calm her joints. 

Megan is currently 2 years 4 months old and is on Enbrel and methotrexate injections weekly, plus folic acid to counteract any side effects of the injectables. She's also on Tylenol, naproxen, or Motrin as needed for pain.

We see a traditional physical therapist once a week, do aquatic therapy once a week, and therapeutic horseback riding at Dreams on Horseback often (Mommy works there!). 

The juvenile arthritis journey is a long one, full of ups and downs. We have developed close friendships with other JA families and look to them for guidance and support. We are lucky to have such a great support system and a fabulous rheumatology clinic nearby with wonderful doctors and nurses!


Megan

Megan was a typical 18-month-old girl with one exception ... she was not walking. Our pediatrician sent us to PT and Megan screamed and cried at every session, not willing to stand independently or take any steps. She "walked" upright, but on her knees for months and months. 

One weekend, we noticed some swelling, heat and bruising in her left ankle and rushed her to her pediatrician the next morning. He sent us right to our local children's hospital here for labs and X-rays. The X-rays came back normal, but some of her blood work indicated autoimmune issues and inflammation. 

We were referred to a pediatric rheumatologist at children's within two weeks. This doctor diagnosed Megan with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis on October 11, 2012, when she was just 20 months old. One week later, we took Megan to interventional radiology for steroid injections in her ankle, left knee and both wrists. It took about a month, but the injections really seemed to work. We added methotrexate injections at home weekly, and were giving her naproxen (Aleve) twice a day at home for pain. 

Just before Christmas 2012, Megan FINALLY started walking!!!  We were elated and confident in our treatment plan. But in January 2013, swelling returned to Megan's left ankle and knee and she had new swelling in her right ankle and a few fingers. 

We then began the process of convincing the prescription insurance company that she needed to try Enbrel, a biologic drug. After just two Enbrel injections, the swelling was gone again and Megan was back on track.  

In May, once the weather was nice and we were playing outside daily, Megan had a joint flare. We also had lab work come back with significantly elevated liver values so we had to take Megan off of her pain medicine ... right in the middle of a very tough time for her. It was a rough few weeks for Megan (and Mommy), but she took steroids for two weeks to calm her joints. 

Megan is currently 2 years 4 months old and is on Enbrel and methotrexate injections weekly, plus folic acid to counteract any side effects of the injectables. She's also on Tylenol, naproxen, or Motrin as needed for pain.

We see a traditional physical therapist once a week, do aquatic therapy once a week, and therapeutic horseback riding at Dreams on Horseback often (Mommy works there!). 

The juvenile arthritis journey is a long one, full of ups and downs. We have developed close friendships with other JA families and look to them for guidance and support. We are lucky to have such a great support system and a fabulous rheumatology clinic nearby with wonderful doctors and nurses!

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