Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Post Strep Reactive Arthritis

Two weeks ago, Caroline went ice skating. We spent the next few days thinking that the pain in her legs was the result of lots and lots of falls. After the pain worsened, we saw our pediatrician, our chiropractor and then an orthopedist. At that point, we thought Caroline had synovitis of the hip, a swelling of the tissue around her hip. And then the pain moved to her knees, wrists and ankles. No longer confident with our initial diagnosis, we saw a rheumatologist who then sent us to a cardiologist. After that visit and more blood work, the rheumatologist felt pretty sure that we were looking at something having to do with an undiagnosed and asymptomatic strep. We have been treating Caroline with antibiotic and Aleve since late last week. Today was our follow up with the rheumatologist who officially gave us the diagnosis of Post Strep Reactive Arthritis. We are looking at another month of antibiotic and Aleve before redoing the blood work and visiting the rheumatologist one more time.

I am again reminded that medicine is an art not a science. The rheumatologist is unsure how long Caroline will need to be on either medicine nor how soon before Caroline's symptoms will be completely gone. I am again reminded that second opinions are important and am wondering if I need to get one. With this diagnosis, there is the possibility of prophylactic antibiotics for years.

Even with all these questions, however, I am thankful that we have learned as much as we have. We are in a much better place than we were at this time last week. Caroline has been to school and even went to Great Gym Games, her favorite after school activity, today. She came bounding out of school with the renewed energy that movement with no pain can bring to a little girl who been sitting still for two weeks. So for that and much more, I am thankful.


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