Friday, June 12, 2009

Fingers again

What a day we had today.
As you will know, Ruth started with swollen fingers again last month (follow the link if you want to read the previous entry on this) and was put on anti-inflammatory medication on 15 May. Slowly the fingers were getting back to normal and by the 5th of June I was thinking "wow, they might be back to normal". Unfortunately it was not the same by Sunday. I noticed that two fingers were swollen (the ring finger on each hand this time). I thought I should give the medication a bit of time to work and so did not phone the doc about it. Eventually by Friday I decided to give him a call. There was no change to the fingers and she had been on the meds for 4 weeks already (and 5 days now with the new swelling).
The doc asked that I bring her in to the Children's Acute Assessment department at the hospital TODAY, so that he could have a look. So with very last minute planning we headed into town. Lynn was amazing and came over to look after the other two girls which made it much easier for me.
After walking around the hospital looking for the right department we finally got there around 11:30. The booked her in and even brought her lunch. When the lunch trolley arrived at 12 I though "oh, no, it's going to be gluten". And when she brought the tray in it was just sandwiches, a muffin and an apple. I politely said she was on a gluten free diet and the lady was so apologetic and said "it was not on the board". I told her we had almost just arrived and I did not know they would give her food. She was more than happy to call the kitchen though for a gluten free meal for Ruth. At least she could start on the apple and she found a yogurt for her too. The meal arrived a little later and was such a good meal for her. It was a big help with us being out for so many hours today.
They also gave her a bag full of fun things to keep her busy. Play dough, pens and paper, a book, bubbles and a spinning windmill thing.
Then the doc came and looked at the fingers again. He again checked all her other joints to make sure there was not pain or limited movement anywhere (which there wasn't). He then said we will have to change her meds to a stronger one. He said I should still bring her in for the appointment on the 13th July. But he said that if the fingers have not cleared by then, they will consider giving her medication for Juvenile Arthritis. He asked if I had read up on it, to which I said "no, I though the tests last year showed she did not have it". He then said the tests are not conclusive. So really, they don't know what else to do.
He gave me some info on the medication that would be our next option (in their opinion) and it is really strong stuff. It is similar to chemotherapy. So it is just something I would rather avoid. I realize that in Arthritis cases this is a better option, but with Ruth not having any pain and the diagnosis not being sure, it is something I want to avoid.
I have made contact with the Naturopath I saw last year and we are hoping she will have a more natural option for us. Even if she gives Ruth some herbs for Arthritis, at least if it's not Arthritis the herbs won't do her any damage or have any side effects.
We do firstly pray though that the Lord would heal her little body of whatever is causing this long-term swelling and that no damage is caused to her joints because of it.
I have an appointment with the Naturopath for Tuesday 23rd, so I need to get all the results together from all Ruth's tests for her to look at. We pray that the Lord would give us the wisdom to make the right decisions over the next weeks and that he would give the new doc wisdom as she looks through Ruth's information.
(The photo was taken on Sunday 14th and they are looking a little better already - so we pray that the swelling would come down completely)

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